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Columbus Mayor implements disparity study recommendations

OH News - Published May 15, 2020

Mayor Andrew Ginther of Columbus, following the 2019 release of a disparity study looking into utilization of the small, minority, and women-owned business community in city contracting, has signed an executive order implementing the recommendations of the study. The recommendations have been leant new urgency by the imperative to adopt measures supporting economic recovery related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The study found that during calendar years 2012 through 2015, minority and women businesses represented 19.7 percent of available construction contractors in Columbus but received only 6.1 percent of all construction spending during that period. It goes on to describe a utilization rate of 82.65 percent for prime contracts by non-minority males, and 87.60 percent for subcontracts by non-minority males, despite the fact that availability for those same metrics stood at 63.46 percent and 69.46 percent respectively, with minority and women businesses accounting for a great portion of the availability than was utilized.

The executive order that the Mayor signed will implement the recommendations of the study. These recommendations made by the study include creating a business council to advocate for minority and women owned businesses, procedures for expediting payments to keep smaller businesses from waiting too long to stay solvent, breaking up bids to make them more manageable for smaller businesses, setting participation goals, incentives for joint ventures, re-evaluation of pre-qualification requirements, and more.

Mayor Ginther said that it "it absolutely makes sense" to focus on assisting small, minority, and women-owned business during the crisis.

To read the disparity study, see https://www.columbus.gov/Templates/Detail.aspx?id=2147511190.