Monday, August 10, 2015

Public Hearing on Disparity Study by GDOT

AUGUSTA, GA (PR) - Are minority and women-owned business owners fully aware of what’s at stake for them when a “Disparity Study” is being done in their area?  Do they grasp how important it is to their financial future to participate in the process? GSPC is conducting ​a ​public ​​hearing​ on August 19, 6:00 PM to 08:00 at the Augusta Public Library Headquarters, 823 Telfair Street, Augusta GA 30901.

Public policy attorney Rodney Strong wants to talk -- in plain English -- about how disparity studies impact minority businesses getting their fair share of billions of dollars in government contracts.

The consulting firm of Griffin & Strong, P.C. (“GSPC”) has been hired by numerous government entities all over the Southeast to conduct these studies.  Most recently the firm was hired by the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) to review, analyze, and suggest improvements to the way it does business with minority and women owned businesses. 

Strong can discuss:

The Supreme Court decision that made disparity studies necessary to remedy discrimination.
What small businesses have said about the contracting practices of the City of Atlanta; Jackson, Mississippi; the State of Tennessee; and the Commonwealth of Kentucky, among others.
The need for full participation by minorities in these studies.

GSPC is conducting ​a ​public ​​hearing​ ​in August​a on August 19 to find out, based in part on the testimonies of business owners and community members, whether GDOT has provided equal access to their more than $20 billion in annual procurement opportunities.​ Similar meetings will be held in Atlanta and Columbus, Ga the same week. ​

“We urge community leaders and DBE/WBEs business owners to come out to these public hearings and tell their stories,” says Rodney.  “Do they have the information they need to get to the GDOT table?  Have they been able to open doors?  Are there roadblocks?  Can GDOT improve their process? Have you had a great experience with the contracting process at GDOT? What did they get right?”

“We want business owners to tell us candidly about their experiences doing business or bidding with GDOT. We are soliciting both positive feedback and areas of concern based on what they have dealt with,” Strong says.

Receiving ample feedback from the community is crucial to the success of the study being done for GDOT, Strong notes.  “We need input and suggestions from minority and women owned business.”

GSPC will be contacting a random group of firms in Georgia to participate in interviews, telephone surveys, and focus groups. “We will also be scheduling a public hearing for the fall of 2015.”

However, even if you are not asked to participate in any of that outreach, GSPC still wants to hear about your experiences in bidding or doing business with GDOT, or why you have chosen not to do business with GDOT. Please tell your story at Submissions are accepted until September 28, 2015.

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