Guilford County government has been sparing no expense in its efforts to use more Minority and Women Owned Business Enterprise (MWBE) companies whenever the county buys products or undertakes construction, renovation or repair projects.

In addition to spending $1.6 million on those efforts, the county has been seeking other ways to advance the cause and, this week, the county announced it’s moving the MWBE Department into the Nussbaum Center for Entrepreneurship – a place where a lot of MWBE businesses are located.

Guilford County’s MWBE Program will occupy 3,000-square-feet of office space at the Nussbaum Center, at 1451 South Elm-Eugene St. in Greensboro.

The county’s MWBE Department is designed “to advocate for Minority, Women and Small Business Enterprises (MWSBE) across the county and provide equal access to opportunities to participate in all aspects of the county’s contracting and procurement programs.”

The purpose is also to “prohibit discrimination against a person or business in pursuit of these opportunities based on race, color, sex, religion, or national origin.”

Assistant Guilford County Manager Jason Jones issued a prepared statement in the press release announcing the move of the department.

“We are excited that the Nussbaum Center is welcoming our MWBE Program into their space,” Jones said, adding that the MWBE Program “will be able to assist more minority- and women-owned firms, improve direct customer service, and continue to develop strong relationships with our partners.”

County officials are calling this “another giant step towards becoming a model for MWBE programs across the nation.”

Guilford County MWBE Director Shaunne Thomas stated of the move. “With the MWBE Department at the Nussbaum Center, department staff can provide MWBE firms needing assistance a “one-stop-shop for technical support, education, access to capital, bonding, and county MWBE resources.”

Nussbaum Center CEO Sam Funchess said the county’s program will be an asset to the center and he noted that, currently, three out of four businesses there are owned by minorities or by women. The number of black woman-led businesses on-site at the Nussbaum Center is 28 percent, which equals the number of white male-led businesses there.