State Rep. Alicia Reece (D-Cincinnati) today spoke to some 1000 attendees at the first statewide Ohio Municipalities Business Conference, an effort organized by Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther to link more minority businesses with city and state agencies.

Serving on a panel of mayors and civic leaders, Reece took the opportunity to champion recent state-level minority business successes, but also to outline continued work to build opportunity and inclusion in the Buckeye State.

“African American and minority owned businesses are Ohio businesses, and when they succeed, Ohio succeeds,” Reece said. “We’ve come a long way in the last few years, but there’s more to do to make sure everyone has a fair shot at economic opportunity in the Buckeye State. I applaud the efforts of Mayor Ginther and everyone involved in making this critical linkage between government and business. We must change the way we look at minority businesses. They pay taxes and should be granted equal access to contracts throughout Ohio.”

During her tenure as Ohio Legislative Black Caucus president, Reece helped usher in record-level minority business participation with the Kasich Administration and state agencies. State contracts with minority-owned businesses in 2016 hit a record high with nearly $298 million going to purchase 23.63 percent of eligible goods and services.

2016 marked the second time Ohio met its Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) certification goals since the program was established over 30 years ago.

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