Fort Worth amends business diversity enterprise ordinance to increase M/WBE participation

Effective, Jan. 1, 2018, the City of Fort Worth will begin accepting certifications from the Dallas/Fort Worth Minority Supplier Development Council and the Women’s Business Council-Southwest, in addition to the Texas Department of Transportation and the North Central Texas Regional Certification Agency.

The City Council adopted an ordinance on Oct. 24 to create a program under which goals are established for awarding certain city contracts to certified minority business enterprises, women business enterprises and small business enterprises.

Their principal places of business must be in Tarrant, Denton, Wise, Parker, Johnson or Dallas counties. (These counties are known as the “marketplace.”) Otherwise, a business must have a significant business presence in the marketplace. A business whose principal place of business is outside the marketplace is eligible if, among other things, at least 20 percent of its full-time and part-time employees are based in the marketplace.

The city’s Minority and Women Business Enterprise Advisory Committee includes 18 members: one representative from four chambers of commerce; six partner organizations that promote the utilization and growth of M/WBEs; one regional certification agency; two community groups and five internal City of Fort Worth departments.

“The City of Fort Worth is one of the founders of the North Central Texas Regional Certification Agency, which was created in 1989, and has been an active member on the board since its inception,” said Gwen Wilson, business development manager in the Office of Business Diversity. “The city has only accepted certifications from vendors who are certified by the North Central Texas Regional Certification Agency and TxDOT. In our efforts to increase M/WBE participation in our procurement process, we have to expand our reach by joining other organizations that allow us access to their members.

“We recognize that the D/FW Minority Supplier Development Council and the Women’s Business Council-Southwest have been in the certification business longer than anyone. They provide business development workshops and training to M/WBEs, plus they host the largest public- and private-sector networking events in the D/FW area, which will allow the city to meet hundreds of M/WBEs at one venue. We look forward to fostering a long-term relationship with these agencies and their members.”

To learn more, call 817-392-2674 or visit the business diversity section of the website.

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