Charlotte Business INClusion

 Disparity Study

​The City of Charlotte implements the Charlotte Business INClusion (CBI) Program to encourage competition from and the participation of small business as well as minority- and woman-owned businesses in City contracting. The City has commissioned BBC Research & Consulting (BBC) to conduct a disparity study to assess whether minority- and woman-owned businesses face any barriers as part of the City's contracting processes. Information from the study will help inform the City's implementation of the CBI Program and help the City better encourage the participation of small businesses and minority- and woman-owned businesses in the future.

The City of Charlotte implements the Charlotte Business INClusion (CBI) Program to encourage competition from and the participation of small business as well as minority- and woman-owned businesses in City contracting. The City has commissioned BBC Research & Consulting (BBC) to conduct a dispar​ity study​ to assess whether minority- and woman-owned businesses face any barriers as part of the City's contracting processes. Information from the study will help inform the City's implementation of the CBI Program and help the City better encourage the participation of small businesses and minority- and woman-owned businesses in the future.

Study analyses. The crux of the disparity study will be to examine whether there are any disparities between:

  • The percentage of contract dollars that the City spent with minority- and woman-owned businesses during the study period (utilization); and
  • The percentage of contract dollars that minority- and woman-owned businesses might be expected to receive based on their availability to perform specific types and sizes of City contracts (availability).

The study period for the disparity study will be contracts that the City awarded in fiscal years 2011 through 2016. The study will also examine other qualitative and quantitative information related to:

  • Legal considerations surrounding the City's implementation of the CBI Program;
  • Marketplace conditions for minority- and woman-owned businesses;
  • Contracting practices and assistance programs that the City currently has in place; and
  • Potential program measures for the City to consider implementing to further encourage small business and minority- and woman-owned business participation.

Study schedule. BBC initiated the disparity study in August 2016 and will complete the study at the end of July 2017. For details about the study schedule and key study milestones, click here.

Key contacts. If you have any questions or comments regarding the 2016-17 City of Charlotte Disparity Study, please contact:

Nancy Rosado                                                   ​Eric Nelson
CBI Manager                                                       CBI Process Manager
(t) 704-336-2116                                                 (t) 704-336-2735
(e) nrosado@charlottenc.gov                             (e) enelson@charlottenc.gov

Study progress. The City of Charlotte will provide regular updates about BBC's progress on the disparity study throughout its course. Please check back periodically for those updates.

Project initiation. The City and BBC initiated the 2016-17 City of Charlotte Disparity Study in August 2016 with a series of in-person meetings with various City departments and the Disparity Study Advisory Committee (DSAC; for more information about the DSAC, click here). BBC met with the City and DSAC to introduce the study, answer questions, and begin the process of understanding contracting and vendor data that the City maintains. For the presentation that the study team used for those meetings, ​click h​er​e.

Data collection and analysis. BBC began working with the City in August 2016 to collect data on contracts that the City awarded during the study period as well as information about the vendors that participated in those contracts. The study team began analyzing data that it collected from the City to assess the subindustries that account for the majority of City contracting and the geographical area that is most relevant to City contracting.​

Public hearings. The City and BBC study team conducted two public hearings in Charlotte: one on ​Wednesday, September 14, 2016 and one on Thursday, September 15, 2016. During the public hearings, BBC presented information about the disparity study; answered questions; and collected verbal and written testimony from participants regarding their experiences working in the local marketplace. For the presentation that the study team used for those hearings, click he​re​.​

Next steps. BBC will engage in the following disparity study tasks in the coming months:

  • Public testimony, the project team will continue to collect written testimony from local business owners and stakeholders related to experiences working in the local marketplace. If you would like to share your insights, please email the project team directly at charlottedisparitystudy@bbcresearch.com.  

  • Data collection, the project team will continue to work with the City to collect data on contracts that it awarded during the study period and the vendors that participated in those contracts including both prime contractors and subcontractors.

  • Data analysis, the project team will continue to analyze data that it collects from the City to refine the subindustries that account for the majority of City contracting. The study team will also begin analyzing the percentage of total contract dollars that minority- and woman-owned businesses received on City prime contracts and subcontracts during the study period.

  • Availability telephone surveys, the project team will begin conducting availability telephone surveys with businesses in the relevant geographic market area that perform work that is relevant to City contracting. The project team will begin those availability surveys in December 2016 and will continue to contact businesses through the spring of 2017. If we contact your business, please participate in the survey process to help ensure an accurate and comprehensive availability analysis!

  • ​In-depth interviews, the project team will begin conducting in-depth interviews with local business owners to collect insights related to experiences working in the local marketplace; starting or expanding a business; working with the City; and various other topics. Insights from the interviews are invaluable to helping the project team better understand local market conditions and to identify potential barriers that firms face when trying to establish or grow their businesses. ​

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