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New Denver Study to Set Future Course of Minority and Women Business Programs

Disparity study to help evaluate the effectiveness of business certification programs

The Denver Office of Economic Development (OED) today announces the launch of a new comprehensive disparity study to guide future implementation of minority- and women-owned business programs in Denver. The study will measure whether any underutilization of minority- and women-owned contractors exists in Denver’s procurement, thereby providing a basis for the continuation of Denver’s Minority- and Women-Owned Business Enterprise (MWBE) program and related federal programs.

OED has retained BBC Research & Consulting to conduct the study to help evaluate the effectiveness of the implementation of the local MWBE program and two federal programs: the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) program and the Airport Concessions Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (ACDBE) program. The study will examine the city’s procurement of services and products, the subcontracting participation of contractors/service providers who do business with the city, and anecdotal evidence collected from a cross-section of the local business community.

“With significant public investment projects on the horizon, and by staying true to our Denver values, this city will show how economic prosperity can bring everyone along. We’re looking forward to taking a thorough, objective look at our inclusivity programs in order to bolster our approach and further level the playing field for Denver’s minority contracting community,” Mayor Michael B. Hancock said.

BBC will assess disparities between the participation and availability of minority- and women-owned businesses for city contracts. The study will focus on construction, design services, professional services, goods, general services, and airport concessions contracts awarded from 2012 through 2016. Contracts and procurements from the city’s Departments of Aviation, General Services, Public Works, and other departments and agencies will be examined.

To help inform the study, the following series of public hearings will be held this fall:

  • October 3, 2017, 11:30 a.m. - 1:15 p.m., Eisenhower Recreation Center, 4300 E. Dartmouth Ave.
  • October 5, 2017, 5:30-7:30 p.m., Denver Botanic Gardens, 1007 York St.
  • October 11, 2017, 5:30-7:30 p.m., Denver Police Station-District One, 1311 W. 46th Ave.
  • October 13, 2017, 9-11 a.m., Denver International Airport (tentatively scheduled)

In addition, BBC is seeking input from contractors via email. Comments and information can be submitted to For more information on the disparity study, visit

M/WBE, DBE and ACDBE certifications are offered through the OED Division of Small Business Opportunity. The programs help connect businesses with construction and professional service contracts throughout the city, goods and services procurement opportunities, and concession opportunities at DIA. In 2016, more than $86 million in city contracts were awarded to firms certified under the M/WBE, DBE, ACDBE and other programs.