Five steps Boston can take to increase diversity in business

Black-owned businesses, the disparity study found, account for 3.5 percent of the firms qualified to work with the city as prime contractors, but they won just 0.4 percent of the contracts awarded; 5.6 percent of the firms eligible for subcontracts are Black-owned, but they received just 1.6 percent. It’s a similar story in the case of Hispanic-owned companies, which won only 0.8 percent of prime contracts and 2.4 percent of subcontracts despite having much higher percentages of eligible firms. In a city where Blacks and Hispanics make up 19.1 percent and 18.7 percent of the population, these statistics are especially troubling.

In 2017, the Boston City Council passed an ordinance, sponsored by Ayanna Pressley and Michelle Wu, to help diverse vendors secure contracts. For example, it requires city departments to solicit bids from at least one women-owned and one minority-owned business for small contracts. Acting Mayor Kim Janey recently set a goal for…

Read more…