Spending with Black-Owned Businesses Drops

Contact: Bruce Mirken, Greenlining Institute Media Relations Director, 415-846-7758 (cell)

OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA – The Greenlining Institute’s latest Supplier Diversity Report Card shows California energy, communications and water companies continuing to lead the way on contracting with suppliers owned by people of color, women, LGBTQ people and disabled veterans. Nevertheless, these 2019 figures show that significant gaps remain and show backsliding in some categories.

“It’s clear that returning to ‘business as usual,’ during and after COVID-19 will not be good for business or our communities,” said Greenlining Institute President and CEO Debra Gore-Mann. “Countless companies have spoken out against racism and police brutality, but consumers and employees are looking for more than just vague platitudes about change. We want to see companies committing to action within their own walls. At The Greenlining Institute, we believe our annual Supplier Diversity Report Card helps convert corporate intentions to corporate commitments. We look forward every year to this Report Card, which serves as one consistent step towards racial equity accountability.”

Key findings include:

  • While supplier diversity programs continue to pump billions of dollars into diverse-owned businesses, only eight of 22 companies increased their spending with Minority Business Enterprises last year.
  • Overall, the companies’ spending with Black-owned suppliers dropped nearly 10 percent. Spending with contractors owned by Black women dropped almost 37 percent.
  • Contracting with Asian American/Pacific Islander suppliers remained flat, while spending with Latino-owned businesses declined.
  • Spending with Native American-owned suppliers, a weak point in past years, improved in 2019, with half of companies increasing their level of contracting.
  • Spending with women-owned suppliers decreased slightly, although spending with firms owned by minority women increased.

To learn more about The Greenlining Institute, visit www.greenlining.org.


A Multi-Ethnic Public Policy, Research and Advocacy Institute