CHICAGO – Determined to provide minority- and woman-owned businesses more opportunities to supply goods and services to the state, state Rep. Juliana Stratton, D-Chicago, has introduced legislation to end the disparities minority and women-owned businesses face.
“Too often minority-owned and woman-owned businesses have a more difficult time receiving a loan, or have to pay very high interest rates if they do,” Stratton said. “Ensuring that these businesses are able to receive their fair share of government contracts is both important and just. And these businesses are providing great services – someone just needs to give them an opportunity.”
A 2015 study commissioned by the State of Illinois’ Department of Central Management Services found enormous disparities between minority-owned businesses, woman-owned businesses, and those owned by white males. The study found that minority and woman-owned businesses still have to overcome unequal access to information and negative perceptions from government officials.
The Stratton-sponsored House Bill 3756 would aim to increase the number of woman and minority owned businesses receiving state contracts by increasing the incentives that state contractors using them. This would specifically apply to projects not covered by mandated affirmative action goals, as these programs tend to see lower minority and woman participation.
“We have a very diverse state, and the people who receive state contracts ought to reflect our diversity,” Stratton continued. “These businesses are providing great services and just need access to opportunities.”