Greater Harrisburg's Community Magazine

Harrisburg asks for participation as it begins study on business diversity, contracting opportunities

Harrisburg’s MLK City Government Center

Harrisburg has launched a survey to help identify diverse businesses for future city contracting opportunities.

As part of a larger disparity study, the city is asking area business owners to complete a survey as it develops a list of minority-, women-, disabled-, veteran- and LGBTQ-owned businesses.

“Our primary goal is diversity, equity and inclusion,” said Marita Kelley, finance director. “The key to the diversity study is to include diverse purchasing practices.”

Mayor Wanda Williams announced the beginning of the study in February. City Council initially approved the agreement for the study in May 2021, but the project was put on hold.

The study seeks to locate diverse businesses in Dauphin, York, Lancaster, Adams and Cumberland counties. It will also examine Harrisburg’s current consulting practices and determine how to improve them.

Philadelphia-based Econsult Solutions, LLC will perform the study at a total cost of $250,000, funded in equal parts by the city, Dauphin County and Impact Harrisburg.

With the results of the study, the city hopes to introduce legislation to encourage more diverse purchasing practices.

According to Kelley, Harrisburg has numerous contracting opportunities within its departments, such as parks and recreation, vehicle maintenance and accounting.

Businesses that complete the survey will be asked about their diversity and experience with contracting opportunities. All information will be kept confidential.

To complete the disparity study survey, click here.


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