The City of Jersey City has contracted Rutgers Business School-Public Private Community Partnerships, to conduct a research study to identify disparities in government contracts awarded to businesses owned by people of color, women, veterans, and LGBT identifying individuals.  The 2019 Supplier Diversity Study builds upon the foundations of a traditional purchasing disparity study, required by City of Richmond v. J.A. Croson Co. (1989).

The Study examines Jersey City government procurement between January 1, 2013 and December 31, 2018. Research will take place during 2019 and a final report will be completed in the beginning of 2020. In-depth work specifications and timeline for the project can be found here. 

Results from this research study will allow the City to update existing policies, create new programs, and implement processes that will ensure equal opportunity for participation in Jersey City’s public contracting process.

Project Management


Community Engagement


Legal Analysis and Framework


Review of Contracting


Utilization Analysis


Availability Analysis


Disparity Analysis


Explorations of any Disparities


Analyses of Marketplace Conditions




Reports and Presentations



What is a purchasing disparity study?
A purchasing disparity study determines whether a government entity, has previously or currently engages in exclusionary practices in the solicitation and award of contracts to minority, and women-owned, and disadvantaged business enterprises (MWDBEs) in its established market area. A study is required to determine whether or not a government entity is justified in implementing a minority/women set-aside program.
How is disparity measured?

Disparities will be calculated in the form of an index. The “disparity index” is the ratio of the percentage of utilization and the percentage of availability of MWDBEs

  • % MWDBE utilization / % MWDBE availability

    If Disparity Index Is:

  • Equal to 100, MWDBE utilization is level to MWDBE availability
  • Less than 80, MWDBE utilization is significantly low in the market area
  • Between 80 and 100, MWDBE is close to full participation but still indicates non-significant underutilization
Has the City conducted a purchasing disparity study before?

Yes, the City of Jersey City conducted a purchasing disparity study in 2007. The final report, presented in 2011, made recommendations based on analysis of Jersey City purchasing from 2001 through 2008.

What actions have been taken by the City to address the recommendations in the last purchasing disparity study?
Since 2011, the City has taken several steps to improve its utilization of minority and women owned business enterprises in public contracting. These efforts include creating the Office of Diversity & Inclusion which oversees supplier diversity, hosting a biannual Doing Business with Jersey City workshop, and assisting minority and women owned business enterprises with obtaining certifications.
How does the 2019 Supplier Diversity Study differ from the previous purchasing disparity study?
The 2019 study expands upon the previous study by including information about the participation of veteran-owned and LGBT-owned businesses in the City’s public contracting. This additional data will allow the City to ensure that its purchasing policies and procedures are inclusive to all members of the Jersey City community.
What is the anticipated outcome of the Study?

The final study report will provide the City with an independent, objective review of small, minority-, woman-, veteran-, and LGBT-owned business participation in Jersey City’s contracting process and recommendations for improvement. This information will allow the City to update supplier diversity goals, fine-tune implementation of supplier diversity programs, and increase opportunities for MWDBE utilization.


The City welcomes all residents and business owners interested in the 2019 Supplier Diversity Study to get involved in one of the following ways: 

Study Participation (Business Owners Only)
Sign up here to share your story with the Supplier Diversity Study Research Team.

Follow the Office of Diversity & Inclusion at @jerseycityodi to receive live updates on the study and other opportunities!