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Source : http://www.chattanooga.gov/general-services-files/purchasing/Chattanooga%20Final%20Disparity%20Study%20Report-200424.1Submitted%20%281%29.pdf
December 4, 2020
Author : Kristy Casanova
The city of Chattanooga, Tennessee, is looking at ways to expand the participation of minority and women owned companies in public works.
In 2019 the city carried out a disparity study that revealed that of all its public contracts only 5.2 percent were going to minority- and women-owned businesses (MWBEs).
One contributing factor to the low utilization of minority and women owned small businesses in city construction contracts is the long term impact of discrimination in the contracting process. The study explains that, “While there may be active discrimination occurring in the marketplace, this study and its resulting evidence point to the “present effect of past discrimination” impacting MWBE firms’ ability to equitably participate in the contracting process.”
Due to the very low rate of utilization of MBEs, WBEs, and MWBEs in prime contracts the city is working on developing strategic plans to increase utilization. The City of Chattanooga is seeking to develop a race- and/gender based remedial program. It is also recommended that outreach be increased in order to reach as many vendors available for prime contracts as possible.
City officials are recognizing the disparity in public contracting and are focused on developing effective processes to increase utilization of MWBEs in prime construction contracts.
For full press release: