State Sets Record for Spend with Diversity Businesses

Tuesday, January 11, 2022 | 02:17pm

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The State of Tennessee spent a record $766 million with small businesses and business owned by minorities, women, persons with disabilities, or service-disabled veterans in 2020-21. This is an increase of 3.5% from the old record set just the previous year.

The new figures appear in the annual report of the Governor’s Office of Diversity Business Enterprise (Go-DBE), a unit of the Central Procurement Office in the Department of General Services.

“To have set a record in 2020, during the coronavirus pandemic, was a notable accomplishment for our program. And now, we’ve surpassed that record again during a year of uncertainty for many American businesses,” said Chief Procurement Officer Mike Perry.  “We’re proud that Tennessee has been able to increase its spend with small businesses and businesses with diversity ownership, which are typically seen as especially vulnerable.”

Go-DBE was created in 2003 to expand economic opportunities for small businesses and businesses owned by minorities or women (diversity businesses).  The Tennessee legislature has since expanded the program’s role to include creating opportunities for service-disabled veterans and persons with disabilities.

Other highlights of the annual report:

  • 2,087 of the state’s 255,265 registered suppliers are certified by the Go-DBE program.
  • 14.2% of state spend went to these certified suppliers, who constitute 0.8% of total state suppliers.
  • Reflecting Tennessee’s efforts to expand economic opportunities in rural counties, certified businesses were able to provide more than $62 million worth of products and services to 34 rural counties.
  • The State certified 336 new businesses as minority-owned, woman-owned, service-disabled veteran-owned, owned by persons with disabilities, or small business enterprises, breaking the previously set record.


The annual report is available for download online here.