It’s interesting how quickly a business incentive can become a business imperative, and the great things that can happen along the way.
Fifteen years ago, MassHousing, the affordable housing “bank” for Massachusetts, began to encourage property developers and management companies to consider hiring Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprises (M/WBEs) to provide goods and services.
For every year since the program’s inception, WinnCompanies has led the state in M/WBE partnerships, earning a recent honor from MassHousing for our continuing commitment to the program.
Some may look upon programs like this as an intrusive, bureaucratic obligation. In our case, it’s proven to be smart business practice for three reasons.
First of all, it would be foolish to ignore the tremendous talent and resources available in our local communities. It doesn’t make sense for us to sit in our corporate headquarters and think we know best for a community that could be 10, 100 or 1,000 miles away.
Second, the MassHousing M/WBE Program works to promote skilled and reliable vendors – the kinds of business partners any smart company should value. As a result, our pool of vendor options has both increased and improved. All of our subcontractors are important to our success.
And third, we take pride in operating as a trustworthy corporate citizen in the communities where we work. Strong relationships with respected vendors in and around those communities play a significant role in maintaining and strengthening that trust.
MassHousing deserves great credit for its effort to encourage equal opportunities for M/WBEs. In the most recent fiscal year alone, the program generated tens of millions of dollars in contracts for good, services and supplies benefiting quality businesses who have earned these opportunities through hard and good work.
Not bad for an incentive that began small in 1999.