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State Surpasses Minority Business Goal

Kenyatta Chandler with Ohio Development Service talks with minority  business owners st the Dayton Job Center.
Jerry Kenney
Kenyatta Chandler with Ohio Development Service talks with minority business owners st the Dayton Job Center.

For the first time ever, the state of Ohio says it has reached its goal of supporting minority-owned businesses. State officials met with minority business owners at the job center in Dayton to tout the achievement and talk about increasing the number of businesses eligible for state contracts.

Surpassing its 15 percent goal, the state says 19 percent of all goods and services purchased this year have been through minority businesses. That equates to more than $228 million dollars spent with those businesses, up from $165 million in 2014.

Kenyatta Chandler, Interim Chief of the Minority Business Development Division with Ohio Development Services, says those number can go higher but more minority business owners have to be educated about what the state has to offer.

“The first half is to reducing the steps that it takes to want to become certified [and to] also understand that the needs of the state education on those processes is very important,” he said.

RoShawnWinburn with the city of Dayton Human Relations Council says state officials are traveling to other Ohio cities in the coming weeks to continue their outreach to minority owned businesses.

“As we can identify more companies and increase the pool then we can help the state to set more contracts over for these companies to compete for.”

Minority Business Assistance Centers are set up around the state to help business owners with the state’s certification process.

Jerry began volunteering at WYSO in 1991 and hosting Sunday night's Alpha Rhythms in 1992. He joined the YSO staff in 2007 as Morning Edition Host, then All Things Considered. He's hosted Sunday morning's WYSO Weekend since 2008 and produced several radio dramas and specials . In 2009 Jerry received the Best Feature award from Public Radio News Directors Inc., and was named the 2023 winner of the Ohio Associated Press Media Editors Best Anchor/News Host award. His current, heart-felt projects include the occasional series Bulletin Board Diaries, which focuses on local, old-school advertisers and small business owners. He has also returned as the co-host Alpha Rhythms.