Landmark Legislation for women- and minority-owned businesses


Posted Thu, Mar 20, 2014

Mayor Michael Hancock signs landmark legislation on February 19, 2014. [Photo courtesy of Mike Strott]

ON THE DOTTED LINE: Mayor Michael Hancock signs landmark legislation on Feb. 19, 2014. [Photo courtesy of Mike Strott]

DENVER — Mayor Michael Hancock authorized new legislation on Feb. 19, aimed at giving women- and minority-owned businesses an edge in Denver.

Two new ordinances and an executive order were signed as a result of a review of the 2013 Disparity Study.  The study examined the utilization of Minority- and Women-Owned Business Enterprises or M/WBE, and among other things, the city’s procurement of services and products and sub-contracting participation of those who do business with the city.

“By law we have to conduct this study every 5 years to actually understand whether we are achieving these M/WBE goals or not so when we did that, we saw that we were not,” said Hancock’s spokeswomen Amber Miller.

By implementing this new legislation, the City hopes to set an example.

Hancock approached this new initiative as a way to help demonstrate to the private sector that this not just a program that city employees are aware of.

It is a fundamental belief of the mayor to create “a culture here at the City and County of Denver for every department…that this is a value, not just a program we’re trying to make goals on,” Miller said.

The new ordinances and executive order seek to give parity to minority- and women-owned business in their bids to complete work for the city.

The city desires that these initiatives will “equal the playing field” for those competing in the private sector Chris Martinez, director of the Division of Small Business Opportunity said.

Small business is the backbone of a city and employing “local only helps strengthen the economy,” Martinez said. Oftentimes minority- and women- owned businesses tend to hire like peoples, which promotes further prosperity.

Some of the “construction services” these businesses look to contract with the city are general contracting fields such as drywall, gutters and heating, venting and cooling (HVAC). The “professional services” include things that require a higher degree of expertise such as architecture and engineering.

The legislation goes in to effect on April 1, 2014.


New legislation at a glance

  • Ordinance CB114-0038 pertains to construction and professional services related to construction, and maintains city efforts currently underway through the goals program and Small Business Enterprise (SBE) defined selection pool.
  • Ordinance CB14-0039 established a comprehensive plan to address disparities that exist in the city’s contracting process and marketplace by opening up new procurement opportunities.
  • 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.

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About Angela Jackson

Angela Jackson is a Denver-Area Freelance Writer

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