Disparity Study


In 2018, a Disparity Study was conducted to determine whether there are disparities between the percentage of contract dollars that the City spent with minority- and women-owned businesses during the study period (utilization) and the percentage they might be expected to receive based on their availability to to perform specific types and sizes of City contracts (availability).

The study established that there are significant disparities and the City is committed to addressing them through the Business Inclusion Program. You may follow our efforts to increase equity in contracting on our Business Inclusion Initiative page.

For information on the Disparity Study itself, you may review the information below and the following resources:

 


Background

The disparity study project examined whether there were any disparities between:

  • The percentage of contract dollars that the City spent with minority- and woman-owned businesses during the study period (utilization); and
  • The percentage of contract dollars that minority- and woman-owned businesses might have been expected to receive based on their availability to perform specific types and sizes of City contracts (availability).

The study’s focus was on contracts that the City awarded during the fiscal year periods of July 1, 2012, through June 30, 2017. In addition to assessing utilization, availability and any disparities between them, the study examined other qualitative and quantitative information related to:

  • Legal considerations surrounding the City’s implementation of the Minority/Women Owned Business Enterprises Program
  • Marketplace conditions for minority- and woman-owned businesses
  • Contracting practices and assistance programs that the City currently has in place
  • Potential programs for the City to consider implementing to further encourage small business and minority- and woman-owned business participation.

 


Timeline

 

The City and BBC initiated the 2017-2018 City of Asheville Disparity Study in June 2017 with a series of in-person meetings with various City departments.

Two public meetings were held July 31, 2017 at TD Bank Building, located at 200 College Street in Asheville. These public meetings were designed to provide information about the disparity study, answer any questions related to the study, and collect testimony from interested stakeholders about conditions in the Asheville marketplace. Input is part of the public record for the disparity study. Review the presentation from the meeting.

Update to Council Planning and Economic Development Committee on  February 12, 2018 presentation .

Final stages of the Disparity Study project included:

  • Review of legal analysis and framework.
  • Working with the City staff to obtain data on bids for relevant contracts. Relevant contracts are those in which minorities and women businesses could bid as primes or subcontractors.
  • Analysis of utilization surveys conducted with utilized prime and subcontractors.
  • Drafting results of the marketplace analysis.
  • Analysis of of anecdotal information.  Data obtained from the in-depth interviews for the final report.
  • Determine availability of qualified firms.  Building a prime contract, subcontract, and vendor tables and continued analyzing availability data.
  • Review of efficacy of race- and gender-neutral remedies.  Review of the documents from the City relevant to the current program and drafting a summary of the neutral measures programs in the Asheville area.

Minority Business Plan Update:  Following public meetings on the results of the study, the City began the process of updating the Minority Business Program Plan to create the new City of Asheville Business Inclusion Policy in 2020.  This is a multi-level process that includes internal staff review and comments, as well as a series of public meetings and focus groups on the plan before it is implemented.

Final Disparity Study documents are available below.

 


Supporting Documents

 

Staff report to the Planning and Economic Development Committee – February 2018 and Presentation

Staff report to the Planning and Economic Development Committee – March 2017

Staff report to City Council (March 28, 2017) – Disparity Study Contract Award

BBC Research & Consulting – Disparity Study Cost Proposal

BBC Research & Consulting – Technical Proposal

Disparity Study FAQ

The City of Asheville 2018 Disparity Study Final Report.

Results Presentation to City Council – November 2018

 


Contact Information

 

Implementation

Rosanna Mulcahy, 828-259-8050

 

Study Process

Brenda Mills, 828-259-5506

 


Updated 10/22/2020

 


 

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