City of Asheville to hold Disparity Study public hearing on Sept. 19

Press release from City of Asheville:

The City of Asheville’s Community and Economic Development Department announces its upcoming Disparity Study Public Hearing, an essential step in evaluating and improving the City’s Business Inclusion program. The study aims to determine the effectiveness of the City’s efforts in promoting the participation of minority and women business enterprises (M/WBEs) in government contracting.

Event Details:
What: Disparity Study Public Hearing
When: Tuesday, September 19, 2023, at 6:00 PM
Where: Dr. Wesley Grant Sr. Southside Community Center, Livingston Street
Contact Information: Frank McGowan, Interim Asst. Director City of Asheville Community & Economic Development Dept.

Get Involved:
Stakeholders and business owners are vital to the Disparity Study’s success. The project team has conducted interviews, focus groups, and public meetings. Business owners are encouraged to attend the upcoming Public Hearing and share their insights.

Public Input Encouraged:
The City of Asheville values community input and encourages local business owners and stakeholders to share their experiences and insights regarding the local marketplace and City procurement. The public can submit comments on various topics, including local marketplace conditions, contracting opportunities with the City, business assistance programs, and recommendations for additional programs. Comments can be submitted confidentially by emailing the project team at

The City of Asheville has commissioned Miller³ Consulting, Inc. (M³ Consulting) to conduct a comprehensive five-year Disparity Study covering the period from July 1, 2017, through June 30, 2022. This study will assess contractual awards in goods, professional and general services, and construction, with the objective of ensuring compliance with the law and recommending program modifications if necessary.

Frequently Asked Questions:

What is a disparity study? A Disparity Study determines whether a government entity engages in exclusionary practices in awarding contracts to minority and women-owned businesses.
What is the purpose of a disparity study? It ensures compliance with legal requirements and determines if a compelling interest exists for the City to have a M/WBE program.
Why is the City of Asheville conducting a disparity study? To evaluate and improve current programs and ensure opportunities for Diverse Business Enterprises in City procurements.
When will the disparity study be completed? October 2023.

Study Completion and Results:
The study is scheduled for completion in October 2023, and the results will be made public at the end of the process.

For more information and access to relevant disparity study documents, please visit the City of Asheville’s website and check periodically for updates.

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