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Greensboro disparity study details revealed at city meeting
Published on 04/12/2018

The results of a disparity study for the City of Greensboro, which examined the City's minority- and women-owned business enterprise (MWBE) program over the period from 2012 to 2016, were revealed at a recent City Council meeting ahead of the report's official release.

The findings mentioned have been mixed in terms of their evaluation of Greensboro's success in using MWBEs during the procurement process.

The study found that the program has overall increased the percentage of contracts awarded to MBEs at the level of prime contracts, but not at the level of subcontracting. In addition, while the amount of money awarded to MBEs in the procurement process has risen overall during the period of study, the percentage of MBEs as part of the whole value of contracts has stayed roughly static.

The study also found that MWBEs represent just 1 percent of building permits approved by the city, and that the majority of MWBE contracts are being awarded to firms owned by white women. In connection with this finding, some Council members voiced caution, noting that it is not uncommon to find such WBEs are not adequately scrutinized to make sure they are genuinely being controlled and not merely owned on paper by women. However, the study noted that MWBEs overall are more likely to be denied bank loans than firms owned by white men, and that MWBEs were receiving less revenue overall than would be expected for comparable firms that had been in business for as long.

It is anticipated that the study will recommend that the City create a system for investigating potential cases of discrimination, adds staff to the MWBE program, and ensure that those staff are meaningfully involved in the contracting process and advocating for MWBEs.

For more information about the City of Greensboro's MWBE Disparity study, visit https://greensborostudy.com/

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