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Source : Contractor News
November 21, 2022
Author : Patty Allen
The City of San Jose is initiating a disparity study to better comprehend the participation of minorities, women, disabled veteran, and LGBTQ+-owned businesses in its contracting rules and practices.
The study will establish any prevalent obstacles are preventing disadvantaged firms from collaborating with the City and identify strategies to make the processes more accessible and inclusive to all San José enterprises.
The recent pandemic proved highly debilitating to small businesses growth. A recent study by UC Berkeley's Urban Displacement Project (UDP) found systematic inequities for minority-owned firms to acquire PPP (Paycheck Protection Program) loans, pay delinquent rentals, and provide adequate employee benefits.
The study also found that there are 6,238 enterprises owned by minorities in Oakland, Redwood City, Richmond, San Jose, San Francisco, and South San Francisco. San Jose has the third highest concentration of small businesses at 25%.
The Disparity Study, which began this November will last almost a year. It will include a thorough evaluation and analysis of the City's finance, public works, and department-led contracts.
A considerable part of the research will involve connecting with local business owners to gather feedback on the City's vendor selection process and their experiences doing business with the City. Finally, this research will guarantee that the City's process for selecting suppliers and working with contractors is equal and accessible to all San José organizations.
MGT Consulting Group, a public sector consulting firm specializing in disparity and availability studies, is collaborating with the City's Finance Department, Department of Public Works, and City Manager's Office, as well as the Office of Racial Equity and the Office of Economic Development, to conduct the San Jose Disparity Study.
Vice Mayor Chappie Jones, Chairman of the Small Business Advisory Task Force and small businesses and a disparity study on San Jose advocate said, “This is an effort to level the playing field and give small, underrepresented businesses an opportunity to do business with our City. I look forward to the recommendations that come out of the study so we may have the tools to build more equitable contracting opportunities and increase the value of those contracts. We want to see our small and disadvantaged businesses grow and prosper.”
The City Council has approved the funding for M/WBE, LGBT, and VetBiz disparity study. Silicon Valley Community Community Foundation also provided additional funds to mitigate the project's cost. "We are certain that shedding light on inequities in our region will bring people together towards our common goal of creating a more just and equitable region,” said SVCF Executive Vice President Gina Dalma.
Follow Contractor News for the latest on outreach efforts in government construction.
Category : Disabled Veteran Businesses LGBTQ Owned Businesses Minority Business Enterprises Minority Women Business Enterprises Veteran Business Women Business Enterprises Disparity Studies Diversity Outreach