Economic Inclusion

In Arlington, strategic economic inclusion is key to ensuring that all residents have the opportunity to increase their income and contribute to our thriving economy. That's why we're dedicated to implementing strategic initiatives to support a diverse range of businesses and entrepreneurs. We seek to empower businesses of all kinds to flourish and benefit from the continued success of our city’s future.

Office of Business Diversity

The Office of Business Diversity’s priority is to promote the growth of Minority and Woman Owned Business Enterprise (MWBE) businesses by requiring full participation in all phases of City procurement opportunities. This program seeks to reduce barriers and foster participation, with minority and woman-owned companies. Our program initiatives include community outreach, compliance of MWBE policies, educational workshops/webinars, and promotion of networking opportunities with the minority & woman business community. Therefore, it is the City of Arlington’s policy to equitably and conscientiously include MWBE businesses in the City’s procurement process for all basic goods and services, construction, and professional services.


Human Rights Campaign Score

Unity Council

The Arlington City Council formed the Unity Council in June 2020, comprising 15 members from the Community Relations Commission and 15 appointed by officials. Their task was to gather community input, study equity strategies, and develop an equity plan to eliminate discrimination. In February 2021, they presented their recommendations to the City Council, leading Arlington to win the National League of Cities' 2021 Cultural Diversity Award. Following their suggestion, the City Council established the Unity Council as a permanent committee to oversee equity initiatives, provide updates to city officials, and promote unity in Arlington.

Unity Council Report Recommendations for Business

  • The City continues to expand its anti-poverty efforts through collaborations around job training, affordable housing, transportation, financial and homeownership education and access to business capital.

  • The City of Arlington’s Office of Business Diversity has undertaken several policy and operational initiatives to increase MWBE engagement in City contracting, to include expanded program data reporting capacity; facilitating a revised RFQ process for capital projects; business diversity trainings; and business capacity development services. 

  • The City of Arlington has begun facilitating a Community Investment and Development Initiative whose purpose is to provide reciprocal education for the economic stakeholders, while promoting City development priorities and efforts. The execution of this work will focus on identifying barriers to investment and expanding access to capital for all stakeholders – especially underserved firms and communities.

  • Increase lending to minority businesses by connecting MWBEs with banks, encouraging banks to lend more to MWBEs and recruit additional lenders with a track record of lending to MWBEs.