Gov. Jay Inslee convened a new subcabinet focused on increasing access for small and minority- women- and veteran-owned businesses to contracting opportunities with Washington State government.
The Governor said diverse businesses make up only about 1 percent of the $6.1 billion that the state spends annually with the private sector for good and services contracts and public-works projects.
State agencies have been working independently on individual solutions including a Get Certified campaign and other efforts to improve certification and outreach. The new initiative brings together numerous state agencies as well as the small and diverse business community to find statewide solutions.
Inslee has tapped the Washington Department of Enterprise Services (DES) to lead the effort. Besides DES and OMWBE state agencies involved in the effort include the state departments of Corrections; Labor and Industries; Social and Health Services; Veterans Affairs; the Health Care Authority; the state commissions on African American Affairs Asian-Pacific American Affairs and Hispanic Affairs; and the state Attorney General’s and Governor’s offices. The state Department of Commerce also has a representative who serves as a liaison.
The subcabinet will identify causes of low participation among small and diverse businesses in state contracting and review all current state laws policies and practices. The subcabinet will also look at current state requirements that may be creating barriers for small and diverse businesses and possible ways to address them.
More information is available on the Business Diversity Initiative web page.