Allentown bill may award more city contracts to minority-owned businesses

Written by on June 28, 2021

Allentown bill may award more city contracts to minority-owned businesses

By Ben Stemrich

June 28, 2021

Allentown officials are discussing a new ordinance that could give minority run businesses a better chance at landing city work. 

Listen to the story.

Allentown city council members are considering a bill that would give precedence to minorities for certain city contracts. Josh Siegel heads up the Budget & Finance Committee.

“The idea really is to use the purchasing power of the city to support minority-owned businesses, women-owned businesses, veteran-owned businesses basically businesses that are owned by marginalized communities,” Siegel says. 

The new bill would include a provision to hold the program accountable, Siegel says

“One of those key provisions is actually making sure that we measure on an annual basis how many of those contracts are actually going to minority phone enterprises, women-owned enterprises, veteran-owned enterprises and we want to track that and review to see if we actually have a problem period are we fair to who we reward our contracts too,” he says. 

The bill includes proposals from minorities that might not be the lowest, but are within 5%. It doesn’t apply to city construction projects over $50,000. 

Councilman Daryl Hendricks says implementing such a law wouldn’t take much. 

“Many of the rules and regulations are currently in place. My only concern really is that we follow the state guidelines in doing so rather than try and make up their own,” Hendricks says. 

It appears as though most of the council members currently support the ordinance. Talks are expected to continue in July.

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