Minority businesses left out of DNC & municipal contracts

September 20, 2012 at 10:13 am 3 comments

Since the Democratic National Convention (DNC), minority businesses in the Charlotte are saying that they were left out of the many contracting opportunities that were spurred by the convention. Many even believe that they were deliberately discriminated against.  The DNC Host Committee disagrees, and says that in fact it had put in place a diversity policy that called for one-third of all dollars spent by the DNC to be spent on minority business contracts. The feelings of minority business owners about their experience with the DNC, however, appear to be an extension of their feelings about the city more broadly. Minority owned businesses claim that they are often not able to get contracts with the city either. In total, 11 percent of city contracts were awarded to minority and women owned businesses last  year.

According to the state’s Small Business Technology Development Center:

  • Minority-owned businesses in North Carolina totaled 131,826 in 2007 (preliminary estimate), the latest date for which these figures are available. This represents a dramatic 66.2% increase and an addition of 52,523 minority-owned businesses in North Carolina to the previous reported total of 79,303 in 2002.
  • North Carolina’s minority-owned businesses generated $16.4 billion in revenues in 2007 (preliminary estimate).

According to a study done by UNC Charlotte researchers for the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce, the Charlotte metropolitan area has 58,358 women-owned businesses and 34,000 minority-owned businesses, which generate over $10 billion in yearly sales and over $2 billion in annual payroll.

As a growing and important segment of the local business sector, minority owned businesses– both small and large– should be given the same opportunities as other businesses. The Chamber study cited perceptions of discrimination as one of the challenges faced by minority owned businesses. “We need to do a better job identifying the issues and helping the growth,” said the Chamber’s director of research. One of the ways that minority-owned businesses can be helped is if the barriers that are put up due to discrimination– either real or perceived– can be overcome.

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Entry filed under: Economy, Small Business. Tags: , .

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