Support full funding and adequate staff for the Minority Business Enterprise Program (MBEP) which increases diversification of city vendors through promoting an increase in minority, veteran, and women-owned companies doing business with the city.
Minority, veteran, and women-owned businesses are underrepresented in Lexington, and the MBEP, as well as other agencies, are making efforts to help lessen this disproportion. From the Minority Business Enterprise Program (MBEP) webpage:
“The Minority Business Enterprise Program is in place to help minority, women, and veteran-owned businesses participate in the city’s procurement process. The success of minority-owned businesses is vital to the community because they contribute to the overall success and economic viability of Lexington.”
Lexington’s Central Purchasing processes millions of dollars of purchasing contracts for the city of Lexington. The city has established a “Ten Percent Goal Plan” to increase the number of minority, women, and veteran-owned businesses participating in the procurement process. The MBEP exceeded its 10% goal for MBE and WBE combined in 2017; that percentage may increase further as the remaining 2017 contracts are awarded. The goal for Veteran participation is 3%, but that number cannot be tracked at this time. See the below chart from the MBEP:
The MBEP offers a long list of services to assist minority, women-owned, and veteran-owned businesses including, but not limited to, events for networking, classes on the procurement process, assistance with certification, training programs, communications about bid opportunities, and individual appointments.