Senate Hears Testimony on BIPOC-Owned Business Provisions

The Senate Committee on Economic Development, Housing and General Affairs heard testimony this week on provisions in H.159 related to supporting BIPOC-owned businesses. Advocates representing BIPOC Vermonters, including the Vermont Partnership for Fairness and Diversity, the Vermont Racial Justice Alliance, and the Center for Women & Enterprise, voiced support for the legislation as a first step in creating sustainable, equitable networks and systems.

Data collection by the Secretary of State remains a high priority, an addition the Vermont Chamber suggested to better understand and reach BIPOC-owned businesses. Witnesses also highlighted the need for assistance in state contracting and procurement, both to ensure equity and to prevent outflow of state dollars to out-of-state firms.

The Vermont Chamber continues to support these provisions as we work to expand our own capacity to serve the BIPOC business community. Efforts are underway to engage with the community to understand how we can use our networking, marketing, and advocacy assets to support BIPOC-owned businesses. To learn more about this work, please contact Vermont Chamber Membership Engagement Director Sophia Yager.