Nassau County is set to begin conducting a disparity study later in 2019, covering minority-, woman-, and disabled-veteran-owned businesses. The prior disparity study was conducted in 2003, and it is suspected that since that time the number of such businesses in Nassau County has increased to some 40,000, many of which are not certified as such by the county.
The county has recently posted a Request for Expressions of Interest, or RFEI (a precursor to a formal Request for Proposals, or RFP) for the disparity study. The study is described as examining the "availability, utilization and future capacity" of MWBEs and SDVOBs in Nassau County. The goals for the study include determining the existence and possible size of any disparities between MWBE/SDVOB availability and utilization, the setting of potential goals related to such utilization, and generally understand what ways there are to support MWBEs/SDVOBs and help them attain success. In addition to studying availability and utilization of MWBEs/SDVOBs, the consultant performing the study will be expected to conduct a general market review, identify barriers to opportunity, and possible improvements to existing county programs.
"When it comes to doing business with Nassau County, we are setting a new standard of transparency and inclusion," said County Executive Laura Curran. "However, we still have so much more potential to tap into, and this effort will help Nassau get the data we need to set meaningful participation goals and help build capacity amongst our minority, women and service-disabled veteran businesses."
The County's budget includes $500,000 for the study, and the full RFP is expected to come late in the summer of 2019. The disparity study, additionally, comes on the heels of several other recent moves by the County to improve MWBE/SDVOB inclusion, including eliminating a $125 fee for vendors wishing to do business with the County, a new online Solicitation Tracking System, and new sponsored outreach events.
The RFEI for the disparity study may be read at https://www.nassaucountyny.gov/DocumentCenter/View/25622/Nassau-County-Disparity-Study-and-Consultant-Services-RFEI-6-20-19. The due date for the RFEI is July 19, 2019.