DENVER – Mayor Michael B. Hancock today signed landmark legislation designed to improve economic opportunities for minority- and women-owned businesses (M/WBE) in Denver.
Surrounded by Denver City Council members, business representatives and city executives, the Mayor signed Council Bills 38 and 39, and Executive Order 101.
“This city has regained its energy, and we are now building a global economy that is primed to compete,” Mayor Hancock said. “Denver succeeds if we all succeed. After more than a year of community engagement, I am proud of this tailored package of tools we have created to sharpen Denver women- and minority-owned businesses’ competitive edge. This landmark legislation will level the playing field toward work at city hall and set a standard for the private sector.”
The ordinances and executive order work to break down barriers commonly faced by M/WBEs seeking to conduct business with the city. The city will also deliver programs to increase M/WBEs’ capacity, capability and sophistication as well as to create measurements to track the progress of these businesses.
Overall, this groundbreaking step forward shows Denver’s commitment to supporting local companies and job-creation efforts and is part of the Mayor’s vision to increase Denver’s connectivity and competitiveness in the global marketplace.
“Denver is embarking on a bold data-based, community driven solution to creating parity in the marketplace,” Director of Small Business Opportunity Chris Martinez said. “These legislative actions are set to ingrain a value of opportunity within our departments, but it will take hard work every day to deliver on the high standards we have created for how we conduct business at the city.”
The legislative package is a result of the 2013 Disparity Study, which found evidence of impediments to growth of M/WBEs and underutilization of those businesses in select goods, services and construction industries.
The Disparity Study recommended annual aspirational goals of 24 percent for construction, 33 percent for construction-related professional services, 8 percent for select services and 5 percent for select goods. The city will adopt these goals and revisit them annually.
- CB14-0038 pertains to construction and professional services related to construction, and maintains city efforts currently underway though the goals program and Small Business Enterprise (SBE) defined selection pool. It creates new opportunities to develop capacity of M/WBEs and SBEs through the Emerging Business Enterprise program, tiered goals, teaming agreements and mentor-protégé efforts.
- CB14-0039 establishes a comprehensive plan to address disparities that exist in the city’s contracting process and marketplace by opening up new procurement opportunities. The ordinance creates a structure tailored to expand competition with an M/WBE goals program through a variety of new programs.
- Executive Order 101 requires city departments and agencies, when soliciting services and goods for the city, to compile information from contractors and consultants on their efforts toward diversity and inclusiveness and report these to the Denver Office of Economic Development. It will also encourage inclusion of diversity and inclusiveness policies as criteria in selection policies where legally permitted.
Mayor Hancock signed the ordinances and executive order today in a ceremony at the City and County Building today. The legislation goes into effect on April 1, 2014.