Hillsborough County’s Small Business Enterprise program has been expanded to include qualifying businesses in the surrounding counties of Pinellas, Pasco, and Hernando.
PINELLAS COUNTY – Hillsborough County has expanded eligibility requirements for the county’s Minority/Small Business Enterprise programs to increase the number of eligible businesses.
The Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners recently upgraded the Minority Business Enterprise and Small Business Enterprise programs to ensure more minority-owned, women-owned, and small businesses have opportunities for doing business with Hillsborough County.
The county’s Small Business Enterprise program has been expanded to include qualifying businesses in the surrounding counties of Pinellas, Pasco, and Hernando. The expanded eligibility requirements also increased the maximum number of permanent full-time employees to 50 and the maximum gross annual sales to $8 million for construction businesses and $5 million for other industries.
These changes to geography and annual gross sales numbers have already begun to expand significantly the number of businesses registering with the county for opportunities.
The new criteria for the Small Business Enterprise (SBE) program:
- Principally domiciled in Hillsborough County, Pasco County, Pinellas County, or Hernando County for at least one year
- Independently owned and operated
- Employs 50 or fewer permanent full-time employees
- Gross annual sales do not exceed $5 million for professional consulting services, contractual services, or commodities, and $8 million for construction businesses averaged over the previous three-year period
The new criteria for the Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) program (program was already open to businesses throughout Florida)
- Net worth of the business cannot exceed $4 million for firms that are not in the construction industry or $5 million for firms that are in the construction industry
- Have 50 or fewer permanent full-time employees averaged over the last two years
Another major change to the programs was to prevent pass-throughs of awarded procurements to non-MBE or SBE firms by requiring at least 50 percent of the work contracted to an MBE or SBE firm be performed by that MBE or SBE firm’s workforce.
It is anticipated that these program updates will not only increase the number of eligible MBE and SBE firms in the county’s programs but also provide greater opportunities and expand the overall participation rate for these firms. The ordinance change is part of a series of program enhancements that started last year when the county created a dedicated Minority and Small Business Enterprises Division.
Learn more about Hillsborough County’s MBE and SBE programs and how to apply at HCFLGov.net/MWSBE. One-on-one and Spanish-language assistance with applications and documentation are available by calling (813) 307-8309 to make an appointment.