ST. Louis Minority Business Council

Parth Shah

Local companies are buying more and more goods and services from minority vendors. That's according to the St. Louis Minority Business Council, a coalition of local corporations and minority-owned businesses.

The group launched the “Billion Dollar Impact” project back in 2011 with an initial goal of increasing spending by a billion dollars by July 2014. Over the past three years, companies in the St. Louis region have spent more than $1.4 billion on contracts with minority-owned businesses, exceeding expectations by over $400 million.

(Joseph Leahy/St. Louis Public Radio)

The Department of Commerce is giving nearly $1 million to promote minority business enterprises, or MBEs, in the St. Louis region.

The $900,000 grant announced Tuesday will establish a business center to provide minority entrepreneurs and business owners with contract and financing opportunities, bonding services and executive training.