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Another source of business

Melvin B. Miller
Another source of business
“You gotta show up to get a contract.”

A common dream in America is to be CEO of one’s own business. The goal is not so much to become a multi-millionaire, but to become one’s own boss. While entrepreneurship is now increasing among African Americans, there are still too many opportunities that slip away.

In fiscal 2018 the City of Boston spent more than $664 million on procurement contracts. Under the law, the city has to accept the lowest bid for all contracts over $10,000. However, the winning bidder must also reasonably establish the competence to perform the construction required satisfactorily or provide quality services or goods. Only 1 percent of those contracts were obtained by minorities or women-owned businesses.

When one considers that about half of Boston’s residents are people of color, 1 percent is an extremely low number. Life in the world of small business is tense, arduous and often disappointing. Business owners have to work long hours and put their limited resources at risk. It is not the kind of life for everyone.

The Black Economic Council of Massachusetts with Segun Idowu as executive director is in the process of organizing local businesses, so that the entrepreneurs can develop the economic impact as a group, and remain aware of current business issues.

As a goal for their united effort, BECMA should attempt to reach a higher level of participation in Boston procurement contracts as soon as reasonable.

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