2 Decades Equal 24% Drop in MWBE Contracting for Massachusetts – BayStateBanner

Calvin Brandford, center, is a certified minority contractor who has run an excavation business north of Boston for almost 30 years. Taking a break from a drainage job in Lowell, Brandford said getting state-funded work as a subcontractor is very hard and often comes with a serious drawback: not getting paid for 60 to 90 days. Chris Burrell/WGBH News
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By Kenneal Patterson

The dollar amount of state contracts awarded to minority-owned business has declined by 24% over the last 20 years, according to a WGBH investigation released last week.

After comparing past data with current trends, the study conducted by WGBH’s New England Center for Investigative Reporting concluded that minority-owned businesses received $135 million less in state contracts in 2018 than in 1998, after adjusting for inflation.

“The report is very concerning,” said Segun Idowu, executive director of the Black Economic Council of Massachusetts.

After the “Color of Public Money” two-part series aired, BECMA released a statement demanding “immediate and impactful action.” The statement said that black-owned businesses have rarely been prioritized by elected officials, and it urged Mayor Walsh, Gov. Baker, House Speaker DeLeo and Senate President Spilka to publicly acknowledge the urgency of the issue. The BECMA statement included a detailed plan for these officials to adopt. The blueprint proposes …

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