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.

women cafe owners
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.

code purple text
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

Tony and Lisa
Voices from Asheville’s Emergency Shelter, Part 1: Tony and Lisa

    This spring, the City of Asheville began providing rooms for unsheltered people experiencing homelessness at several hotels in the area, including at the Ramada Inn, 148 River Ford Parkway. This incredible opportunity was made possible by an unprecedented level of federal funding from several sources. It played a key role in keeping our homeless community [...]

HHelping hand homelessnes
Homelessness: How our whole community wins when we invest in ending homelessness

  Read Part 1 and Part 2 of our series on homelessness solutions in Asheville.   Homelessness issues in Asheville are long-standing and complex. Right now, the City of Asheville has an unprecedented level of resources available to help end chronic homelessness and build the homeless service system we need to best [...]

Business Team
City of Asheville’s Business Inclusion Office launches AVL Pathways to Grow training program

  The City of Asheville’s Business Inclusion Office is excited to announce a new training program for local small businesses, AVL Pathways to Grow. The training program is geared towards helping women and small business owners of color to grow and scale up their businesses.   AVL Pathways to Grow is a collaboration between the City’s Business Inclusion [...]