- Governor Maura Healey and Lt. Governor Kim Driscoll
Media Contact for Healey-Driscoll Administration Expands State Spending Benchmarks to LGBT and Disability-Owned Businesses
Karissa Hand, Press Secretary
The Healey-Driscoll Administration today announced two new initiatives aimed at expanding opportunities for diverse and small businesses to provide goods and services to state agencies and local governments. The administration is updating the Commonwealth’s Supplier Diversity Program (SDP) to include spending benchmarks for LGBT-owned Business Enterprises (LGBTBE) and Disability-owned Business Enterprises (DOBE) in the Commonwealth’s Supplier Diversity Program (SDP) for the first time. It is also implementing a new interactive online map that will help state agencies, cities, towns, prime bidders and contractors identify certified diverse business partners.
“Massachusetts is home to so many wonderful diverse and small businesses who are truly the backbone of our communities and our economy. Our administration is committed to increasing opportunities for them to do business with the state, which will not only help their businesses grow but will also support the state’s equitable economic development,” said Governor Maura Healey. “We are proud to be expanding the state’s spending benchmarks to include businesses owned by LGBTQIA+ individuals and individuals with disabilities, as well as implementing a new tool to make it easier for organizations to connect with diverse business partners.”
“As a former Mayor, I saw firsthand how our local economy thrived thanks to the hard work and contributions of diverse and small businesses,” said Lieutenant Governor Kim Driscoll. “Our administration is proud to be taking this important and long overdue step to codify spending benchmarks for businesses owned by LGBTQIA+ individuals and individuals with disabilities, as well as launching a new online tool that we believe will be critical to helping us meet these goals.”
“The state has been a leader in expanding opportunities to diverse communities and now is the time to set clear goals around purchasing from certified LGBTBE and DOBE businesses,” said Administration and Finance Secretary Matthew Gorzkowicz.
The Supplier Diversity Office (SDO) promotes equity of opportunity in the procurement and purchase of goods and services by State Executive Agencies for DOBEs, LGBTBEs, Minority (MBE), Women (WBE), Veteran (VBE) and Service-Disabled Veteran (SDVOBE) owned businesses. However, LGBTQBE and DOBE are currently the only categories without established benchmarks.
As of July 1, state agencies will work towards purchasing $18 million from LGBT-owned businesses and $18 million from businesses owned by individuals with disabilities during Fiscal Year 2024. After evaluating purchasing against these benchmarks over the next year, the Administration will set new goals for Fiscal Year 2025.
In 2015, the SDO expanded to include Veteran (VBE), Disability (DOBE), and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBTBE) owned businesses, which made Massachusetts the most inclusive state supplier diversity program in the nation. At the time, no benchmark was set for DOBE or LGBTBE spending as those certification categories were new, and the Commonwealth needed to develop certified vendor capacity.
In FY2016, the SDO began recognizing DOBE and LGBTBE certifications issued by reputable third-party certification organizations, such as Disability:IN and the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC), which resulted in the recognition of more than 100 DOBEs and LGBTBEs.
The SDO has previously implemented benchmarks for Minority Business Enterprises, Women Business Enterprises, Veteran Business Enterprises, and Small Businesses.
New Online Map
The Administration also unveiled the Massachusetts Certified Business Map, a new interactive online map that will help state agencies, cities, towns, and prime bidders and contractors locate certified diverse business partners based on location as well as other criteria.
Users can search by in-state and out of state, county, city or town, certification type, and by business name. This can be especially helpful for projects needing subcontractors who do business in a certain area of the state. Displayed information includes Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) business count, State business count, and counts by certification type, for-profit and non-profit, and business nature type.
The map is the SDO’s latest innovation to increase equity in state purchasing. Since becoming a new agency in 2021, the SDO has introduced the Supplier Diversity Hub, a powerful network that streamlines communication between state agencies, cities, towns, prime contractors and diverse and small businesses, the Resources Webpage for Diverse and Small Businesses, the Municipal Supplier Diversity Playbook and the SDO Means Business model, which provides resources and tools to eliminate barriers and uplift diverse and small businesses.
These announcements come after the SDO issued their FY2022 Annual Report, which reported growth in spending with diverse and small businesses and the number of certified businesses as well as other new programs and initiatives.
About the Supplier Diversity Office
The SDO promotes diversity, equity, and inclusion in state contracting for businesses owned by minorities, women, Portuguese, veterans, service-disabled veterans, those with a disability, and LGBT individuals, as well as small Massachusetts businesses. It certifies these historically disadvantaged businesses and manages several programs and provides resources that help their marketability when bidding on public contracts. To learn more about Supplier Diversity Office certification, programs, and resources, go to www.Mass.gov/SDO.
Statements of Support
Grace Moreno, Executive Director, Massachusetts LGBT Chamber of Commerce
“The LGBTQ+ community has long been a contributing important part of the Commonwealth’s economy. We look forward to working with the Healey-Driscoll administration to make the state’s procurement of goods and services more fair and equitable. Governor Healey recognizes that an important way to lure businesses to Massachusetts is to show that our state is a welcoming place to do business for all people, including those identifying as LGBTQ. This announcement is yet another step in that direction. It helps LGBTQ businesses grow and thrive in Massachusetts while helping to expand our economy. Yet again, Governor Healey is walking the walk, not just talking the talk to advance the interests of LGBTQ businesses.”
Joe Bellil, Vice President of Public Affairs and Youth Services, Easterseals Massachusetts
“Establishing a spending benchmark for Disability-owned businesses in Massachusetts is a key step towards creating a more equitable and inclusive economy. By supporting these businesses, the Commonwealth is investing in the talents, skills, and potential of individuals with disabilities.”
Charles Carr, Legislative Liaison, Disability Policy Consortium
“With a 30% unemployment rate in the disability community, this is a huge boost for those who are employed and desperately need new business. Furthermore, it will encourage people with disabilities who are leaning toward self-employment to make the move knowing that there will be support in the Healey/ Driscoll administration regarding benchmarking funding to open a business.”
Bill Henning, Executive Director of the Boston Center for Independent Living (BCIL)
“I commend this initiative. Greater inclusion in the state’s economic engine builds an underpinning for inclusion in society at large for persons with disabilities.”
Jill Houghton, President and CEO, Disability:IN
“Self-employment is a pathway to economic independence for many people with disabilities, and we’re proud to have certified over 500 Disability-Owned Business Enterprises to date. We applaud the Driscoll/Healey administration for establishing new spending benchmarks for Disability-Owned businesses and for their commitment to supplier diversity programs that will generate revenue for diverse businesses for decades into the future.”