Supporting Businesses in the City of Washington, NC
The City Council of Washington recently approved an ordinance to provide local businesses owned by minorities and women an equitable opportunity to participate and compete in contract procurement procedures.
Washington and Beaufort County, North Carolina are home to Latino-owned businesses that generate employment and economic opportunity for the region. To better support, these businesses, the City Council of Washington recently approved an ordinance to provide local businesses owned by minorities and women an equitable opportunity to participate and compete in contract procurement procedures. As part of the ordinance, the City will maintain a registry of certified businesses that will be contacted in bid solicitations; divide projects into smaller contracts to encourage participation; establish delivery schedules to accommodate local businesses; and document compliance with these requirements. 920 businesses identified as minority-owned in 2012, the last year that the Census collected that data.
The ordinance implements a recommendation from Beaufort County residents, including individuals with Latin American ancestry, collected through the Washington Building Integrated Communities (BIC) Assessment and Action Planning process in 2020-2021. Three generations of Beaufort County residents celebrate Mexican and Latin American heritage, tracing their ancestry to family members who settled in the area in the 1970s to work in seafood, poultry, and agricultural industries. Today, 13% of Washington residents have Latin American ancestry, and most are U.S. born citizens, reflecting the fact that Latino communities have lived in the state for several generations.
To read more about local business connections to Latin America and learn about other recommendations related to public safety, leadership and inclusion, and tourism, check out the City of Washington Community Assessment and Recommendations report. An executive summary of the report can be found in Spanish here.