Two members of the Metro Council’s Black Caucus expressed their satisfaction Friday with the results to date of the Music City Center’s Diversity Business Enterprise (DBE) program, which is beating goals with the project almost halfway complete.
Reports issued to the State of Tennessee Department of Labor for second quarter 2011 and that the Nashville Convention Center Authority released show DBE companies have received 26.1 percent of dollar totals to date and 30 percent for the second quarter. That translates in dollars to $51 million total and $15 million for the quarter.
Mayor Karl Dean, the Metro Council, and the authority required the project to meet a minimum 20 percent DBE for the convention center project. DBE companies are those that are classified as minority-owned, women-owned or small businesses.
“The numbers don’t lie,” Jerry Maynard, council member at-large, said in a release. “The most recent DBE report shows that Nashville and Metro Government are committed to fairness, equal opportunity and inclusion for all businesses that build, create jobs, and provide goods and services in our community.”
Lonnell Matthews Jr., District 1 councilman, said the numbers are “proof we are heading in the right direction.” “Our DBE practices have become more inclusive and fair,” Matthews said in the release. “We have had more participation from minority-owned, women-owned, and small business on this project than we have on any other capital project in the city’s history. We have to continue to raise the bar.”
To date, 159 DBE companies have performed work on the project. The largest quarterly and cumulative percentages have gone to minority businesses, with 12.1 percent and 15.6 percent respectively. The Black Caucus holds regular meetings with Music City Center project management staff to ensure the efficient implementation of the DBE program, the authority said.
“We really appreciate the assistance and support the Black Caucus provides as we strive to surpass these goals,” Convention Center Authority Chair Marty Dickens said in the release. “Their commitment to the program’s success has been vital.”
Omni Resorts, which is scheduled to break ground this summer on an anchor hotel for the Music City Center, has also committed to 20 percent DBE spending on its project.