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Allentown City Council considering MBE preferences


PA News - Published Jul 07, 2021

Allentown City Council is considering legislation that would allow for preferences for minority business enterprises (MBEs) in city contracting if passed. The bill, introduced by Council member Ce-Ce Gerlach, has been in draft review, and Gerlach plans to introduce it in July.

In its current state, the bill would create a 5 percent purchasing preference for MBEs for construction contracts with a total value of less than $50,000. The city would rely on state or other third-party programs to establish a business's MBE status, rather than running their own certification program. The legislation also makes provisions for attaching Minimum Participation Levels (or MPLs) for MBEs and woman-owned business enterprises (WBEs) to certain city contracts, with bidders required to demonstrate their efforts to meet the MPLs if they cannot do so.

"This is a way of institutionalizing equity and inclusion, of putting into action the values we celebrated on Juneteenth last weekend," Gerlach said during a meeting of the City Council.

Read the proposed legislation at https://s3.documentcloud.org/documents/20971369/allentown-minority-owned-business-preference-ordinance-merged.pdf.