Hillsborough County DM / DWBE and SBE Programs

Overview of Program Services and Eligibility Standards

Purpose

The purpose of the Hillsborough County Disadvantaged Minority / Disadvantaged Women Business Enterprise (DM / DWBE) and Small Business Enterprise (SBE) Encouragement Program is to provide full opportunity for minority / women owned and small businesses to participate in the County's procurement programs which include construction, contractual services, professional consulting services, and commodities.

DM / DWBE Program Services

  • In construction, project by project DM / DWBE goals are established for each project valued at $200,000.00 or more.
  • Professional Consultant Selection; a DM / DWBE Bonus Point system is used
  • DM / DWBE Directory Service.
  • Periodic Seminars and Workshops on how to do business with the County and other topics.

DM / DWBE Eligibility

Firms interested in participating must meet the following minimum standards:

  • The business must be principally domiciled in the State of Florida and serve a commercially useful function.
  • The business must be at least 51% owned by eligible minorities or women.
  • The eligible minorities or women must control the management and daily operations.
  • The applicant shall demonstrate that the net worth of the business does not exceed $2,000,000.00 and employ not more that 50 persons averaged over a two year period.
  • Reciprocity shall be granted to DM / DWBE firms that are principally domiciled in the State of Florida and certified by many local jurisdictions situated throughout the State. Reciprocity shall be for one six (6) month period for those firms who are certified by other jurisdictions and seek to participate on a Hillsborough County project. Certification beyond the initial six (6) month period may be granted upon satisfactory review of the firm's certification application.

Eligible Minority Groups

Eligible minority group members are individuals who are citizens or lawful permanent residents of the US and who are African-American, Hispanic, American Indian, or Asian. Women are considered as minority group members for the purpose of this program.

  • AFRICAN AMERICAN - A person having origins in any of the Black racial groups of Africa.
  • HISPANIC - A person of Spanish or Portuguese culture with origins in Spain, Portugal, Mexico, South America, Central America, or the Caribbean Islands, regardless of race.
  • ASIAN - A person having origins in any of the original peoples of the Far East, Southeast Asia, the Indian Subcontinent, or the Pacific Islands.
  • AMERICAN INDIAN - A person having origins in any of the original peoples of North America.

SBE Program Benefits

  • Capital Construction projects valued at less than $500,000 may be set aside for bidding by registered SBE firms only.
  • Purchases of competitively bid commodities may be set-aside for registered SBE's. Set-asides shall be economically feasible contracts or portions of contracts.
  • Purchases of competitively bid contractual services may be set-aside for registered SBE's. Set-asides shall be economically feasible contracts or portions of contracts.
  • Professional consulting services miscellaneous projects may be set-aside for competition among registered SBE consulting firms only.
  • When a registered SBE firm is awarded a county project as a PRIME CONTRACTOR, the County may permit the issuance of joint checks for the SBE and his / her primary material supplier(s).
  • Periodic seminars and workshops will be conducted regarding procurement opportunities offered by Hillsborough County as well as business education.

SBE Minimum Eligibility Standards

Firms interested in participating must meet the following minimum standards:

  • A firm's annual gross sales in the previous three-year period cannot exceed $3,000,000;
  • Each business applying for registration as an SBE must be an independently owned and operated business which employs twenty-five (25) or fewer permanent full-time employees.
  • The business must be principally domiciled in Hillsborough County, Florida.
  • The business must have been established for a period of one year prior to application, and the business must serve a commercially useful function.
  • Franchises, subsidiaries and affiliates shall not be eligible for this program.

Eligibility Determination

  • After the completed application has been received, reviewed and evaluated, an on-site visit may be scheduled.
  • Denials of certification may be appealed to the Administrative Certification Review Panel.
  • Denials of registration may be appealed to the Administrative Certification Review Panel.

How to Apply

All applications are submitted and accepted online.

For assistance with certification contact Rita Sauri. Telephone: (813) 307-8309

A Minority and Small Business Directory is available online.

Additional Contact:

Theresa Kempa, MCA, MBE / SBE Manager Telephone: (813) 276-2729