Nashville to use more minority, women-owned businesses, contractors

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Posted at 6:02 PM, Sep 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-23 19:42:12-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Metro Nashville is trying to hire more women-owned and minority businesses to do city work.

In 2021, they made a goal of spending $224 million with such companies.

"It honestly is a very exciting time. We have an equal opportunity business program," said Michelle Hernandez Lane, chief procurement officer and purchasing agent for Metro Nashville. "Anyone who can and would like to, should be able to do business with the city. Including minority and women-owned businesses."

This is the second year of the program. The goal is four times larger than the first year. It includes a requirement that the city focuses some of its efforts on making sure everyone is involved in city projects. About 16% of the total projects done in 2021 were done by women and minority-owned contractors.

"To the extent that we're able to include as many business types as possible I think is good for the overall economy of Nashville and it really does express what is important to the Mayor Cooper administration and certainly by Metro Council," said Lane.

As part of the program, $99 million went to women-owned firms and $125 million to other minority-owned firms.

Lane said the city is always looking for new people to do business with.

"I think there was a time that people didn't believe there was an opportunity for them to really do business with the city again," said Lane.

From sidewalk construction and work in the park to architecture and engineering, the city has taken on a wide variety of such businesses. They hope to grow the program in its third year as well.