The Middlesex County board of county commissioners approved a resolution to set aside 20% of the dollar value of all the county’s contracts for goods and services in a fiscal year to minority-, women-, veteran-owned and small businesses.
Under the Set-Aside Program, the county will make a good faith effort to award contracts directly to, or encourage primary contractors to award subcontracts to, Qualified Business Enterprises that are defined as Qualified Minority, Women, Veteran and Small Business Enterprises.
The county also said it will conduct a disparity study by the end of calendar year 2024 to assess the economic success of minority-, women-, veteran-owned and small businesses within the county, and to determine how the Set-Aside Program can better serve the business community.
“As one of the most diverse counties in the nation, Middlesex County has long recognized the need to have our internal and external functions, policies and programs reflect the diverse community in which we live. To that end, the designation of 20% of our procurement dedicated to minority-, women-, veteran-owned and small businesses, is a key milestone in our journey to incorporate diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging principles into our business practices,” Commissioner Director Ronald Rios said.
The creation of this program stemmed from a broader diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging study being conducted by a professional firm — Apruzzese, McDermott, Mastro & Murphy P.C. — to assess fairness across Middlesex County’s practices, policies and procedures, and to develop an enterprise-wide DEIB implementation strategy.