Lawmaker wants to create bill boosting small businesses run by minorities, women

Politics - Government

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – New Mexico’s oil boom is helping our economy but now, a state lawmaker is looking at other ways to bring in money. His proposed bill aims to help small businesses run by minorities and women.

“We gotta keep our dollars here in New Mexico,” said State Representative Moe Maestas, (D) Albuquerque.

Maestas says he wants to build on our state’s growing economy, and he’s looking at our neighbors for inspiration.

“The ‘Historically Underutilized Business’ act is a great, great law that they have in Texas that keeps procurement or state expenditure dollars home,” said Rep. Maestas.

Maestas said small businesses in Texas are thriving because of what’s known as the ‘Historically Underutilized Businesses Bill.’ It essentially makes bigger companies doing business in the state aware of the small, local companies that could offer their services to help get the job done. Rep. Maestas wants to do the same thing here in New Mexico.

“Anyone who gets a state contract will be encouraged to subcontract with local businesses,” said Rep. Maestas.

But he’s taking it a step further. In his bill that he is proposing to the legislature, Maestas wants to highlight small businesses that are owned by minorities and women.

“The General Services Division of state government will put up a website and put up all the HUB businesses, and then the big guys can go on the website and contract or subcontract with the smaller businesses,” said Rep. Maestas.

Maestas said this bill is an opportunity to support New Mexican businesses, especially the ones that get overlooked.

“Unless our small businesses grow in the state, we’ll never truly grow,” said Rep. Maestas. “So we got to do whatever we can to help minority and women-owned businesses grow and reach that next level.”

The bill will be discussed Tuesday at the Economic and Rural Development Committee meeting. Rep. Maestas tried to get this through the last session, but it was postponed indefinitely.

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