Gov. Baker Relaxes Rules to Help Smaller MWBEs Scale – BayStateBanner

State Rep. Russell Holmes addresses reporters during a press conference on the state’s minority- and woman-owned business enterprise goals and Gov. Charlie Baker looks on. BANNER PHOTO

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By Yawu Miller

Gov. Charlie Baker filed legislation last Thursday, Feb. 27 aimed at increasing the share of state contracts going to minority- and women-owned businesses.

Joined by state officials, Baker announced the changes at a State House press conference and outlined proposed changes to the way the state handles contracts for construction and maintenance projects that he said would reduce burdens for minority- and women-owned businesses competing for work on state projects.

“The current requirements can and do discourage many smaller MBEs and WBEs from participating in public building projects because of the administrative burdens associated with that process,” Baker told reporters. “This will expedite and simplify the process for smaller minority- and women-owned businesses who want to participate in state contracts and at the local level.”

Among the changes Baker announced is an increase to the dollar amount for contracts at which subcontractors can participate without meeting state certification and bonding requirements. Currently, minority- and women-owned businesses are required to have Minority and Women Business Enterprise certification and bonding in order to participate in subcontracts of over $25,000. Baker’s proposed requirements would increase …