Governor Roy Cooper proclaimed October as Minority Enterprise Development Month to celebrate the outstanding achievements of North Carolina minority businesses, corporations, and financial institutions. The NC Department of Administration’s Office for Historically Underutilized Businesses (HUB), along with local HUB organizations across the state, will host celebrations throughout the month to recognize and honor small, minority and women-owned businesses in the state.
“Diversity is a great strength for our state, and when we have more diverse business owners, our communities, taxpayers and economy benefit,” said Governor Cooper. “Real opportunities for minority and women-owned businesses have made a real difference and we will continue to do more to help these businesses succeed.”
According to the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Minority Business Development Agency, North Carolina is home to more than 234,000 minority owned businesses, which account for a little more than 25% of all firms within the state. Many of these businesses, however, were disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Considering the past few years, this month is momentous for our small, minority and women-owned businesses. They not only survived the devastating impacts of the pandemic, but they learned how to pivot to new industry standards post-pandemic, “said Department of Administration Secretary Pamela B. Cashwell. “These businesses continue to thrive and achieve successes and I am honored to be a part of this annual celebration.”
In 2020, Governor Cooper issued Executive Order 143 providing small historically underutilized businesses with access to opportunities, tools, and resources that promote equitable economic recovery and procurement of state contracts. Under the Executive Order, the NC HUB Office spearheaded the small business grant program, RETOOLNC, in partnership with the NC Department of Transportation, NC Institute of Minority Economic Development and the Carolina Small Business Development Fund to help the state’s HUB and Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) firms recover and rebuild post-pandemic.
To date, the program has distributed more than $40 million to HUBs and DBEs across the state. Thanks to statewide support, spending with HUB firms for state construction projects, goods and services reached a 10-year high during the 2021-22 fiscal year, resulting in more than $230 million in building construction spending and more than $640 million in goods and services spending.
Additionally, the NC Minority Business Development Agency Business Center secured over $21 million in federal, state and local contracts for HUBs during the 2022-23 fiscal year, with more than 875 jobs created or sustained.
This year, the NC HUB Office will host a Statewide MED Week Celebration and Expo at the Raleigh McKimmon Center on Oct. 31 featuring keynote speakers, informational sessions, an award presentation, and networking opportunities. This year’s theme is, “Driving the Legacy: Fueling Entrepreneurship.” To register for this event and to learn about other MED Month celebrations happening across the state, visit the NC HUB Office website.
About NC DOA and the Office for Historically Underutilized Businesses
The North Carolina Department of Administration acts as the business manager for North Carolina state government. Under the leadership of Secretary Pamela B. Cashwell, the department oversees government operations and advocacy programs. The department's advocacy programs help to promote and assist diverse segments of the state's population that have been traditionally underserved.
Since 1999, the Office for Historically Underutilized Businesses (HUB) has been instrumental in advocating and promoting the use of minority and women-owned businesses in the state procurement and contracting process.