Today, Mayor Bruce Harrell joined the City of Seattle’s Department of Finance and Administrative Services, Women-and Minority Owned business (WMBE) leaders, and community partners to sign a new executive order that expands contracting equity and makes it easier for small businesses, particularly WMBEs, to work with the City of Seattle.
Harrell signed the new executive order against the backdrop of the 2023 Reverse Vendor Trade Show — an annual City-sponsored event attracting more than 600 businesses, including WMBEs, to network with and learn more about contracting and procurement opportunities with City departments and other public agencies. Citywide purchasing and consulting spending with WMBE firms consistently grows year over year. Of the City’s more than $900 million annual spend on goods and services, nearly $228 million was spent with WMBEs in 2022 for consulting services and contracting for public works projects.
Mayor Harrell’s new executive order aims to significantly impact City efforts to support women and BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Color) owned firms that have been disproportionally underutilized in public contracting. Priorities of the executive order include expanding city contracting equity, particularly with BIPOC-owned firms, prioritizing resources and support for WMBEs, strengthening citywide accountability and transparency, and improving City policies and practices.