Executive Order

Executive Order  No. 124: State Office of Minority Business Assistance (SOMBA)

Date: 02/20/1976
Issuer: Michael S. Dukakis

Table of Contents

WHEREAS, the Office of Minority Business Enterprise Assistance, established within the Executive Office of Communities and Development on May 9, 1972, has become generally known as the State Office of Minority Business Assistance (SOMBA), and

WHEREAS, the Secretary of the Executive Office of Communities and Development and the Secretary of the Executive Office of Manpower Affairs (the "Secretary") have agreed that the functions and responsibilities of the Office of Minority Business Enterprise Assistance, are more consistent with the functions and responsibilities of the Executive Office of Manpower Affairs, and

WHEREAS, it is the policy of this Administration and state to promote and facilitate the fullest possible participation by all citizens in the affairs of the Commonwealth, and

WHEREAS, the Commonwealth has recognized for many years the special handicaps and obstacles faced by its minority citizens in effecting full participation, and

WHEREAS, minority business enterprises frequently face special handicaps and problems in achieving viable economic status, and

WHEREAS, various public and private programs have been initiated to assist minority business enterprises to achieve economic viability, though many businesses have not been adequately informed of these programs because of inadequate coordination and communication efforts, with the result that many services available are never adequately delivered to those who need them, and

WHEREAS, the state government, as the biggest business in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, has a special responsibility to see that all available services and programs are put to the best use;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Michael S. Dukakis, Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, acting under the provisions of all authority conferred upon me by law, do hereby issue this Order as a necessary step to guarantee the fullest participation by all our citizens in the economy of the Commonwealth and the fullest benefits to our citizens of programs and services available for assistance.

Article I. Name

The Office of Minority Business Enterprise Assistance shall hereafter be officially known as the State Office of Minority Business Assistance (SOMBA).

Article II. Placement of Office

The State Office of Minority Business Assistance is hereby established as a division level office in the Department of Commerce and Development, Executive Office of Manpower Affairs.

Article III. Authority of Secretary of Manpower Affairs

The Secretary shall have all necessary authority to utilize existing staff in the Department of Commerce and Development to effect the purposes of this Order, and shall have the authority to seek such funds, public or private, as may be available and needed to carry out the intent of this Order.

Article IV. Organization, Functions and Responsibilities

4.1. The Office shall have a Director and, either on its own staff or by contract with community groups, private companies, or public or non-profit agencies, have available community liaison officers, financial and marketing experts, and persons skilled in public and private contract procurement procedures.

4.2. The Office shall seek to develop a listing of minority businesses within the Commonwealth, and shall from time to time, notify all such businesses of all known programs and services avail- able to them, whether from public or private sources, or from local, state, or federal agencies.

4.3. The Office shall receive assistance from state agencies including, where consistent with existing law, a limited amount of preferential contracting and sub-contracting for minority businesses. It shall assist minority businesses in making use of any contract set-aside programs which may be operated by the state or by various departments and agencies of the Federal government.

4.4. The Office shall work with banks, insurance companies, and other private businesses in the Commonwealth to encourage the formation of seed money funds for facilitating the starting-up and expansion of minority businesses. The Office shall provide assistance to minority businessmen in their efforts to obtain loan money and operating capital from private and public lenders.

4.5. The Office shall seek to increase the amount of financial assistance available to minority businesses from private financial institutions, and may, from time to time, sponsor conferences, workshops, or other informational programs.

4.6. The Office shall seek to encourage voluntary assistance programs by which non-minority business employees are loan- ed to minority businesses, or by which minority businessmen are taken into viable business ventures to acquire training and experience in managing business affairs.

4.7. The director of SOMBA, with the assistance of the Secretary and the Commissioner of the Department of Commerce and Development, shall coordinate its activities with those of other offices and activities of the Department of Commerce and Development, and shall assist minority businesses in their dealings with federal agencies and with state departments and agencies, including, but not limited to, the Department of Labor and Industries, the Department of Corporations and Taxation, the State Purchasing Agent and the Division of Employment Security. In coordination with the state Director of Affirmative Action, SOMBA shall also provide assistance to all Cabinet Secretaries in evaluating economic activities of their offices to determine how their offices may be of assistance in providing fair opportunities for minority businesses.

4.8. The SOMBA is authorized to encourage state contract awarding authorities to seek to increase the incidence of joint ventures between non-minority state contractors and minority contractors by specifically pointing out that such arrangements would constitute one method of partially meeting affirmative action requirements imposed upon both non-minority state contractors and the state. The state Director of Affirmative Action should be kept informed of actions taken under this provision.

4.9. The Office shall, through the Secretary, submit annual reports to the Governor on the minority businesses assisted, the type of services rendered, difficulties encountered, and shall include such recommendations for either legislative or executive action as has been found necessary or desirable.

Given at the Executive Chamber in Boston this the 20th day of February in the year of our Lord, one thousand nine hundred and seventy six and of the Independence of the United States the two hundredth.



Commonwealth of Massachusetts


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