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Birmingham releases results from study on MWBE utilization
Published on 02/04/2021

The City of Birmingham launched an initiative known as Valuing Inclusion to Accelerate and Lift (or VITAL) in 2019, with the goal of collating and making public the City's diversity spending data and then making changes based on the data. The first report created as a result of the VITAL iniative has just been released by the City.

The report tracked City spending during the period of July 1, 2019, through June 30, 2020. During that period, 10 percent of total city spending went to minority- and woman-owned businesses (MWBEs), representing $24.3 million worth of contracts awarded to 1,267 MWBEs. Breaking down that figure further, approximately four percent of total city spending went to MBEs, four percent went to WBEs, and two percent went to businesses that are both MBEs and WBEs.

The City has announced several steps that will be taken with the aim of raising the percentage spent with MWBEs. These steps include: improving the City's vendor registration process, with the aim of encouraging more MWBEs to sign up; creating a formal MWBE database; seeking to harmonize procurement procedures across departments to provide stability and predictability for MWBEs; and publishing an annual forecast of the City's expected procurement opportunities.

"The results show we have a long way to go to maximize opportunities for minority- and women-owned businesses," said Cornell Wesley, director of Department of Innovation and Economic Opportunity for the City, said in a statement.

Read the statement from the City at https://www.birminghamal.gov/vital/.

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