Small, minority, women, disadvantaged and veteran owned businesses are an integral part of our lives, play an important role in the economy of the United States, and are considered by many as the heart of the free enterprise system by employing well over half of all working Americans. Bexar County is home to over 45,000 small businesses that provide products and services which support the community with a higher standard of living.
Bexar County desires to undertake all necessary and reasonable steps to ensure that small, disadvantaged, minority and woman owned businesses are afforded equitable opportunities to participate in local government and other contracts within the relevant marketplace from which the County routinely purchase significant quantities of goods and services. Commissioners Court established as a targeted goal, that a minimum of 20% of all procurement dollars in the areas of Commodities, Equipment, Professional and Personnel Services, Maintenance and Construction are spent with minority and women-owned business enterprises (MWBE), and a minimum of 30% of those procurement dollars are spent with small business enterprises (SBE). The business environment in which the SMWBE/DBE Program operates is complex. A great deal of data is needed to support the Program's business requirements and reporting duties.
The Business Development and Procurement Programs are designed in an attempt to meet the needs of those in several areas:
- A person who owns a business that is available and has the capacity to do business with the public and private sector.
- A person who owns a business that is available, but needs help with building the capacity to do business with the public and private sector.
- A person who owns a business that is performing work in the private sector, but has not sought public sector opportunities (and vice versa).
- A person who owns a business and needs help by getting technical or financial assistance.
- A person who has the desire to start a business and would like to be prepared, know what opportunities and assistance are available.
- A person who may be working a job today, but would like to start a business one day in the future.
- A person who would like to network with other business owners, and public and private sector staff and leaders to enhance their development and overall quality of life.
On April 10, 2001, Bexar County Commissioners Court approved Administrative Policy 8.0 - Small, Minority and Women Owned Business Enterprise Program, which established the County's program. A very significant component of the policy is to maximize area resources without duplicating services. With that in mind, the SMWBE Program staff works with the SMWBE Program Advisory Committee, Purchasing Department and other local governmental entities to develop and implement the various outreach and procurement programs.
The events are an opportunity for the county Purchasing Department to make direct contact with local vendors. SMWBEs can get their questions answered and meet the buyers. Our office has information for other county departments to regarding their services or programs. They include the County Clerk, Tax Office, District Attorney - Hot Checks Section, and Dispute Resolution Office.
- Serve as a clearinghouse for solicitations allowing SMWBE/DBE more access to formal or informal solicitations and professional services opportunities.
- Provide the notices to assist in outreach to disadvantaged, small, minority and woman-owned businesses.
- Review compliance and monitoring of solicitations and participation for bid response.
- Review and update codes SMWBE/DBE use to receive solicitations.
- Determine if SMWBE/DBE follow-up on notice of the opportunities.
- Determine if there are SMWBE/DBE vendors ready, willing, and able to provide the desired goods or services.
- Maintain and provide access to a database of vendors, suppliers and contractors that qualify as SMWBE/DBE, including their products and areas of expertise.
- Maintain a communication process with SMWBE/DBE vendors, suppliers, professionals and contractors to involve them in the procurement process.
- Provide SMWBE/DBE Participation Reports.
- To foster relationships in small group settings.
- To give SMWBE/DBE briefings on emerging issues that could impact their business.
- To identify actions to seize opportunities and avoid pitfalls in the changing business environment.
- To serve as SMWBE/DBE resource for technology, consulting, planning, implementation, and advancement.
- Work with county staff to maintain a dynamic SMWBE/DBE website presentation.
- To serve as the resource and information center for SMWBE/DBE, general contractors, local, state and federal agencies and the general business community.
TITLE VI NONDISCRIMINATION POLICY STATEMENT
Bexar County, as a recipient of Federal financial assistance and under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and related statutes, ensures that no person shall on the grounds of race, religion (where the primary objective of the financial assistance is to provide employment per 42 U.S.S. § 2000d-3), color, national origin, sex, age or disability be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or otherwise be subjected to discrimination under any Department programs or activities.