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San Diego Lawmakers Tout Small Business Diversity

Written by Ken Gaebler
Published: 7/28/2010

City creates "Small Local Business Enterprise" program.

When lawmakers in one California city took a look at which small businesses were getting city contracts, they noticed something - a lack of diversity.

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With that in mind, the city of San Diego launched the Small Local Business Enterprise program earlier this month. The San Diego Union-Tribune reports that 97 percent of city contracts - worth $124 million in construction work - were given to businesses owned by white males. The city's mayor said that he was looking to make the contracts available to everyone in the city who was qualified.

“One of the things I think is important is that everybody in San Diego be able to take part in the local economy,” Mayor Jerry Sanders said in an interview with the paper last week. “We hope that a lot of small businesses participate in the program."

In addition to setting aside money for diverse contractors, the city is also taking steps to make sure small businesses in general are entitled to more contracts. The city has set aside public work contracts under $500,000 to go to small businesses in the area rather than larger companies, the news source reports.

San Diego made other small business news recently, when Senate candidate Carly Fiorina made a stop at a plant in the city. Among her proposals was a tax-free day for consumers in order to help drive sales for businesses.

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