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(NYT) — Businesses owned by women and members of minorities still struggle to secure city contracts, despite nearly five years of legal mandates and targeted goals set by the city, says a new City Council report [pdf – see also below].

City agencies handed out more than $5.3 billion in contracts between July and December 2009, but only $87 million, or 1.6 percent, went to businesses owned by women and minority candidates, the report says. Fifteen agencies met none of their contracting goals for this period. The number of contracts secured by such businesses continues to be less than half the mandated number.

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