City of Asheville would like community input on Race and Gender Policy business handbook

group meeting



At their Oct. 27 meeting, Asheville City Council adopted a new race and gender-conscious policy.  


Why have this policy

Small businesses are the backbone of the Asheville economy. The vast majority of local employers are small private firms, and many are minority-, women-, and veteran-owned. Strengthening opportunities for small and diverse businesses strengthens Asheville’s economy, supports our communities, improves the quality of life for everyone, and increases competition and innovation while lowering costs.


The Office of Business Inclusion will implement this policy. Some highlights are:

  • Working on creating a Minority Women and Small Business Enterprise database that will enhance the City’s awareness and utilization of these businesses in our region.
  • Promoting existing and start-up development of small business growth and profitability in the Asheville Regional Area.
  • Creating an external handbook for prospective vendors to have clear guidelines on how to participate in the City of Asheville opportunities.

While the Office of Business Inclusion manages the policy, the City Manager will ensure integrating the Asheville Business Inclusion Policy components into all City Departments’ practices and processes.


Community input

The City of Asheville is seeking input into creating an external handbook for prospective vendors to have clear guidelines on how to participate in City of Asheville opportunities. The guide will cover what services and products that the City of Asheville procures.   Additionally, it will cover how to become certified with the City as a Minority Women Small Business Enterprise (MWSBE). Lastly, it will cover requirements once a business has secured a contract with the City.  Community input will help staff ensure the handbook is clear for all business owners. 


To participate and learn more

If you are interested in providing input into the external manual, you are welcome to participate in one of three virtual community engagement meetings. These virtual meeting will take place:


  • Nov. 16 from 6 to 7 p.m.
  • Nov. 20 from 10 to 11 a.m.
  • Nov. 21 from 10 to 11 a.m.


All engagements will be online. Please email Rosanna Mulcahy at or with the date you are available and the best way to contact you! 


To learn about the policy, click here