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Topic Score: 33.7
The Business Development Topic includes three Indicators that measure racial and ethnic disparities in business ownership, prime contracts awarding, and business vacancy. The first Indicator in this Topic measures disparities in business ownership rates between African American and White Oaklanders. The second Indicator measures disparities in the distribution of contracts under $100,000 awarded by the City to African American and White business owners. The third Indicator measures disparities in the location of business addresses that had been vacant for two years or more by majority race/ethnicity of census tracts.
Business Development was the second-lowest scoring Topic in the Economy Theme, with a Topic score of 33.7. The Indicator scores were relatively similar, with a score of 34 for long-term business vacancy and business ownership receiving a score of 36. Prime contracts awarding had a slightly lower score (31), but all Indicators in this Topic show room for improvement.
Business Development - Business Ownership
Among White employed individuals, 3.9% were business owners, compared to 1.4% of African American employed individuals. Latino and Asian employed individuals had similar rates of business ownership at 2.4% and 2.3%, respectively. The citywide business ownership rate was 2.6%. Whites were 2.7 times more likely to own their own business than African Americans.
Business Development - Prime Contracts Awarding
We found that for Prime construction and professional services contracts, 66.7% of African American contractors received contracts under $100,000, which was 3.42 times as often as White contractors (19.5%). Additionally, White contractors received an average of $1,059,209 per contract which was 11.87 times as much as African American contractors received on average ($89,191). It should be noted that the sample sizes between races were very different with 6 contracts going to African Americans and 41 to Whites. Whether or not this low number awarded to African American contractors was in and of itself an inequity remains to be determined by the full disparity study which will look at the availability of contractors by race/ethnicity.
Business Development - Long-term Business Vacancy
Long-term business vacancy was highest in majority Asian census tracts (4.8%), which represent the Chinatown neighborhood near downtown Oakland. Second highest were majority African American census tracts (3.9%). Long-term business vacancy was lowest in majority White census tracts (1.6%) and second lowest in majority Latino census tracts (2.4%). Majority Asian census tracts were 2.96 times more likely to have long-term business vacancies than majority White census tracts.