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Sen. Young to host study focusing on minority and women-owned businesses

Sen. George Young, D-Oklahoma City, will host an interim study to discuss the equitable procurement for minority and women-owned businesses on Tuesday, Sept. 21, at 9:30 a.m. in the Senate Business, Commerce and Tourism committee.

The study will look into the need for equitable procurement and display how legislative investment can create enormous growth and potential for the state by supporting the economic health of minority and female-led businesses across Oklahoma.

Presenters will include Robert Ruiz, Scissortail Community Development Corporation president; Apollo Woods, OKC Black Eats owner; Ailene Siharath, The Hive Eatery co-owner; and Jill Castilla, Citizens Bank of Edmond president and CEO.

“We have a fantastic pool of incredibly talented minority and women business owners across the state, but I know we could have even more if we gave more people the tools and resources to build their businesses and brands,” Young said. “We often tout that Oklahoma is ‘open for business’ and our ‘business friendly environment,’ but it’s past time that we make these claims equitable across all races and genders. I’m hopeful this study will lead to recommendations that are legislatively obtainable for those on both sides of the aisle in the upcoming session.”  

The study will be hosted in Senate room 230 in the state Capitol building. It will also be livestreamed at