More Minority and Woman-Owned Businesses Secure City Contracts

Published on May 12, 2023

Economic Development

New study highlights 30% increase in City contracts paid to local minority- and woman-owned businesses

SAN ANTONIO, (May 12, 2023) – More local minority- and woman-owned businesses have worked with the City of San Antonio through contracting opportunities. The City of San Antonio released a recently completed Disparity Study, which examined if local minority- and woman-owned businesses have equal access to City contracting opportunities and if the Small Business Economic Development Advocacy (SBEDA) program is effective. The study was completed by Colette Holt & Associates.
“It’s important that City resources and opportunities are accessible to all San Antonians,” said Erik Walsh, City Manager. “The SBEDA program plays an important role in supporting historically underrepresented members of our small business community, so it is great to see such progress being made.”
The City of San Antonio is committed to the development of local small, minority and woman-owned businesses, which represent nearly a third of the private sector jobs in San Antonio. The SBEDA program, which has existed since 1989, utilizes the City’s purchasing power to provide equal opportunity for local small, minority and women-owned businesses to participate on City contracts through incentives and other procurement requirements.

When state and local governments consider race or gender for a program, they must demonstrate a compelling interest and identify evidence of persistent discrimination. The City of San Antonio maintains compliance through disparity studies.
"The City’s SBEDA program has been very successful in opening opportunities for minority and woman firms on its contracts," says the study. "...Overall, M/WBEs have reached parity or beyond with non-M/WBEs in receiving City dollars."
Results of the study are encouraging, as they specify the utilization of minority and woman-owned businesses represent 53% of total City dollars spend during the study period. Per the 2015 edition of the study, the corresponding number was 23%.
The study recommended the City continue implementing narrowly tailored race- and gender-based SBEDA program tools to address the remaining City contracting disparities and offset general disparities found in the general San Antonio market area.
The study is available to the public and can be viewed at The website also lists dates, times and locations for a series of public meetings regarding the study.
City Council will consider acceptance of the study in late summer 2023. Results from the study and residents’ feedback will factor into any considered changes to the SBEDA program.
Local small, minority and women-owned businesses are invited to participate in the SBEDA program by visiting