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Economy & Business

Companies Investing More in St. Louis Minority-Owned Businesses

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.

James Webb, president and CEO of the council, says reaching this milestone took a great deal of collaboration between area businesses and organizations such as the St. Louis Regional Chamber.

"We have unified in a major objective and that objective is really growing our community and knowing that the minority businesses are part of a growing community,” Webb said.

Joe Reagan, president and CEO of the St. Louis Regional Chamber, announced plans to deepen collaborations with the council.

“The Minority Business Council will be co-locating with the St. Louis Regional Chamber in our offices at Met Square at the end of the summer,” said Reagan. “This is one of the most important relationships we have and we couldn’t be more excited.”

Webb announced that he will be retiring effective July 1. He will be succeeded by Ed Bryant of the St. Louis County Economic Council.

“We are in the right place and this is the right time for our region,” said Bryant. “I’m excited by the challenges ahead of us.”

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