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Friday, July 12, 2024

OMWBD to host hybrid outreach meetings for new disparity study 

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In a move that establishes a five-year recurring cycle, the City of Indianapolis Office of Minority and Women Business Development (OMWBD) and its partners are conducting a 12-month disparity study led by BBC Research & Consulting.  

This year, it will include hybrid outreach sessions that allow local community members and business owners to voice suggestions and concerns.   

In addition to local input, the studies have an involved process that includes assessing which barriers businesses face as part of the city’s contracting process.  

Results are used to highlight disparities between minority and women-owned businesses and non-minority and women-owned businesses. Local officials are informed so they can begin efforts to rectify them.   

This year’s work builds upon a 2019 study that revealed that women and minority-owned businesses are underutilized in city contracts. It also found a disparity of funding between white-owned and white-women-owned establishments, and minority-owned businesses, citing myriad factors (including lack of capital) that contributed to the disparity.   

With the ongoing study, the OMWBD will continue that analysis. As part of the process, OMWBD and its partners are allowing the public to make suggestions for improvement. 

There will be two public outreach meetings hosted by BBC Research & Consulting. Each will inform the public about the study and allow local business owners to voice their experiences. They are free for the public to attend and will include presentations and a Q&A.   

Both meetings will be held Tuesday, June 18 at the Indianapolis Public Library — Central Library at 40 East Saint Clair St. The first session will run from 10-11:30 a.m., and the second from 3-4:30 p.m. For those unable to attend in person, virtual attendance is also encouraged. Registration, which can be found here, is required to attend virtually.  

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