RALEIGH, N.C. — North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper wants his Cabinet-level agencies to boost contracting with businesses owned by minorities, women and people with disabilities.

Cooper signed an executive order Thursday setting a goal for those agencies to purchase 10 percent of the dollar amount of goods and services they buy from what are called historically underutilized businesses.

The governor also named the members of a new council to give advice to the Department of Administration on carrying out the order, which includes more concerted efforts to match state needs to these companies.

Cooper says in a release that diverse businesses help the economy grow and create jobs and should be nurtured for success. His office cites federal data showing North Carolina has more than 183,000 businesses owned by minorities and women.

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