Study to look at state contracts for women-, minority-owned businesses

virginia

(© niroworld – stock.adobe.com)

A 2011 study found that only 2.82 percent of total state contracts were awarded to women- and minority-owned businesses.

Gov. Ralph Northam issued an executive order last summer directing state agencies and institutions to procure at least 42 percent of discretionary spending from certified small-, women-, and minority-owned (SWaM) businesses.

On Thursday, the Department of Small Business and Supplier Diversity announced that it has selected BBC Research and Consulting to conduct an updated study that will assess procurement opportunities in Virginia for women- and minority-owned businesses.

“Every Virginian should be able to participate in our thriving economy,” Northam said. “This disparity study will be an important tool in making sure that women- and minority-owned businesses have a fair shot when competing for state procurement contracts, which represent over $6 billion annually.”

“Selecting BBC to develop the Commonwealth’s disparity study is a significant step toward implementing the governor’s executive order,”  Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball said. “This study will provide vital information on whether the Commonwealth should develop new programs for women- and minority-owned businesses, and how such programs should be designed.”

After the governor issued his executive order, the Department of Small Business and Supplier Diversity assembled a panel of state agencies to draft a request for proposals and evaluate the proposals that were received.

The panel included the Department of General Services (DGS), the Virginia Department of Transportation, the Virginia Information Technologies Agency, and James Madison University.

The RFP was issued in October 2019, and proposals were received and scored by the panel in December.

The disparity study that BBC will conduct—which is subject to appropriation by the General Assembly—will specifically analyze whether women- and minority-owned businesses face disparate treatment in procurement and whether additional state programs to remedy such treatment are needed.

“One of the agency’s top priorities is developing a high-quality disparity study,” said Tracey Wiley, agency director for the Virginia Department of Small Business and Supplier Diversity. “This study will assist the Commonwealth in defining programmatic initiatives for women- and minority-owned businesses.”

“With this announcement, the Commonwealth of Virginia is another step closer to becoming a national exemplar for diversity, equity, and inclusion,” said Chief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer Dr. Janice Underwood. “In collaboration with SBSD, we are doing the work for Virginia’s women- and minority-owned businesses.”

BBC Research and Consulting was founded in 1970 as part of a research division at the University of Denver specializing in local economic research. The company has helped organizations implement effective women- and minority-owned business programs in a legally-defensible manner.

BBC has conducted more than 100 disparity studies nationwide and will conduct outreach to women- and minority-owned business owners across the Commonwealth as part of the study.

BBC is pursuing SWaM certification in Virginia, and the firm has committed to engaging three SWaM-certified Virginia firms in this study, representing 21.9 percent of the contract.

These firms are TMI Consulting (Richmond), Exstare Federal Services Group (Alexandria), and The Miles Agency (Virginia Beach). BBC will submit its final report in December.



augusta free press
augusta free press news

UVA Basketball Fans!

uva basketball team of destiny
Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, by Jerry Ratcliffe and Chris Graham, is available for $25. The book, with additional reporting by Zach Pereles, Scott Ratcliffe, and Scott German, will take you from the aftermath of the stunning first-round loss to UMBC in 2018 through to the thrilling overtime win over Texas Tech to win the 2019 national title, the first in school history.

Dick Vitale on Team of Destiny: “This is a hoops story you will LOVE! Jerry and Chris capture the sensational and dramatic championship journey by Tony Bennett and his tenacious Cavalier team. UVA was Awesome Baby and so is this book!”

Ralph Sampson on Team of Destiny: “Jerry and Chris have lived and seen it all, even before my time. I highly recommend this book to every basketball fan across the globe. This story translates to all who know defeat and how to overcome it!”

Buy here.

AFP Business

As professional consultants, Augusta Free Press LLC provides clients in the Shenandoah Valley and Central Virginia and beyond with marketing and PR solutions including website design, SEO, TV/radio, video work, branding and logos, social media and overall marketing campaign design and implementation. Augusta Free Press LLC was founded in 2002.

Web Design

Augusta Free Press has designed more than 800 websites for clients in the Shenandoah Valley and Central Virginia. We take care of all facets of web design – visual design, layout design, content development and SEO. Short on staff? We’ll work with you to update your AFP-designed website in a timely manner or train your staff to make changes.

Marketing/Social Media Management

Augusta Free Press manages advertising campaigns for small- and medium-sized businesses across Virginia. You don’t need to hire a full-time marketing coordinator. Bring the experience of the Augusta Free Press team to work for you – for a fraction of the cost.

Graphic Design

Augusta Free Press will help you take your vision to the next level. From branding and logos to print materials, our team will work with you to develop products to showcase your business. From brochures and rack cards to full-color magazines or print/digital ads, we’ve got you covered.

Event Planning/Fundraising

Augusta Free Press will help you plan the best event for your organization. From an open house or anniversary to a 5K or Pay Per View, we can handle it all. Looking for training for your sales staff? We can help energize your employees or board. Need ideas to raise more money? Let us help you plan a successful event. Want to hold a news conference or need help with a press release? We can do that too.

Click here for more.