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Virginia Beach address disparity study

City Manager Dave Hansen said the goal moving forward is to include women in the numbers.

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WVEC) — After the release of the disparity study in Virginia Beach, city council came together Tuesday night to define changes they want to make to create a more even playing field for business owners.

The focus is getting more women, minorities, and disabled veteran business owners in. Finance Operations Administrator Taylor Adams explained to council that the only goal was for minorities this entire time.

"We've only ever had a minority-owned business goal, your goal is for 10 percent minority participation in city contracting,” said Adams.

That percentage was met, but the study shows the goal should have been loftier.

"It's great that we achieved the 10.7 percent, the goal should have been 12 percent,” said Adams.

City Manager Dave Hansen said the goal moving forward is to include women in the numbers.

"It was not inclusive of women-owned, but going forward, our status, our data, our tracking, our data collection, will include all of that,” said Hansen.

Hansen explained how much money will be needed to meet goals over the next five years.

“We would have needed $15.4 million in women and minority-owned business participation,” said Hansen.

One way Virginia Beach plans on bringing these individuals in is through sheltered bidding.

"We pursue women and minority-owned businesses that operate in that particular industry set, we pre-qualify them and then we provide them an opportunity through that competitive portion to bet on certain projects,” said Hansen.

To facilitate that, Hansen said it takes work.

"Education, keeping people informed, enticing companies to get on our bid list-which there is a process to do that. And that allows us to notify you while we're contracting,” said Hansen.

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