St. Louis County releases MWBE disparity study

MO News - Published Feb 01, 2024

St. Louis County has released a disparity study conducted on the experiences of minority- and woman-owned businesses (MWBEs) in competing for contract work with the County. The study examined contracts within the period of 2017 through 2021.

The chief findings of the study included the analysis that while 40 percent of County procurement dollars would be expected to go to MWBEs if they were utilized according to their availability in the area, in actual practice overall MWBE utilization was 17 percent during the study period, indicating a substantial disparity.

The study made several recommendations for remedying the disparity in MWBE utilization, including: setting three-year aspirational MWBE utilization goals, establishing a Small Business Enterprise program in addition to the MWBE program, entering into regional partnerships for creating better access to capital for MWBEs, and higher funding for the County's MWBE program.

"[W]e have made progress when it comes to hiring minority contractors [but] there is room for improvement," County Executive Dr. Sam Page said in a statement.

Find the County's page for the study (which includes a separate workforce report as well) at https://stlouiscountymo.gov/st-louis-county-departments/administration/do-business-with-us/minority-women-owned-business/saint-louis-county-disparity-study/.

Read the full study at https://stlouiscountymo.gov/st-louis-county-departments/administration/do-business-with-us/minority-women-owned-business/saint-louis-county-disparity-study/st-louis-county-contract-disparity-study-report/.