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City of Knoxville, Tennessee
Madeline Rogero, Mayor

For Immediate Release
City Seeks to Increase Business with Minority-Owned Firms
Mid-Year DBE [PDF]
Minter Assessment [PDF]
February 8, 2012 - The City of Knoxville released two reports during its Council meeting Tuesday night that address its goal of conducting 10% of all business with minority- and women-owned firms.

The first, the Mid-Year Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Report, showed that in the first half of Fiscal Year 2012 the city conducted 8.2% of its business with women-owned firms for a total of $1.45 million, and 2.8% with minority-owned firms for a total of $494,000. While the city exceeded its combined goal of 10%, minority-owned businesses still account for a very small percentage of City contracts.

The second report, Doing Business with Minority Businesses - Performance Assessment, was prepared by Minter & Associates, a management consulting firm based in Knoxville. Minter received a contract with the City last summer to determine why there is not a greater number of bids and proposals from minority-owned firms (Phase I), and to develop an action plan to assist the City in acquiring more submissions from these businesses (Phase II).

"This report clearly shows that we have a lot of work to do to increase participation of minority-owned businesses," said Mayor Madeline Rogero. "I'm looking forward to an action plan that will help us provide opportunities to a broader base of local business owners who can benefit and contribute to our local economy."

Some of the findings in the Minter Report, Phase I, are:

  • Communication and outreach efforts do not effectively target minority-owned firms.
  • Attainment of the 10% goal is not tied to departmental performance appraisals.
  • Goals have not been re-evaluated since 1999 and are not based on objective criteria to make them reasonable, feasible, and achievable.
  • The numbers of minority businesses working as subcontractors are extremely low due to the lack of a systematic outreach process that would encourage prime and sub-contractors to pursue relationships in order to team together for City contracts.

    To review the reports, please visit the links below at the City of Knoxville website:

    Mid-Year DBE http://www.cityofknoxville.org/eqbusop/FY12midyearDBE.pdf
    Minter Assessment http://www.cityofknoxville.org/eqbusop/minterassociates.pdf
  • For Immediate Release
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