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Council Oks Measure for Women, Minority Contractors

The resolution would provide opportunities for local women and minority-owned businesses.

 

The Laurel Council has approved a resolution to boost contract opportunities for local women and minority-owned businesses.

During a meeting Monday night, council members unanimously approved the resolution that calls for local companies owned by minorities and women be represented in professional services and developments within the city.

Councilman Fred Smalls proposed the legislation as a way to ensure that the private sector and public sector include these groups when doing business in Laurel.

“This legislation doesn’t allow the groups to be favored in anyway,” he said during the meeting.

The City of Laurel has several large developments pending, Smalls said, such as the and a station. Smalls said that often times developers overlook local businesses for contracts.

“I want to make sure our local businesses have an opportunity to be a part of this,” he said.

Several jurisdictions have established programs or divisions aimed at bringing business to local and minority contractors.

Prince George's County created the Minority Business Development Division to help promote contract opportunities.

The division encourages the private sector and local government to partner with minority businesses as an economic engine for the county. The division acts as a conduit to help contracts reach minority business owners.

Howard County also has a  registry to promote contract opportunities for small businesses and minorities. 

Roger Clegg April 24, 2012 at 06:03 PM
I hope it's true that “This legislation doesn’t allow the groups to be favored in anyway.” It's good to make sure contracting programs are open to all, that bidding opportunities are widely publicized beforehand, and that no one gets discriminated against because of skin color, national origin, or sex. But that means no preferences because of skin color, etc. either--whether it's labeled a "set-aside," a "quota," or a "goal," since they all end up amounting to the same thing. Such discrimination is unfair and divisive; it breeds corruption and otherwise costs the taxpayers and businesses money to award a contract to someone other than the lowest bidder; and it's almost always illegal—indeed, unconstitutional—to boot (see 42 U.S.C. section 1981 and this model brief: http://www.pacificlegal.org/page.aspx?pid=1342 ). Those who insist on engaging in such discrimination deserve to be sued, and they will lose.

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