Supporting the needs of minority, women and Small Businesses
The Office of Economic Vitality’s Minority, Women, & Small Business Enterprise (MWSBE) Division is committed to providing business development support to minority-owned, women-owned, and small business enterprises by providing certification assistance to vendors interested in doing business with the City of Tallahassee, Leon County Government, and Blueprint Intergovernmental Agency; identifying and communicating contracting opportunities for certified MWSBES resulting in increased procurement participation; enhancing business relationships through business-to-business (B2B) networking, training, and other engagement events.
The MWSBE Division is responsible for providing certification assistance, determining eligibility for certifications, maintaining records of certified businesses, establishing professional relationships with the owners of MWSBE businesses, and ensuring vendors are trained and ready to do business with the City of Tallahassee, Leon County Government, and Blueprint Intergovernmental Agency.
Following the acceptance of a consolidated Minority, Women and Small Business Enterprise Policy and the 2019 Disparity Study by the Intergovernmental Agency Board of Directors—the MWSBE Division of the Tallahassee-Leon County Office of Economic Vitality operations, once separated (or served separately by Leon County and the City of Tallahassee), are fully consolidated. The certification of minority and women-owned firms and small businesses with less than 200 employees and $5 million in sales; the assigning of uniform aspirational goals to bids and Request for Proposals (RFPs) when feasible; and, the scoring of RFPs are all administered by the OEV MWSBE Division using the consolidated policy for guidance.
The MWSBE Division in the Office of Economic Vitality purposefully mitigates the disparity identified in the 2019 Disparity Study by encouraging the utilization of minority and women-owned firms in fulfilling the procurement needs of the City of Tallahassee, Leon County Government, and the Blueprint Intergovernmental Agency. The MWSBE Division will also utilize the competitive advantage found in its policy to encourage business expansion and job creation through mentor-protégé relationships, partnerships, and the employment of externs and apprenticeships on projects.
MWSBE Disparity Study
In accordance with recommendations made by the Minority Women and Small Business Programs Evaluation Citizen Committee, the County, City, and Blueprint conducted a disparity study review to identify disparity in contracting. Disparity studies are performed to serve as the evidentiary basis for continued race/gender-based programs with the overall objective to determine if a “compelling interest” to maintain programs to provide procurement opportunities to minority and women-owned businesses exist. Following acceptance of the 2019 Disparity Study, all three entities adopted the MWSBE Policy to govern their supplier diversity efforts.
Small Business Assistance
Our partners at the Small Business Development Center at FAMU offer assistance to new and existing small business owners during every phase of the business life cycle by evaluating business ideas, developing a business plan, and exploring financing options. The FAMU SBDC consultants offer these business development services at no cost to the client.
READY TO GET CERTIFIED?
In today’s competitive business landscape, a Minority, Women & Small Business Enterprise (MWSBE) certification sets your business apart from the rest. The Office of Economic Vitality MWSBE Division is committed to elevating businesses through certifications and ensuring vendors are trained and ready to do business with the City of Tallahassee, Leon County, and Blueprint Intergovernmental Agency. Certifying businesses in our community is an important step to equipping MWSBEs with the resources necessary to navigate and compete in today’s marketplace.