Guilford County is moving forward to facilitate the equitable distribution of county contracts with local businesses. 

In an effort to counter marketplace discrimination, the Guilford County Board of Commissioners last week approved the first Minority/Women Business Enterprise (MWBE) Program Policy and Procedure Manual.

While the program has existed for several decades, this is the first time the board has codified policy to help develop and grow minority, women and small business enterprises in the county.

Shaunne Thomas is the county MWBE director. She says the manual is important because it helps prioritize transparency, communication, and accountability.

"The most important thing about codifying your policy is that it outlasts the will of a particular person or group of people," says Thomas. "It becomes a part of the DNA of the county."

Thomas says that the manual will help improve the equitable distribution of county contracts and ensure that taxpayers are getting a good return on their investment.

The program has incorporated several recommendations included in a recent disparity study.

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