Buckhorn Introduces New Equal Business Opportunity Initiatives

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Mayor Bob Buckhorn has announced new equal business opportunity initiatives for small local (SLBEs) and women or minority-owned businesses (WMBEs) entering into contracts or subcontracts with the City of Tampa.

"I want to make doing business with the City more inclusive and more open to small local entrepreneurs and women and minority-owned businesses. Tampa is too diverse to ignore it as a component of our bid process," said Mayor Buckhorn. "There is no one-size fits all approach that will ensure inclusion, but that is why we are setting objectives and changing policies."

Mayor Buckhorn will introduce three major policy initiatives which will have significant impact on doing business with the City of Tampa for small local and minority and women-owned businesses:

  • Expand sheltered market procurement to include underutilized WMBEs and SLBEs.
  • Set goals for underutilized WMBEs and SLBEs applying for subcontracting. By determining if the selected task or trade can be represented by either a WMBE or a SLBE, the City can set a goal of inclusion, and require good faith effort compliance.
  • Create bid preferences for eligible informal and formal prime contracts with the City of Tampa. This will allow the evaluation of price whereby the WMBE or SLBE quote can be within five percent of the lowest bidder, but not to exceed $20,000.

These initiatives will be formally introduced to Tampa City Council tomorrow, March 15, 2012, after which a public hearing will be held. The initiatives are expected to be implemented by September 2012.


In 2008, Tampa City Council adopted Ordinance No. 2008-89, known as the Equal Business Opportunity Ordinance. The City began conducting yearly reports, analyzing the procurement within five industry categories and utilizing the Diversity Management Information guidelines. Those five industry categories are construction, construction-related services, professional services, non-professional services, and goods.