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City of Boston 2020 Disparity Study

February 2021

Published by BBC Research & Consulting

This report commissioned by the City of Boston provided research on the utilization of minority and women-owned businesses in the City on contracts and procurements, evaluation of the Small Local Business Enterprise Program’s (SLBE) effectiveness, legal analysis of the SLBE Program, and barriers in the local marketplace that might affect their ability to compete for City contracts and procurements. BBC’s availability calculations were based on prime contracts and subcontracts that the City awarded between July 1, 2014 through June 30, 2019. To implement the SLBE program, the City uses various race and gender-neutral measures. In the context of contracting and procurement, race and gender-neutral measures are measures that are designed to encourage the participation of small businesses in a government organization’s contract, regardless of the race/ethnicity or gender of the businesses’ owners. In contrast, race and gender-conscious measures are measures that are specifically designed to encourage the participation of minority and women-owned businesses in government contracting. The City does not currently use any race or gender-conscious measures as part of the SLBE Program. For all contracts and procurements minority and woman-owned businesses considered together exhibited a disparity index of 65 for contracts and procurements that the City awarded during the study period, indicating substantial underutilization.