City launches Office of Supplier Diversity, takes next steps with city’s disparity study

Recruitment efforts for key office roles are currently underway.

ST. PETERSBURG — In response to the City’s Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprises Disparity Study findings, the city’s Procurement Department is solidifying efforts to ensure diversity and inclusion are ingrained in the city’s procurement and supplierprocesses and culture moving forward.

“Formalizing equitable business opportunities and policies demonstrates our intentional commitment to creating a diverse and inclusive culture,” said Mayor Ken Welch. “I’m proud of our Procurement Department for making informed decisions based on best practices in this space. Establishing an Office of Supplier Diversity and engaging community members who are dedicated to business diversity is what happens when theory turns into practice.”

The Procurement Department’s Dec. 15 presentation to city council’s Committee of the Whole included the following:

— The city has officially established the Office of Supplier Diversity and hired its first team member, Latasha Binder, who will serve as the manager of the office. Recruitment efforts for additional key roles are currently underway.

— The city has established an Equity in Contracting advisory group that consists of community leaders with a strong interest in business diversity and includes representation from Deuces Live Main Street, Foundation for a Healthy St. Petersburg, Pinellas County, Tampa Bay Black Business Investment Corp. and The NGC Team.

— The city’s legal team will now draft an ordinance for city council to consider in early 2023. The ordinance will create new opportunities for small, minority and women-owned businesses to participate in city contracting.

About the City of St. Petersburg’s Minority-and Women-Owned Business Enterprises Disparity Study

The Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprises Disparity Study is an evaluation of the contracting practices at the City of St. Petersburg, particularly the awarding of contracts to minority- and women-owned business enterprises over a five-year period.

In 2018, the city began the process of conducting a Disparity Study to ensure equitable opportunities for all members of our community who want to do business with the City of St. Petersburg. The benefits of conducting a disparity study included:

a) Identifying best practices to improve the city’s contracting process

b) increasing the number of bidders on the city’s contracts

c) lowering the city’s procurement costs. As a result of the findings, the city enlisted the services of one of the nation’s top consultants on business diversityto implement the disparity study recommendations.

For more information about the city’s Disparity Study, the Office of Supplier Diversity, or how to become a supplier with the city, please visit

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