Small Business Certifications & Why Your Business Needs One


Shanea Wilks

Are you a small business owner with an interest in local government contracting? Are you seeking the opportunity to compete against like-sized firms for projects smaller in scale?  If you answered yes to any of these questions, the Tallahassee-Leon County Small Business Enterprise (SBE) Program may interest you.

The SBE Program, administered by the Minority, Women, and Small Business Enterprise (MWSBE) Division, offers a contracting program that is beneficial to small business owners meeting the Program’s eligibility requirements; and benefits the City, County, and Blueprint because it fosters growth, promotes competition economic growth, and economic development in our local market area of Leon, Gadsden, Jefferson, and Wakulla counties. The SBE Program provides an opportunity for certified SBE’s to gain experience, knowledge, and training to compete and secure contracts.

The SBE Program is structured to reserve procurement opportunities for exclusive competition among SBE’s when at least three (3) SBE’s are certified in the relevant procurement category and are available to compete for the procurement opportunity. Therefore, local businesses are provided opportunities to compete with companies of similar size, capacity, and net worth.

The eligibility requirements for the program include small business standards that are reasonably reflective of a business size in the Tallahassee Market Area:

  • 200 or fewer employees; and,
  • a firm net worth of under $5 million

The MWSBE Division, in collaboration with City of Tallahassee Procurement Services and Leon County Government Purchasing, will reserve projects for certified SBE’s when feasible.  Feasibility factors include:

  • Projects valued at $150,000 or less for competition among only certified SBE firms
  • Projects may be unbundled or larger projects are separated into smaller projects which may be more suitable for small business participation
  • The availability of small businesses able to provide specific scopes of work for projects identified

For more information, please visit to apply for SBE Certification. For more information you may reach MWSBE Deputy Director Darryl Jones at or 850-219-1080.

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