About 300 representatives of businesses owned by minorities, women and the disabled, as well as those located in economically depressed areas will be in Columbus today to try to connect with state officials. Those officials represent agencies that are required to set aside 15% of their budgets to work with businesses in those categories. Gregory Williams is the state equal employment opportunity coordinator with the Ohio Department of Administrative Services, and he says it’s often difficult for business owners to let state officials know they’re out there.
“The other challenge we think is part and parcel with that is dispelling the misconception that these programs are somehow handouts or giving an undue preference to business owners. But rather, it’s really just an opportunity for them to get that first shot.”
The Ohio Business Expo runs all day at the Ohio History Center in Columbus.