Where We’ve Been

February – March 2021

January 2021

  • City of Asheville Business Inclusion Contracting Policy goes into effect.
  • City of Asheville MWBE Certification launches to certify more business owned by people of color and women. Certification with the City of Asheville helps these businesses be more likely to be contacted for opportunities to work on City contracts.

October 2020

  • City of Asheville Business Inclusion Contracting Policy was passed by City Council on October 27, 2020. Read the full policy.

May-September 2020

  • City of Asheville Business Inclusion Contracting Policy drafted

Between May and September, a team of employees from various City departments created the new City of Asheville Business Inclusion Contracting Policy. This policy will help to expand opportunities in city contracting to more minority- and woman-owned businesses. The policy is planned to go into effect in January of 2021.

March 2020

  • Internal procurement training event

On March 4, 2020, a staff training event was held to introduce the changes made to procurement procedures.

February 2020

  • How to become a vendor training held
  • Mountain Business Equity Initiative contract approved by City Council
  • Planning for centralized bid management begins

January 2020

  • Semi-monthly Coffee Huddles kickoff event
  • Exploration of race- and gender-conscious procurement policy begins

December 2019

  • SBE Certification Program finalized

November 2019

  • Vendor Self-Service (VSS) module purchased for City procurement systems

VSS lets vendors maintain their own information in our procurement systems, but also allows us for the first time to track records on all vendors, not just those with contracts. This is critical for tracking available businesses, as well as for building more effective outreach programs. The new module will be enabled for new vendors by March 2020, and for all vendors by May.

October 2019

  • Mountain Community Capital Fund launches
  • Symposium on strengthening the economic inclusion ecosystem of WNC

September 2019

  • Engagement begins with Johns Hopkins’ Center for Government Excellence (GovEx)

As part of the City’s participation in What Works Cities, staff from the Business Inclusion Office, Capital Projects, and IT kicked off a 6-month engagement to identify ways to use data to improve outcomes for the program.

July 2019

  • Asheville Business Inclusion Office established

The City of Asheville began the 2019-2020 budget year by establishing the Asheville Business Inclusion Office to replace the minority business program. For the first time, the Office received an independent budget to fund its first-year plan following the 2018 Disparity Study.

  • Community Planning + Action Cohort begins work

A group of eight local business owners and community members began meeting to develop a research-based strategy to respond to disparities and to shape policy, practice, access, and opportunity for entrepreneurs and owners of color.

 

Related Services

Minority business photo illustration
MWSBE Certification

Find information to register for certification as a Minority, Woman, and/or Small Business Enterprise (MWSBE) with the City of Asheville.

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Business Inclusion

The Business Inclusion Office for the City of Asheville actively seeks to identify minority and women-owned businesses for an opportunity to participate as providers of goods and services to the city.

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Find cold weather emergency shelter

When extreme cold weather is expected, the Asheville Homeless Coalition issues a Code Purple Alert. Participating homeless shelters voluntarily add space beyond their normal capacity to keep as many people as possible out of the cold. To find out when Code Purple is in effect, visit the Homeless Coalition’s Code [...]

Where We've Been News

Business inlusion photo illustration
City of Asheville hosts business training

This April, the City of Asheville Business Inclusion Office will conduct three free training sessions to help local businesses learn how to work on local government contracts. These training sessions will be facilitated by the A-B Tech Small Business Center and take place from April 13-15.    Training 1: Is Doing Business with Government Right for My [...]

affordable housing photo illustration
Asheville Community and Economic Development to host neighborhood meetings in the spring

  In March, City of Asheville staff will once again engage neighborhoods in the development of three small neighborhood lots on West Chestnut Street, Lufty Avenue, and Kentucky Drive for affordable housing.     Several weeks ago, finalists were named for the Neighborhood Lots for Affordable Housing Request for Proposals (RFP) process to develop the lots. The finalists are [...]

code purple funding
Dogwood Health Trust donation designated to help Asheville’s homeless community  

  The City of Asheville will use funding support from Dogwood Health Trust to support people experiencing homelessness. At their Feb. 23 meeting, City Council voted to add the $50,000 donation for Code Purple shelter funding. Code Purple is a longstanding practice where homeless shelter providers exceed regular capacity and waive regular rules on nights when the [...]