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August 30, 2014, 4:09 am

City exceeds minority contracting goal

For the second year in a row, the city topped its minority participation goal, with 28 percent of city contracts going to minority-, women-, disabled- and disadvantaged-businesses. Of that total, a growing percentage went to Black-owned businesses.

According to a report released Wednesday by the Office of Economic Opportunity, the overall minority participation rate for city contracts was 28 percent – three points above the goal of 25 percent. In terms of dollars, that represented city spending of $160.9 million.

African-American firms captured 52 percent of that for a total of $83 million. That was up from 44 percent in fiscal 2011.

“OEO’s leadership and the city’s proactive support of ‘Inclusion Works’ have resulted in real economic impact,” said Mayor Michael Nutter, referring to the city’s blueprint to increase minority participation. “OEO staff and officers in city departments have raised the bar for M/W/DSBE engagement.” 

The fiscal 2012 report covers the city’s fiscal year, which ran from July 1, 2011 to June 30, 2012.

In a demographic breakdown, the OEO reported that white women captured 27 percent, or $44 million in contracts. That was down from 33 percent last year. Hispanic businesses got $19 million in city business for 12 percent of the total, up from 9 percent last year. Finally, Asian-owned businesses got 8 percent of city contracts for $13 million, down from 12 percent last year.

In addition to capturing a greater share of city contracts and more money, the OEO report found that the number of minority companies doing business with the city rose by 7 percent. And, that business was spread across city departments, with 31 percent more of those contracts coming from individual operating departments, as opposed to city contracts.

Data that included a broader snapshot of city-related contracting showed that when quasi-city agencies were included, participation was even higher, at 29 percent.

That means minority-owned businesses got contracts worth $103.6 million when agencies like the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corp. and Redevelopment Authority are included in the data. Total spending for city and quasi-public agencies totaled $264.5 million out of $1.1 billion. That compared to $227.7 million awarded out of a possible $892.7 million in FY11.

When federal projects were included minority businesses were awarded $15.2 million in contracts through federally funded projects in fiscal 2012, up from $9.2 million in 2011.

In addition to the traditional data included in the report, this year’s summary included a section called “On the Horizon” detailing new city policies and practices relating to minority contracting.

“This annual report is an in depth analysis of contracts awarded and participation results, strategic alliances built, stakeholder commentary and a path forward that will institutionalize effective and sustainable economic inclusion,” said Angela Dowd-Burton, Executive Director of the Office of Economic Opportunity. “This document is a resource tool for any business considering the city as a prospective client or looking to increase their competitive advantage.”

The full report is available at:


To comment, contact staff writer Eric Mayes at 215-893-5742 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .