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Women and Minority Business Enterprise Program

What is the Women/Minority Business Enterprise (WMBE) Program?

The WMBE Program was established in 1991 to provide certified women and minority businesses equal contract opportunities in construction, professional services, goods and non-professional services. On a continuous basis the Small & Minority Business Development Office (MBD) conducts outreach efforts to identify and register women and minority businesses interested in supplying goods and services to the City.

In 2007 the City of Tampa completed a disparity study of City procurement.  The study concluded that subcontracting with women and minority businesses reflected expected participation levels based on availability of businesses that provided the applicable services and commodities.  Although direct (prime) contracting and procurement activities did not reflect expected utilization, there was no legal justification to mandate a race and gender based goal program.  

Accordingly, the new Equal Business Opportunity Ordinance No. 2008-89, adopted June 30, 2008, does not currently provide goal setting or sheltered markets for women and minority businesses.  However, a majority of WMBEs are also eligible for the Small Local Business Enterprise (SLBE) certification (race and gender neutral) and the Ordinance does provide incentives (sheltered markets, goal setting) for certified small local business.

The City of Tampa will continue to monitor contracting and procurement activities with WMBEs and re-evaluate participation levels based on multi-year utilization data to determine if narrowly tailored race and gender conscious initiatives should be reinstated.

Women and minority-owned businesses must continue to seek and maintain WMBE certification and SLBE certification, if eligible.

If the City of Tampa is not currently setting participation goals for certified Women and Minority Businesses, are there other benefits to getting my company certified with the City of Tampa other than being counted in periodic disparity evaluations of City procurement and contracting participation levels?

Yes, City of Tampa WMBE certification is accepted by the following agencies/authorities that currently offer inclusion incentives for Women and Minority businesses. Please contact the individual agencies/authorities to register your Tampa certification.

  • Tampa Aviation Authority  (for locally funded projects)
  • Hillsborough County School Board
  • Tampa General Hospital
  • H. Lee Moffit Hospital
  • Tampa Port Authority
  • Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners (accepted once-for one project only -- must complete County application within 6 months)
  • Osceola County
  • Polk County

How can I get my company certified and be counted as a woman or minority business in City of Tampa contracting and procurement?

The first step is to fill out the Unified WMBE-SLBE Certification Application form and submit with the required documentation as noted on the application.

What are the eligibility requirements for Woman and Minority Certifications?

 

  • All businesses applying for certification as a woman or minority business enterprise must have operated as such for a minimum of 1 year in order to be eligible to apply for certification.
  • Women Business Enterprise (WBE) - The business must be at least 51% owned by a woman or women who also control and manage the business and day-to-day operations and who are permanent legal residents of the State of Florida.
  • Hispanic Business Enterprise (HBE) - The business must be at least 51% owned by a Hispanic Male(s) or Hispanic Female(s) who also controls and manages the business and day-to-day operations and who is (are) a permanent legal resident of the State of Florida.
  • Black Business Enterprise (BBE) -The business must be at least 51% owned by an African American Male(s) or African American Female(s) who also controls and manages the business and day-to-day operations and who is (are) a permanent legal resident of the State of Florida.
  • Asian Business Enterprise (ABE) -The business must be at least 51% owned by an Asian American Male(s) or Asian American Female(s) who also controls and manages the business and day-to-day operations and who is (are) a permanent legal resident of the State of Florida.
  • Native Business Enterprise (NBE) -The business must be at least 51% owned by a Native American Male(s) or Native American Female(s) who also controls and manages the business and day-to-day operations and who is (are) a permanent legal resident of the State of Florida.

    What is the Purchasing Department's procurement Policy?

    The policy of the City's Purchasing Department is to ensure procurement practices are non-discriminatory and to promote equal access of opportunity. The Small & Minority Business Development Office monitors all departments regarding the percentage of participation for women and ethnic minorities.

    How are purchases made?

    Solicitations for bids, quotes or proposals are sent through City of Tampa's service partner DemandStar.com.  DemandStar will provide to its subscribers automatic notification, via email or fax, of upcoming bid solicitations that match your business' services or commodities. The bids you are sent will depend on the commodities or services identified with this service and the agency or Counties for which you register. If you wish to only sign up to receive bids from the City of Tampa the service is FREE. However, additional subscriptions to other agencies/counties will require subscription fees.  Contact DemandStar 1-800-711-1712  for information on subscription options and related fees.  

    Please note that completing the vendor registration (subscribing with Demandstar) is not the same as getting certified as a woman, minority (WMBE) or small local (SLBE) business with the City of Tampa. You must submit a separate WMBE-SLBE Unified Certification Application to the Minority Business Development Office located at TMOB, 306 East Jackson Street, 5th Floor North, Tampa, FL, 33602.

    What is the role of the City of Tampa?

    The City has a fundamental responsibility to provide equal business opportunities for all businesses allowing them to effectively participate in the bidding process for all City procurement. When this responsibility is met, we help ensure the success of women, minority and small local businesses who contribute to the economic development of the community. 

    To contact the Small & Minority Business Development Office please call (813) 274-5522.

     

    WMBE-SLBE Unified CertificationApplication (PDF, 124 kb)    

    WMBE-SLBE Re-Certification  (PDF, 55 kb)