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Governor Northam Honors Norfolk State for Strong Support of Small Businesses

(NSU Newsroom) — Not only does Norfolk State University graduate some of the most influential business owners in Virginia, the University has now been honored by Governor Ralph Northam for its strong support of small-, women- and minority-owned (SWaM) businesses.

The University’s Office of Procurement Services received the Governor’s SWaM Award for achieving the highest percentage of SWaM spending among large public higher education institutions for fiscal year 2019.

During the last fiscal year, which ran July 1, 2018 through June 30, 2019, Norfolk State spent 66.19% of its discretionary spending dollars with SWaM businesses, exceeding Virginia’s 42% goal.  In July, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam signed Executive Order 35 — in a ceremony at Norfolk State – which established the 42% target and called for establishing programs aimed at expanding opportunities for those businesses.

 “Norfolk State University has consistently exceeded the goal of the Commonwealth for the last several years with a target goal of more than 65%,” said Ruby M. Spicer, director of procurement services.  “Annually and monthly, it is more than 70%.” 

During the July announcement, Northam noted that when small businesses do well Virginia does well.  “Small businesses are a vital economic engine for Virginia, making up 97% of all businesses” the Governor said in a news release. “But we know there is work to do to ensure they have equal opportunity to grow and succeed in our Commonwealth.”

Additionally, the executive order directs the Virginia Department of Small Business and Supplier Diversity, the agency responsible for certifying small businesses, to develop new programs to expand outreach and resources for the small business community.