Saturday, June 22, 2024

DeSoto takes aim at increasing minority business opportunities

Much has been written about how low the African American unemployment rate had gotten prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, but movement toward economic parity for minorities requires business ownership. Black-owned businesses have faced an uphill battle in past years trying to compete with more established white-owned companies in key industries.

The City of DeSoto this week is expected to pass a resolution aimed at increasing opportunities for Minority and Women-Owned Business (M/WBE) and Small Businesses Enterprises (SBE), as well as Historically Underutilized Businesses (HUB). Collectively these groups are termed as “Diversity Vendors” in a plan going before the DeSoto City Council on Aug. 4.

This week the DeSoto City Council will consider a resolution aimed at increasing minority participation in contracts awarded by the city. (Photo: Cytonn Photography / Unsplash)

The city routinely contracts with businesses such as land surveying, construction consulting and engineering firms, as well as many others; and according to the plan DeSoto will actively seek to widen its scope of resources in such areas.

According to the plan, the city seeks to reach a 20% Diversity Vendor participation rate with qualifying city contracts and purchases. It will actively “conduct outreach functions to communicate contracting and procurement opportunities to Diversity Vendors.” The efforts will be reported monthly to the city council, with comparisons to the stated 20% goal.

If passed, city staff will commit to the following steps to encourage Diversity Vendor participation:

  • The City will contact at least two (2) diversity vendors on City purchases between $3,000 and $24,999.99.
  • All formal proposals over $25,000 shall contain the attachment “Official Proposal Form and Certification for the City of DeSoto Texas” and “subcontractor questionnaire form” to verify from the vendor their current diversity vendor status. The document shall be submitted with each bid proposal.
  • The City is a member of the NCTRCA. The agency assists the City of DeSoto in advertising bid opportunities to diversity vendors and certifying DeSoto businesses.
  • The City reserves the right to accept diversity vendor certifications issued by other certifying organizations, or agencies that use the same essential criteria for certification.The City will contact at least two (2) diversity vendors on City purchases between $3,000 and $24,999.99.

The city will also support a grant program for Diversity Vendors as well as offering opportunities for increased exposure, training and seminars through membership with NCTRCA. The program is geared toward marketing the City of DeSoto as an economically viable place to do business in DFW and a city friendly to Diversity Vendor participation.

The DeSoto City Council is scheduled to vote on the resolution during its regular session on Aug. 4 at 7 p.m.



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