BBC conducted a disparity study for the Commonwealth of Virginia related to its implementation of the state’s Small, Women-owned, and Minority-owned Business (SWaM) Program to help ensure that small businesses as well as minority- and woman-owned businesses have an equal opportunity to participate in state contracts and procurements. We assessed disparities between the participation and availability of minority- and woman-owned businesses for state and higher educational institution contracts and procurements and collected extensive qualitative information about local marketplace conditions for businesses located throughout Virginia.
Disparity analysis: We observed substantial disparities between the participation and availability of minority- and woman-owned businesses for state and higher educational institution contracts and procurements. We also observed various barriers in human capital, financial capital, business ownership, and business success for minorities, women, and minority- and woman-owned businesses throughout Virginia.
Program development: We are working with the Commonwealth to refine and expand the SWaM Program and develop a comprehensive program manual. Based substantially on disparity study results, we are providing program development services related to the Commonwealth’s procurement practices, outreach efforts, and reporting requirements to help the organization further encourage the participation of minority- and woman-owned businesses in its contracts and procurements. Those efforts have included assistance with authoring an Executive Order for Governor Ralph Northam’s office and supporting legislation.