Commissioner Tiffany Moore Russell (District 6) says the M/WBE Ordinance has been helpful for some minority and women-owned businesses, but given the poor state of the economy, larger companies are competing directly with M/WBEs by lowering costs and more often than not, wind up being awarded the contracts. The Orange County Commission made these observations recently, in an exclusive interview with the West Orlando News.
“More minorities are getting opportunities, but given the tough economy, the argument is whether one goes with the more cost effective option or whether we look for diversity,” Moore Russell said. “Everyone is competing for the government’s money, and so it is making it harder for minority-owned businesses.”
Moore Russell, who is seeking re-election for a second term to the Board of Orange County Commissioners added:
“You have some companies that are low-balling, offering cheaper rates so that they can be awarded the contract. That hurts our minority-owned businesses because, many of them cannot reduce costs, in view of their small size. So, when you have a three or five-member firm competing against a 50-member firm, it makes it very difficult for the minority company.”