Raleigh Oct 19, 2022 In a proclamation signing, Governor Roy Cooper declared October 16 – 22, 2022 as National Business Women’s Week, recognizing the accomplishments and contributions of women in North Carolina’s public and private sectors. "Our diverse and talented workforce is one of our greatest assets," said Governor Cooper. "As we celebrate the achievements of women in business, we must recommit ourselves to striving for equal pay for equal work and more opportunities for all North Carolinians." “Women are a force in North Carolina’s business sector, enhancing our communities and paving the way for future female leaders,” said NC Department of Administration Secretary Pamela B. Cashwell. “They remain key to our state’s economic success and are significant contributors to our labor force.” According to the U.S. Census Bureau, women-owned firms contributed nearly $1.8 trillion in revenue, employed over 10.1 million workers, and made up nearly 20 percent of all firms across the country in 2019. However, the COVID-19 pandemic greatly impacted women-owned business across the country, forcing many to close their doors or pivot their services to accommodate business climate changes. In 2021, the NC Department of Administration’s Office for Historically Underutilized Businesses introduced the Minority Business Development Agency Center in Research Triangle Park to support businesses disproportionately impacted by the pandemic and provide aid to help with recovery efforts, including women-owned businesses. Since its debut, the Center has served more than 100 historically underutilized businesses, helping them compete for and secure federal, state, and local contracts. In addition, Governor Cooper issued Executive Order 268 this year to continue the work of the Andrea Harris Equity Task Force, named in honor and in memory of a North Carolina female pioneer in the business industry. Through her legacy, the Task Force will continue its work to further the economic development of disadvantaged communities, improve the health and wellness outcomes of underserved communities and advance equitable and inclusive practices within state agencies, including practices that support the advancement of historically underutilized businesses across the state. For more information on North Carolina historically underutilized businesses and available resources, visit the NC HUB website. Read proclamation here. About NC DOA and the Office for Historically Underutilized Businesses The North Carolina Department of Administration acts as the business manager for North Carolina state government. Under the leadership of Secretary Pamela B. Cashwell, the department oversees government operations and advocacy programs. The department's advocacy programs help to promote and assist diverse segments of the state's population that have been traditionally underserved. Since 1999, the Office for Historically Underutilized Businesses (HUB) has been instrumental in advocating and promoting the use of minority and women-owned businesses in the state procurement and contracting process.