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Source : Contractor News
March 8, 2022
Author : Patty Rodriguez
A new report published on NPR provides a historical overview of the lack of disparity studies and procurement and bid opportunities for minority and women-owned firms in the state of Missouri.
Minority-owned business enterprise (MBEs) and women-owned business enterprise (WBEs) programs exist in many states in order to provide opportunities to historically marginalized firms. Disparity studies have shown the different dynamics in how structural inequities occur in the awarding of public works.
For this reason these studies are used to inform federal, state, and local policymakers.
Rebecca Rivas of NPR writes that, “Every year, Missouri makes what it calls a ‘feasible effort' at spending 10% of state agencies’ expenditures with minority-owned businesses. In the past three decades, the state has only reached that goal four times.”
She adds, “In fiscal year 2021, minority contractors earned 8.2% of the $1.5 billion that Missouri spent in contracts, according to an annual report from the Office of Equal Opportunity. Women-owned businesses accounted for 3.5%.”
In a sign of hope, Missouri's Office of Administration through the University of Missouri-Kansas City is launching a small business impact study. The researchers are now gathering data and the perspectives of small and disadvantaged business owners from across the state.
To read more about the debate over the lack of public works contracts and government procurement opportunities going to MBEs and WBEs, read the full NPR report here.