SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- For years, there have been requirements on government programs that a portion of the work go to businesses run by women or minorities. But often, local companies that meet those requirements find themselves on the "outside," unable to tap into that source of business.
The people in charge of awarding contracts met with those business people at Syracuse's South Side Innovation Center Wednesday. The business owners are being told to be more active in seeking out that business.
“Going to these expos, going to these seminars, getting information about businesses, especially when you look at starting up a business. That's the toughest part, as you know,” said Derek Coleman, former SU-NBA basketball player.
“Now there are various types of MWBE requirements -- city, state, county, regional, whatever those things are -- to try to get everybody hooked up in the way that they should be hooked up is one of the purposes of a conference like this,” said Bob Herz, South Side Innovation Center Director.
Organizers say local, state and federal governments are helping to administer close to a billion dollars in contracts. As much as ten percent of that business is expected to be earmarked for minority and female owned businesses.