The purpose of the Small & Minority Business Resources Department is to administer the minority-owned and women-owned business enterprises (MBE/WBE) Procurement Program as established by City Council in 1987.
Since that time, two disparity studies have been commissioned by the City of Austin and the ordinance has been re-evaluated and amended. The last study was conducted in 2007-2008.
SMBR is responsible for the implementation of the certification process for the City of Austin and for ensuring that only firms that meet the eligibility criteria are certified as MBEs or WBEs in compliance with City of Austin Code of Ordinances
SMBR offers monthly workshops, construction plans, surety bonding counseling, and access and assistance to trade association membership so that small businesses are better prepared to bid on contracting opportunities.
The MBE/WBE program encourages minorities and women participation on City contracts by establishing special procurement goals on City contracts above the City Manager’s spending authority. Goals for MBE and WBE participation differ from contract to contract, based on the type of contract, the availability of MBEs and WBEs to perform the functions of the contract, and other factors. Minority goals may be either aggregate MBE/WBE goals or race-specific goals depending on the project.
Title VI, and related statutes and regulations, prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, and age in programs and activities receiving federal financial assistance.