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Reasons for a Disparity Study

Sixteen state and local government entities have come together to analyze whether there is a level playing field for minority- and woman-owned firms in the Minnesota marketplace. The 2025 Minnesota Joint Disparity Study is examining procurement of construction, professional services, goods and other services in the public and private sectors. Additionally, the study will research conditions for veteran-owned businesses and companies owned by persons with disabilities.
The Minnesota Department of Administration is coordinating this effort and Keen Independent Research is leading the research team.

Study Research Methods

For each of the participating entities, periodic disparity studies determine if there is evidence of discrimination affecting the procurement of construction, professional services, goods, and other services.

The 2025 Minnesota Joint Disparity Study will determine whether there are disparities between:

  • The percentage of dollars that minority- and women-owned businesses received on prime contracts and subcontracts during the study time period (referred to as a “utilization analysis”); and
  • The percentage of dollars that those firms might be expected to receive based on their availability to perform those prime and subcontracts (referred to as an “availability analysis”).

The comparison between an entity’s utilization of minority- and women-owned businesses and the availability of those businesses to perform that work is referred to as “disparity analysis.”

To conduct the utilization analysis, the research team is collecting information about each participating entity’s prime contracts and subcontracts going to minority- and women-owned firms and other businesses for a five-year study period.

To prepare the availability analysis, the study team will conduct interviews with businesses providing construction, professional services, goods, and other services to compile information about their qualifications and interest in different types of contracts and subcontracts. The availability survey team will reach out to businesses throughout the state.

The study team will also conduct in-depth personal interviews with a cross-section of business owners and trade associations. The research team is also analyzing data about marketplace conditions for minority- and women-owned firms compared with other businesses.

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