County Trying to Increase Minority and Women-Owned Businesses

Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski issued an executive order to double Baltimore County’s goals for Minority-and-Women Owned enterprise participation in County contracts to 30 percent by Fiscal Year 2026.

This new order updates a 2017 Executive Order, which set an overall goal of 15 percent of total dollars spent on discretional procurements awarded to and performed by MBE and WBE firms.

“From day one, our administration has been committed to promoting equity across our government and we remain laser-focused on doing just that,” Olszewski said.

“While we are proud of the steps we’ve already taken — and the progress we’ve made — we know there is much more work to do. With this new goal we are recommitting to doing even more to expand opportunities for our minority and women entrepreneurs in the years ahead.”

Under the recently issued executive order, the County has set a new goal of 23 percent of all Baltimore County discretional procurements to be awarded to and performed by MBE and WBE firms by the end of FY23, with an overall goal of reaching 30 percent by FY26.

In recent years, the County has consistently exceeded the current 15 percent goal, including 22 percent in FY22. Since the Olszewski administration took office in December of 2018, MBWE spending has increased by nearly 60 percent.

To further support Minority-and-Women Owned Business enterprise participation, Baltimore County will provide mobilization costs — funds to help a project get off the ground —for subcontractors.

These funds, which requested as part of the subcontractor invoicing process, will help qualified contractors bear expenses such as administrative expenses, supplies, equipment rental, costs of job site mobilization and more. Providing access to these mobilization costs for contractors and subcontractors will helps ensure projects begin on time and workers are fully prepared.

This is the latest effort to expand Baltimore County’s commitment to equity in enterprise-wide decision-making, including hiring the County’s first Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer, creating a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Community Advisory Council, and forming a Blue Ribbon Panel for Procurement Reform to make recommendations in order to support small, minority-owned and women-owned business enterprises.

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