Wisconsin Department of Commerce Newsletter
New Governor's Initiative Aids Minority Business Growth
Since 2003, state spending on products and services from minority-owned businesses has increased by 14 percent. To build on that progress, Governor Jim Doyle recently announced the "Get Started, Get Growing" initiative for Minority Business Enterprises (MBEs), at the 25th Annual Marketplace, the Governor's Conference on Minority Business. I joined the Governor in Milwaukee as he unveiled the program to over 400 MBE owners/businesspersons.
Following is a summary of the new initiative, which directly addresses the two challenges we hear most frequently expressed by people of color – the availability of capital and help in expanding business capabilities.
"Get Started, Get Growing"
Gov. Doyle also announced the formation of a new commission dedicated to identifying new ways the state can procure more of our products from minority businesses. The Business Opportunity Advisory Commission will be chaired by Senator Spencer Coggs and Ralph Hollmon. Hollmon is the President of the Milwaukee Urban League and one of the pioneers of the Wisconsin Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) program. The MBE initiative is designed to increase the opportunity for Wisconsin certified minority owned companies to sell their products or services to the state.
Finally, the Governor also announced that Lt. Governor Barbara Lawton will lead an effort to streamline the application process for Minority Owned Business Certification. The redesign will be both more efficient and user-friendly.
For the Wisconsin economy to reach its true potential, minority businesses must be able to move forward, win public and private contracts, and have access to the financial and technical assistance they need. I believe the Governor's Get Started, Get Growing initiative can be a catalyst for the growth and development of minority-owned businesses.
-- Mary P. Burke, Secretary
The newsletter is issued electronically every other month.
Please send comments or questions to Barbro McGinn, editor.