Published by Mason Tillman Associates, Ltd
Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) programs are designed to ensure that minority-owned businesses are afforded equal access to public contracting opportunities. MBE programs can contain both race-conscious and race neutral policies and procedures to achieve the objectives of the program. Prime contractor utilization between July 1, 2010 and June 30, 2015 in four industry sectors (construction, construction-related services, engineering and professional services, and materials/commodities and services) were studied. The distribution of total prime purchase orders by dollar amount for all industries indicated minority-owned businesses. Minority females and minority males received 1.15% and 8.92% respectively. The disparity analysis summary found disparities for African Americans and Hispanic Americans related to construction prime purchase orders valued at $10,001 to $20,000. It also found disparity related to construction prime purchase orders among African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Asian-Indian Americans, Asian Pacific Americans for purchase orders valued at $20,001 to $1,710,000. Anecdotal findings included: barriers created by MSD managers and inspectors, bid shopping, good old boy network, difficulty meeting bonding and insurance requirements, difficulty obtaining financing, late payments. The study concluded that minority business disparity exists by industry sector but it is not all inclusive of all minority sub-groups.