RICHMOND, VA – Delegate Luke Torian passed three bills during the 2022 General Assembly Session to support small women- and minority-owned businesses across the Commonwealth. Together, these bills were part of a package of legislation crafted and recommended by the Virginia Minority Business Commission (MBC), which Delegate Torian chairs.
The three bills that came out of MBC will uplift Virginia’s small women- and minority-owned (SWaM) businesses through new guidance and opportunities at the Department of Small Business and Supplier Diversity (SBSD):
- House Bill 814 directs SBSD to annually review and provide feedback on state agencies’ plans to enhance their procurement from SWaM businesses. A recent report from Virginia’s oversight commission found that SBSD has not been providing meaningful feedback on state agencies’ SWaM procurement enhancement plans.
- House Bill 815 directs SBSD to pilot a mentorship program for SWaM businesses.
- House Bill 820 asks SBSD to conduct a business disparity study every five years. The study will examine state spending with SWaM businesses and strive to identify the gap between those available and those involved with state contracting.
Delegate Torian issued the following statement: “The Virginia Minority Business Commission has been working diligently over the past two years to carry out its mandate of promoting the growth and competitiveness of the Commonwealth’s minority-owned businesses. This successful legislative package seeks to execute our mission on several levels, from statewide economic analysis to looking at mentorship opportunities for up-and-coming women- and minority-owned businesses. I am grateful to my fellow Commission members for their thoughtful participation in developing our 2022 policy recommendations and proud to have helped some of those recommendations become law.”
Gwendolyn Davis, Minority/Women-Owned Business Enterprise Administrator for Portsmouth Public Schools, issued the following statement: “Delegate Torian has done a remarkable job for our minority- and women-owned enterprises in the 2022 General Assembly Session. This legislation from the Virginia Minority Business Commission will not only shed more light on the current state of Virginia’s minority business community, but will also assist minority- and women-owned businesses in bidding on and actually winning state government contracts.”
MBC was created by the General Assembly in 2020 to develop strategies and recommendations to promote the growth and competitiveness of Virginia’s minority-owned businesses. MBC is tasked with evaluating the impact of existing statutes and proposed legislation on minority businesses; assessing the Commonwealth’s minority business assistance programs and examining ways to enhance their effectiveness; providing minority business owners and advocates with a forum to address their concerns; and collaborating with SBSD and other appropriate entities to facilitate its work and mission. Delegate Torian has served as chairman of MBC since the commission’s establishment.
Delegate Luke Torian represents House District 52 in the Virginia House of Delegates, serving parts of Dale City, Woodbridge, and the towns of Dumfries and Occoquan. He has held office since 2009 and is a member of the House Appropriations and General Laws committees.