The City of Toledo has engaged Griffin & Strong, P.C (GSPC) to conduct a disparity study. The study will determine whether there is a disparity between the percentage of minority, women as well as disadvantage owned firms that are available to provide goods and services to the City and the City’s utilization of those firms.

Anecdotal Evidence Collection

Local Organizations

GSPC also desires the feedback of organizations that speak for the local business community. Local business, civic, and trade organizations may be contacted to participate. If you desire to meet with GSPC to discuss your organization's perspective or relevant experience(s) working with the City of Toledo, contact us at toledostudy@gspclaw.com.

Anecdotal Interviews

The disparity study will provide an opportunity for feedback from business owners about experiences, both positive and negative, contracting with the City of Toledo. Anecdotal interviews are one-on-one interviews with business owners to discuss their experiences doing business with the City of Toledo or navigating business development in the region.

This testimony can play a critical role in improving current programs. Beginning with our Informational meetings in the Spring, the Disparity Study anecdotal process will involve the completion of anecdotal interviews, public hearings, and focus groups. We estimate that public hearings will occur in August 2021.

Firms may be contacted by GSPC local partner, N-Sync, LLC. for interviews. If contacted, we encourage your honest and transparent feedback.

Survey of Business Owners

GSPC will be conducting a Survey of Business Owners to understand the experiences of firms in the City of Toledo’s marketplace in doing business both with and in the City of Toledo. All firms in the marketplace are invited to take the survey which will be sent out in Summer, 2021. If you do not receive a survey directly, it will be posted on the website and you will be able to access it here.

Email Comments

For those who are not contacted to participate in an interview or focus group, are unavailable, or are generally uncomfortable providing public testimony, you may email us anytime with anecdotal comments or questions at toledostudy@gspclaw.com.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Disparity Study?

Disparity studies are a means of providing a factual basis for determining whether there are equal opportunities for all firms in the procurement process and support the need, if any, for race or gender-conscious, remedial procurement programs. The study will engage in a review of the City of Toledo’s procurement process, availability, and utilization and analyze participation in contracts by all vendors, including minority and women-owned business enterprises to analyze whether race or gender has been a barrier to equal access to public contracts for all business owners.

This study will cover City spending from If the actual utilization of firms is less than what is expected based on firms that are ready, willing, and able to perform on the City of Toledo contracts (“Availability”), then a “disparity” exists. The study will also determine whether the disparity is statistically significant enough to suggest whether any action should be taken and whether factors other than race or gender are likely to have caused the disparity.

What is the Study Process?

A disparity study process is broken out into several major parts, including statistical and econometric analysis, legal and purchasing practices analysis, private sector analysis, anecdotal evidence analysis, and findings and recommendations. GSPC is currently collecting data from the City of Toledo that will be necessary to determine the utilization of firms in the marketplace. Principal Investigator, Dr. Vince Eagan, and Legal Analyst, David Maher, Esq., will conduct policy reviews and interviews to understand the internal procurement processes and procedures. Our Data Analyst, Dr. Rom Haghighi will then analyze the data to determine the City of Toledo’s availability and utilization of the study groups. Senior Economist, Dr. Gregory N. Price, will then work with available data to determine, through econometric analyses and an analysis of the private sector, whether identified disparities can be attributed to the race and/or gender status of firm owners.

Anecdotal evidence is also crucial to any recommendations we may make to the City of Toledo. Our anecdotal evidence includes the following:

  • Survey of business owners across all work categories.
  • Firms throughout the City of Toledo will be contacted inviting them to complete the survey.
  • In-depth anecdotal interviews with businesses in the area selected randomly from a list of available vendors.
  • Focus groups of randomly selected business owners to share their experiences in doing business in the City of Toledo and with the City of Toledo.
  • Email comments, informational meetings, and public hearings will all be open to the public.

Other relevant study processes include an analysis of the City of Toledo’s legal environment, both locally and federally and a purchasing practices analysis to better understand the procurement process. The Study team will conduct interviews with the City of Toledo procurement staff regarding their procurement process and the current procurement policies to review whether any barriers to participation exist in the procurement process.

Finally, GSPC will compile a final report containing all the findings from the research above and will provide recommendations to the City of Toledo regarding the inclusion of minority and women-owned, and disadvantaged firms in its procurement process.

Who is Griffin & Strong P.C.?

GSPC is a law and public policy consulting firm based in Atlanta, GA, with extensive experience in disparity research, program development, and supplier diversity consulting.

Learn more about GSPC

Why should I participate?

It is GSPC’s goal to have gathered the most representative anecdotal evidence as possible from all firms currently in business or desiring to do business with the City of Toledo. We desire to understand both the practical challenges and barriers, as well as the positive experiences faced by businesses within the marketplace. Your participation would provide further insight into the City of Toledo’s practices and may shed new light on an area for improvement or substantiate those recounted by others. It is only with your assistance that we will be able to provide the City of Toledo with substantive recommendations that can make a real impact on their policies, and your experiences, moving forward.

How do I participate?

GSPC will be conducting informational meetings and public hearings that are open to the public as well as several focus groups by invitation. We invite business owners and other community members to attend and share their experiences. We will also be posting information about the Study and all related events on this website and on our Twitter page, @GriffinStrong. Feel free to share your experiences with us on Twitter using the hashtag #CityOfToledoStudy or email us at toledostudy@gspclaw.com. You can also do the following:

  • State your experiences at scheduled meetings
    Attend an informational meeting, public hearings, and/or focus groups. We invite all, including non-business owners, that are interested, to attend and share their experiences at public meetings.
  • Tell us your story at your convenience
    For those who may be generally uncomfortable providing their input in public arenas or who are unable to participate in any other way but, would like to share their experiences doing business with the City of Toledo, GSPC welcomes comments and questions regarding the study via email.

When can we read the Study?

The projected completion date for the entire study is early 2022. Publication of the study results will be determined by the City and not by Griffin & Strong, P.C.