VOL. 11 | NO. 17 | Saturday, April 28, 2018
EDGE PILOTs Outperform Minority Spending Requirements, Report Says
By Patrick Lantrip
(View the full report here)
The Economic Growth Development Engine for Memphis and Shelby County released a PILOT Recipient Spending report that details its certified local, minority and women-owned business spending.
EDGE president and CEO Reid Dulberger presented the report, which tracks PILOT spending from the organization’s first full calendar year in 2012 until the end of 2016, to the EDGE board Thursday, April 27.
During that timeframe, the report found that PILOT recipients exceeded the expected spending costs of nearly $230 million with certified local companies by more than $10 million.
Of that $240 million, $108 million was spent with 99 women-owned businesses, $87 million with 96 minority-owned business and $44 million with 160 locally-owned small businesses.
The report is capped at 2016 because it only details PILOTs that have closed, but according to the EDGE database, there is an estimated $400 million in MWBE spending by EDGE PILOT recipients from 2011 to 2018.
“The portfolio outperformed its commitment, which we think is outstanding,” Dulberger said. “We think it is a testimony to the commitment of the companies we work with. Many of them, quite frankly have their own internal policies to promote diversity.”
Of the 99 certified women-owned business, Southern Electric Controls with $24 million, Sigma Supply with $14 million and Fayette Janitorial Service with seven million were top earners.
Meanwhile, of the 96 minority-owned business, SMS Contractors’$12 million, Tri-State Plumbing Heating Air’s $11 million and Gipson Mechanical’s $10 million made them the top grossing companies in their category.
And lastly, of the 160 locally-owned small business, Complete Maintenance was the top earner with $7 million, while CLE Woods with $5 million and Bluff City Fire Protection with $4 million rounded out the top three.
“We’re not talking a foreign language to (companies) when we’re talking about our community’s commitment to diversity,” Dulberger said. “They have outperformed what they were supposed to do, so we’re really pleased about that.”
However, in of the context social benefits, Dulberger said that he has received mostly positive feedback from the public, who if anything, what those numbers to increase.
However, he added that, like any program, there is still room to grow.
“(People) will look at the distribution and say, ‘yeah, that’s a lot of money, but I would like to see more money spent with African-Americans,” Dulberger said. “And we get that. African-Americans are still the majority of the city’s population.”
Overall though he thinks that EDGE’s diversity program has been a success, and that it helps keep companies aggressive when it comes to contracting with MWBEs, which has become a cornerstone of many public entities in the Memphis area.
“The Downtown Memphis Commission’s Center City Revenue Finance Corp. has a diversity program,” Dulberger said. “Theirs works a little different than ours, but they take it seriously too.”
In addition to EDGE’s and the DMC’s diversity spending program, Dulberger cited the Memphis and Shelby County Airport Authority as another great example while calling Memphis, Light Gas & Water as the area’s “gold standard.”
“I think what you see among public entities across the board, is a common commitment to growing the community from within,” Dulburger said. “And that means making sure that local business have an opportunity to grow and leverage our purchases and incentives to make sure that they participate in this project.”