Augusta prepares to take another swing at helping minority- and women-owned businesses.
Augusta Commissioners have directed the city attorney to meet with one of the consultants who worked on the 2009 disparity study, which found only 7% of city businesses went to minority firms.
Supporters say, it's time for the city to move forward and create a new program to help those disadvantaged businesses.
"We're one of few municipalities in the state of Georgia that operates this way. Cities like Atlanta, Savannah, and Macon do not operate like Augusta and there needs to be a change. Women need a part of the business, and minorities need a share of the business," says Harley Gibbons, of the city's Citizens Small Business Advisory Board.
Two obstacles are in the way of creating a disadvantaged business program. First, the federal court has enjoined the city from having one; and second, city lawyers say a new disparity study would be required, which could run hundreds of thousands of dollars.
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