The Citi Foundation and Living Cities has selected the City of Charlotte to participate in the City Accelerator for Procurement for inclusive Economic Opportunity.
The city will collaborate with Griffin & Strong, the consulting firm for this endeavor, and four other cities (Chicago, Los Angeles, Memphis and Milwaukee) in the cohort to pursue new strategies to increase the diversity of municipal vendors, build capacity of Minority, Women, Small Business Enterprises (MWSBEs) and ultimately direct more spending to local, minority-owned businesses. This program also supports efforts to increase economic mobility and addresses priorities in City Council’s Community Letter.
In addition to a grant of up to $100,000, the City of Charlotte will receive a combination of coaching, technical assistance and implementation resources in the coming year.
By participating in this program, the City of Charlotte hopes to achieve three main goals:
- Build MWSBE capacity by providing educational and mentoring opportunities
- Increase the city’s procurement with MBEs — FY2016 spend with MWSBEs increased 51% over FY2015 spend, but the majority of this funding went to non-minority males and females
- Develop a process to increase Charlotte corporation and anchor institution procurement with MWSBEs
“This is an exciting opportunity, and we look forward to working with the Citi Foundation and Living Cities to enhance our policies and practices so that we can ensure that all residents of Charlotte have equal access to contracting opportunities,” said Nancy Rosado, Charlotte Business INClusion Manager. “We have been working toward this goal for many years, and the assistance that the City Accelerator provides will help us to expedite the process.”
Charlotte’s original pitch for the City Accelerator can be viewed publicly on Governing Magazine’s website, governing.com, where news and updates from the entire group of cities will be posted throughout the course of the grant. The progress of the cities can also be tracked on social media with the hashtag #CityAccelerator.