The Commissioner of Administration periodically designates businesses that are majority-owned and operated by women, persons with a substantial physical disability, or specific minorities as targeted group businesses within purchasing categories as determined by the commissioner.
Targeted Group small businesses must be certified as such by MMD in order to participate in the program. By being certified with the MMD, the business may also be eligible to participate in similar state-funded programs operated by the Minnesota Department of Transportation (Mn/DOT) and several Metropolitan Agencies.
To be certified as a Targeted Group small business, the business must be at least 51% owned by a woman, racial minority, or person with a substantial physical disability. In addition, the business must be operated and controlled on a day-to-day as well as long-term basis by the qualifying owner. In other words, ownership is not enough; operational control is also required.
Once certified, Targeted Group small businesses may be eligible for up to 6% preference in selling their products or services or bidding on construction projects to the state in accordance with the Commissioner's designation of eligible businesses. In addition, we have the authority to set goals which require prime contractors to subcontract a portion of the work to certified Targeted Group businesses on contracts for construction or consulting services.
The 2017 Minnesota Joint Disparity Study examined whether discrimination affects minority- and women-owned firms in the marketplace and ways to address that discrimination. The study examined procurement of construction, professional services, goods, and other services in the public and private sector. The study also researched conditions for veteran-owned businesses and companies owned by persons with disabilities. The Minnesota Department of Administration coordinated this effort and Keen Independent Research led the research team.