If Los Angeles County were a nation, its economy would be the 19th largest in the world. It is home to more than 244,000 businesses, with more minority- and women-owned businesses than any other in the nation. It is the nation's top international trade center and manufacturing center. Los Angeles County's 37 departments and $24.2 billion budget provide extensive business opportunities to the private sector, both in contracts for goods and services. Suppliers wanting to do business with the County must first register as a county vendor. The County is allowed by Proposition A, approved by voters in 1978, to contract for services when it is more economical or more efficient to do so.