San Jose wants to boost opportunities for minority and women-owned businesses

San Jose is amplifying its efforts to support minority, LGBTQ and women-owned businesses during the pandemic.

A new proposal from Vice Mayor Chappie Jones and Councilmember Sylvia Arenas will evaluate disparities in contracting opportunities for minority businesses, an effort to figure out which groups need more support.

“If the city were to implement a disparity study, this could potentially provide support indicating the need for preferences based on race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, etc,” Jones and Arenas wrote in a memo.

Lawmakers and business advocates, including the Minority Business Consortium, have long explored how small and minority-owned businesses can land more government contracts. The city offers a variety of contract jobs local businesses can bid on, including offers to pour concrete, provide automobile parts or training for city staff — but often, these contracts are awarded to larger businesses, putting smaller ones at a disadvantage.

Given the…

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