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Source : ContractorNews.com
April 11, 2022
Author : Patty Rodriguez
Boston Mayor Michelle Wu has filed a home rule petition to expand access to City contracts for minority-owned business enterprises (MBEs) and women-owned business enterprises (WBEs).
If passed the proposal would raise the quota for contracts with certified M/WBEs from $50,000 to the state Small Purchase threshold, which is currently $250,000. This means larger projects can go to minority and woman owned subcontractors, that have been historically left out of city contracts.
Wu's proposal is part of a bigger initiative to direct City resources to local and diverse businesses that are key for expanding wealth-building opportunities and supporting their capacity to compete for city contracts.
Wu has explained further that the:“This proposal will allow us to use every dollar possible to build wealth in our communities, address our racial wealth gap, and make our city a place for everyone,” said “I look forward to working with the City Council and the Legislature to advance this.”
According to City Councilor Brian Worrell, Chair of the Committee on Small Business and Professional Licensure, "It is imperative that we use all tools available to make City contracting more equitable and accessible to people of color… The time is now to break unacceptable gaps of access and staggeringly low numbers of Black and Brown residents winning City contracts."
According to a disparity study published in 2020 only 1.2% of the City’s $2.1 billion in public works contracts went to Black and Latino-owned businesses.
Furthermore, Mayor Wu's proposal seeks to amend Massachusetts General Law 30B, which was passed in 1990 and establishes procedures for the acquisition of supplies or services, the disposition of surplus supplies, and real property acquisitions and dispositions by local governmental bodies. Once approved by the Boston City Council, the home rule petition must be passed by the Massachusetts Legislature and signed by the Governor in order to become law.