Home Local News Metro Nashville proposes $111 million in contracts with Black, Brown and women-owned businesses

Metro Nashville proposes $111 million in contracts with Black, Brown and women-owned businesses

by PRIDE Newsdesk

Nashville is one of the only cities in the United States with a race and gender-conscious program for investment in minority-owned and women-owned businesses.

In the last fiscal year which ended on June 30, Metro proposed spending $72 million with minority-owned firms (MBE) and another $39 million with women-owned firms (WBE).

“In the fourth year of this program, it’s clear that it has found its footing and will continue to be a critical resource in our collaboration with minority and women-owned businesses,” Mayor Freddie O’Connell said. “Businesses of all sizes should see the benefit of our economic development dollars.”

Payments made to MBE and WBE subcontractors increased 75% over the previous fiscal year.

“Minority and women-owned businesses offer significant contributions to Nashville’s economic landscape,” said Dr. Isaac Addae who serves as Small and Minority Business Liaison. “With strategic support from Metro, we expect to see continued growth in the participation rates of historically disadvantaged groups, leading to the increased vitality of our local entrepreneurial ecosystem.”

With fewer federal dollars from pandemic spending programs, awarded spending with minority and women-owned firms dropped overall which the Department of Finance anticipated with the expiration of several federal initiatives. 

“What’s clear in year four is that this program is working as designed, and continuing to deliver real results for the Black, Brown and women-owned businesses that make Nashville great,” said Metro’s Department of Finance Chief Procurement Officer Michelle Lane. 

Highlights from the report include:

  • $72 million in proposed spending with Black- and Brown-owned firms
  • $39 million in proposed spending with women-owned firms
  • $16.4 million paid to MBE and WBE subcontractors; a 75% increase over FY 22
  • Nine percent average proposed subcontract participation for Black- and Brown-owned firms—equivalent to market availability
  • Seven percent average proposed subcontract participation for women-owned firms—equivalent to market availability
  • 50% of contracts completed in FY 23 met or exceeded MBE market availability.
  • 67% of contracts completed in FY 23 met or exceeded WBE market availability.

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