TACOMA, Wash. — The City of Tacoma has contracted with Keen Independent, an equity research firm, to gather data about marketplace conditions and to identify any disparities there may be with City contracting. The study will make recommendations on policy and programmatic direction the City may adopt to achieve equity in contracting and support of minority- and women-owned businesses.
Through its Equity in Contracting Program, the City seeks to ensure that small businesses, and those owned by BIPOC individuals and women, have equal access to City contracting opportunities. While there is a current program focus on City public works contracts, the City also seeks to ensure equity in its contracts for supplies, goods, and services.
“Obtaining contracts for City projects can be a complex process to navigate, and we want to help our minority and woman-owned businesses have the same opportunities to bid for our contracts,” said Mayor Victoria Woodards. “When we need to contract for services, such as road construction, professional services or providing goods and supplies, we want to ensure a diverse group of bidders that includes minority- and women-owned firms in the local marketplace.”
Keen Independent will conduct interviews, focus groups, surveys and town hall meetings with local business owners and the public. The study begins today and will be completed in 2024. The City will review the data as well as the recommendations of Keen Independent’s study team and use that information to ensure the City is giving as many local businesses, small and large, an opportunity to compete for and receive City contracts.
For more information on the study, visit cityoftacoma.org/disparitystudy.
Business owners and other interested individuals can give input via the study website, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (602) 704-0125.