Dr. Cedric Herring
In 2009, Chicago extended its Minority and Women’s Business Enterprise (MWBE) program in construction. It did so to “remedy ongoing discrimination and the effects of past discrimination against women and minority groups, so as not to be a passive participant in such discrimination.”1 Extension of this program was controversial. Opponents of the city’s MWBE program argued that claims of discrimination against women and minority groups were exaggerated. Proponents of the MWBE program, in contrast, argued that minority-owned and women-owned firms face unfair credit constraints that make it difficult
for them to obtain bonding and working capital.
[…] What can be done? Herring posits that rather than showing up at the worksite after jobs have been given out, that we have to be at the table when projects are being designed and contracts are being granted. Additionally discrimination in credit markets is another main reason for poor performing minority business programs. This must be addressed if we are to systemically improve our community’s portion of City, County and State contracts. Please see Prof. Herring’s report here. […]