Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Changes in Mayor's office and airport policies offer increased access to minority-owned businesses

The Tennessean reports here that Nashville Mayor Karl Dean unveiled three initiatives to increase the number of city contracts awarded to minority-owned businesses. The article also mentions the Nashville International Airport's separate efforts, announced earlier this year.

Last year, Memphis declared that Hispanics are not "minorities" for the purpose of minority contract consideration (story here). Which would be fine, according to Tennessean columnist Dwight Lewis, if neither Hispanics nor African-Americans were called "minorities" anymore, in light of their combined majority status in many states (story here).

From the Tennessean:
Dean's first three steps toward leveling contract distribution:

• He appointed Nashville businesswoman Pam Martin to lead a new Mayor's Minority Business Advisory Council. The group will be charged with creating other measures to help small and minority-owned businesses in Nashville to develop.

• He promoted Michelle Lane from overseeing small and minority business participation in local and federal contracts to special assistant to the mayor. She will advise him directly on small and minority business development.

• He hired the Atlanta-based consulting firm that examined contract awards and business conditions in the Nashville area to help the city's legal department develop new contracting and procurement policies.
Photo by Simon Pais-Thomas

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