PITTSBURGH, PA (June 25. 2020) The City of Pittsburgh’s Equal Opportunity Review Commission (EORC) reviewed $37,550,814 worth of city and city authority contracts in 2019, awarding 29% ($10,965,246) to minority-owned businesses and 33% ($12,516,061) to women-owned businesses according to its 2019 annual report. That totals $23,481,307 of city and city authority contracted dollars directly invested in the minority and women business communities.
City contracts saw a 37% increase in contracts awarded to minority-owned business enterprises (MBE) and women-owned business enterprises (WBE) between 2018 and 2019. In 2018, M/WBEs were awarded just under 29% (around $4.6 million) of the total $16 million in contract opportunities. Those totals increased to 50% ($7.4 million) of the total $14,779,942 in city contracts in 2019 as a result of awarding more M/WBEs as prime contractors rather than subcontractors.
"I'm proud to see that the work we've done in creating the Office of Equity and restructuring our buying plans to promote equity in procurement in conjunction in the Government Alliance on Race and Equity are paying off by creating tangible economic opportunities for all,” said Mayor William Peduto.
The City of Pittsburgh is committed to providing fair contracting opportunities for historically disadvantaged MBEs and WBEs to do business with the city and city authorities. The 11-member EORC reviews professional service contracts over $50,000 and construction and development contracts over $250,000 to ensure participation by MBEs and WBEs as well as contractors’ compliance with the City of Pittsburgh’s equal employment goals of employing 25% minorities and 10% women.
After receiving feedback from smaller local MWBEs that there are barriers for them to prepare competitive bids for city contracts due to short notice and not having dedicated or robust procurement staff that larger companies have, the City launched the Buying Plan in February through the Living Cities Accelerator Grant. The Buying Plan provides a four-quarter forecast of contracting bid opportunities for the City, Housing Authority for the City of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh Parking Authority, Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority, Sports and Exhibition Authority and Urban Redevelopment Authority. It is intended to give M/WBEs and other smaller businesses an opportunity to see what bids they may be eligible for over the next year so there is time to prepare their bid or collaborate with other businesses to develop a competitive bid that meets the scope of service. The plan is updated every quarter and is available on Beacon, the City’s procurement portal.
EORC meetings are open to the public and are held every third Thursday of the month at noon and streamed on the City of Pittsburgh’s YouTube channel.