Charlotte Business INClusion


A disparity study examines whether there are differences between:

  • The percentage of dollars that minority- and woman-owned businesses received on an agency's prime contracts and subcontracts during a particular time period (utilization); and
  • The percentage of dollars that those businesses would be expected to receive based on their availability to perform on the agency's prime contracts and subcontracts (availability).
The comparison between the participation of minority- and woman-owned businesses in an agency's contracting and the availability of those businesses to perform that work is referred to as a disparity analysis. In addition to utilization, availability, and disparity analyses, disparity studies typically examine other quantitative and qualitative information about:
  • Legal considerations surrounding the implementation of minority- and woman-owned business programs;
  • Conditions in the local marketplace for minority- and woman-owned businesses;
  • Contracting practices and business assistance programs that the agency currently has in place; and
  • Potential program measures for consideration as part of the agency's implementation of minority- and woman-owned business programs.
​The City last conducted a disparity study in 2011, and it would like to refine its implementation of the Charlotte Business INClusion (CBI) Program with current information about the local marketplace and about the participation of minority- and woman-owned businesses in City contracting. In addition, the City wants to ensure that its use of MBE goals and other measures continue to be appropriate and legally defensible.

​The study will be completed in July 2017. For the study schedule timeline, click here.

​The disparity study will examine prime contracts and subcontracts that the City awarded in fiscal years 2011 through 2016 (during the time period from July 1, 2011 through June 30, 2016). The study will focus on construction; professional services; and goods and support services.

​Information that the project team collects as a part of the 2016-17 City of Charlotte Disparity Study will help the City with its implementation of the CBI Program. Among other information, the disparity study will provide:

  • An independent, objective review of minority- and woman-owned business participation in City prime contracts and subcontracts. That information will be valuable to both City leadership and to external groups that may be monitoring the City’s contracting practices.
  • Information that is useful for setting overall annual aspirational goals and for refining the City’s implementation of the CBI Program; and
  • Insights about how the City might improve contracting opportunities for local businesses and how it could better encourage the participation of minority- and woman-owned businesses in the future.

​Yes, the results of the disparity study will be made public at the end of the process.

There are several ways in which you can participate in the 2012 WSDOT disparity study:

  • Share your experiences working in the local marketplace by using the "Comments" section of the webpage. To access the "Comments" section, click here.
  • Join us for a Public Hearing where you can learn more about the disparity study process, submit verbal testimony, and ask questions. For details about the public hearings, click here.
  • Respond to our requests for an availability survey, which will begin taking place in November 2016. If you are a represent a business working in the local marketplace, you may be contacted as a part of the availability survey process. If you are contacted, please help the project team by participating!
  • Call us if you have any unanswered questions about the study or about the City's implementation of the Federal DBE Program. For our contact information, click here.