LOS ANGELES (CNS) — The Los Angeles City Council passed a motion Friday aimed at increasing participation of local and minority-owned businesses in city contracting.

The motion, which was introduced by Councilwoman Nithya Raman, notes that the city spends about $4.5 billion each year on contracted goods, services and construction.

“After staff salaries, procurement is the largest category of spending by the city and serves as a major economic driver for the region,” states the motion, which was seconded by Councilman Paul Krekorian.

“However, small and local businesses, especially those by immigrants and racial and ethnic minorities, face many barriers in accessing contracting opportunities with the city of Los Angeles.”

The motion directed the Chief Procurement Officer to report on establishing community level contracting as a citywide procurement practice, with recommendations on goods and services that are most feasible for a transition to community level contracting.

The officer will also include potential resource requirements, mechanisms for tracking progress and departmental targets to achieve the program’s goals.

In addition, the report will include a review of all programs and initiatives in the city that are aimed at increasing contract participation for small, local, women- or minority-owned businesses.

Voters in Tuesday’s primary election will consider a ballot measure that would amend the city’s charter to allow prioritization for businesses in the city. The current charter allows priority to be given only to businesses within the county and state.