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Finding Minority Owned Businesses

Doing business with minority owned businesses benefits African, Hispanic (Latino), or Asian Americans in two ways:  obviously the owners are Ethnic minorities, and typically many of the employees are as well. 

Finding minority owned businesses can be challenging.  One excellent source are government agencies who have programs intended to increase participation of minority owned businesses in public contracting or procurement.  These programs are typically referred to as Minority Owned Business Enterprise (MBE) programs.  States that receive funding from the federal government (U.S. Department of Transportation) for highway projects must also maintain a database of certified Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBE), which are similar in definition to MBEs. 

Although DBE directories typically are weighted toward firms in the construction trades, they are still an excellent source of finding minority owned businesses who provide consumer and commercial products and services.  This is because other government agencies, transit agencies, trade associations, and even private sector corporations use the state DBE program for reciprocal certification to ensure that their business is going to minority owned businesses.

Minority Owned Businesses

Topics

Minority Owned Business directories

Caltrans - sponsored by CA Department of Transportation

WMBE Clearinghouse - sponsored by the CA PUC

Other Government-sponsored MBE and DBE directories

Resources
Minority Owned Business organizations
click here for links to African, Hispanic, and Asian American business organizations
 
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