Monday, May 23, 2011
Successful small-business program is expanded, rebranded
This summer, the Sewer District's small business enterprise program, formerly known as SBE, is being rebranded the Business Opportunity Program with a wider focus on minority-owned, women-owned, and small businesses.
"Our goal was to improve our small business program," said Contract Compliance Manager Tiffany Jordan of the program that certified more than 800 local firms in its first year. "By conducting a disparity study and employing those recommendations, the Sewer District can now place minority-owned and woman-owned business goals on projects, in addition to small business goals."
The District's program focuses an economic impact in the geographic area it serves. When a business is certified as a Business Opportunity Program MWSBE (minority-owned, woman-owned, or small business enterprise), it receives greater opportunity to perform work with the District. Bringing new companies into the District's procurement process enhances the competitive bidding process and it helps get the greatest value for customers' investments.
This change will not affect current SBEs under contract on District projects, Jordan explained. Construction and engineering firms or goods and services providers already certified under the District's SBE program will be grandfathered into the new program, but firms will need to re-certify on their anniversary dates. The Business Opportunity Programs launches officially June 1, but contracts already in place with SBE goals will be honored.
Certified MWSBEs are encouraged to attend the Opportunity Pipeline June 8 and 9, two brief workshops where attendees will learn more about the District's departmental needs that might offer opportunities to bid in the future. Certified firms can RSVP online, and firms not yet certified can apply on our Business Opportunity Program homepage.