City Seeks to Increase Opportunities for Diversity in Economic Development


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City Seeks to Increase Opportunities for Diversity in Economic Development

12 November 2015 - 12:00:00 AM

CINCINNATI – A new government initiative is going to help ensure all local businesses have an opportunity to do business with the City of Cincinnati.

The Department of Community and Economic Development is launching the Advancing Diversity in Development (ADD) initiative this November with a three-part series including a roundtable discussion, a “Meet & Match” session for local minority-owned certified small business enterprises (SBEs), and a citywide tour to identify potential projects for minority real estate developers from Cincinnati and around the country.

The first event took place Nov. 12.

City Manager Harry Black and Community and Economic Development Director Oscar L. Bedolla say the ADD initiative will increase overall opportunities for minority organizations as well as the number of them that do business with the City of Cincinnati.

“We as a City are looking to implement specific remedies to improve and truly ensure everyone is given the opportunity to compete for public dollars,” said City Manager Black. “This is about economic development: We are providing greater opportunities for businesses that call Cincinnati and Hamilton County home.”

“As Cincinnati continues to further develop our urban core and surrounding neighborhoods, diversity is a priority in order to foster innovation and support inclusion,” added Oscar L. Bedolla, the director of Community and Economic Development. “Organizations that invest in the City should reflect the diversity of our communities.”

The initiative began with a director’s roundtable where City officials joined local minority stakeholders, majority developers and construction companies to receive feedback and suggestions for increasing minority participation. Content, themes and agendas for subsequent events are being crafted based on participant discussions and recommendations.

On Nov. 12, the City, in collaboration with the Port of Greater Cincinnati Development Authority, hosted national and local minority developers for an up-close look at Cincinnati’s economic development achievements and upcoming opportunities. This one-day event included a bus tour designed to highlight the diversity of Cincinnati's various neighborhoods and showcase the progress achieved throughout the city.

The first “Meet & Match” Inclusion session will be held Dec. 9. A location for the event is still being finalized. The outreach session is designed to actively match certified SBEs that provide construction services or high-quality goods and supplies with City local developers.

This initiative will serve as the kick-off to a series of City-sponsored economic inclusion sessions.