Baton Rouge May Create $400k MBE Task Force

East Baton Rouge Parish is expected to create a new division to oversee the handing out of more contracts to minority businesses.

Source : Wikimedia Commons

November 29, 2021

Author : Patty Rodriguez

The money is in Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome’s proposed budget, but the Metro Council has already initially approved $228,000 for the division to hire two employees.

"We have executed a contract with a third party to take care of the initial work for two roles we haven't been able to fill yet," said Kris Goranson, the local director of purchasing. 

The proposed budget would mark a 30 percent increase in the purchasing office’s proposed budget.

“The city-parish is still actively recruiting for those positions. This is an innovation solution to addressing it,” he added.

Officials are looking for prospective employees with experience certifying minority-owned businesses to fill the positions.

The Metro Council is going to vote on the budget next month, according to The Advocate.

Back in 2019, the city-parish commissioned a disparity study, finding that disadvantaged businesses, from minority to women and veteran-owned, were able to take on 21 percent of government contracts but were only awarded about five percent. The new division is aimed at ameliorating that disparity.

"That study proved we need to do a better job than we've done in the past to reach out to minority-owned businesses," councilman Cleve Dunn, Jr., said. “"This budget is the first time we're approving something to monitor that progress and connect vendors so that they're more aware of the opportunities that exist within city-parish.

Photo via 

Wikimedia Commons.

Category : Disadvantaged Business Enterprises Minority Business Enterprises Disparity Studies Diversity Outreach Local Government Procurement

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