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State Policies and Programs for Minority- and Women-Business Development

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Publication Date: December 2007

Publisher(s): Insight Center for Community Economic Development

Author(s): Tim Lohrentz

Topic: Business (Business and government)


This report will document state efforts to increase procurement from MBEs and WBEs, as well as to provide them with targeted finance and business development services. In many cases the programs consist of what has traditionally been considered affirmative action in procurement. But they also include many other types of policies and programs which eliminate the barriers that M/WBEs may face related to access to state procurement and programs. We call this entire range of policies and programs 'inclusive business practices'.

Because state and local inclusive business practices are largely built on federal policies and programs, as well as extensive relevant case law history, this report will begin with a history of affirmative action in procurement and a review of current federal policies and programs. This will include a description of the main federal programs, called the 8(a) and Small, Disadvantaged Business (SDB) programs.

Then we will discuss in five steps the trend in inclusive business practices at the state level since 1996, which corresponds to the date of the landmark Adarand case.

Finally, we will share our conclusions and make recommendations, based on those conclusions, on how states can promote inclusive business development.


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