Nashville government reported that it spent $49 million during the first year of its Equal Business Opportunity (EBO) program – but Asians didn’t make the list. $30 million reportedly went to women business enterprises, and $19 million went to minority business enterprises. The report noted that it had a 250 percent participation increase with Black, Brown, and women-owned subcontractors.
Metro released the annual report on the EBO initiative earlier this month. Notably, the report doesn’t mention expenditures with Asian-owned businesses. The Tennessee Star inquired with EBO spokespersons about this detail. They didn’t respond by press time.
According to the latest government census records, Asians represented roughly 4 percent of the Nashville-Davidson population. By comparison: over 27 percent were reported as Black or African American, over 10 percent were Hispanic or Latino, and half a percent were either Native American or Alaska Native.
Per the report, White female-owned businesses received over $29.8 million, Native American male-owned businesses received over $14.8 million, Black male-owned businesses received over $2.8 million, Black female-owned businesses received $915,000, and Hispanic male-owned businesses received nearly $659,000.
The certified directory of minority businesses underneath the breakdown of subcontractor contract participation noted that there were 54 owned by Asians, 196 owned by African Americans, 28 owned by Hispanics, and 4 owned by Native Americans.
A disparity study relied upon by Metro government to inform its EBO efforts noted that Asian Americans were amongst those groups that were underutilized in prime contracting, subcontracting,
EBO began in July 2019, signed into law by previous Mayor David Briley. Its express goal was to make Metro government “race and gender conscious” in all of its purchases.
The previous race and gender-neutral program, Procurement Non-discrimination Program (PNP), only had a 6 percent participation program – as compared to the 21 percent accomplished by the EBO this past fiscal year.
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