Lillian D. Singh – Associate Director, Racial Wealth Divide Project @ Corporation for Enterprise Development
Co-authored by Torey Alston
Gender and racial bias — intentional or not — in the process of awarding contracts in construction, architecture, engineering and professional services is a major hindrance to small business growth for minority- and women-owned companies.
Year after year, city and state governments set spending goals for businesses led by minorities and women, but these goals rarely translate into sizable or proportional contracting awards for these groups.
The state of Florida provides an enlightening illustration of this reality. According to the latest Small Business Administration Office of Advocacy report, the Sunshine State can boast one minority-owned business for every 11 minority residents — the highest rate of minority entrepreneurship in the country. However, public agencies and the private sector spend less than 1% of their procurement expenditures contracting with minority-owned businesses.