Small Business Enterprise Program

GET A FAIR, EQUITABLE SHOT AT DOING BUSINESS WITH THE CITY.

The City of St. Petersburg’s Small Business Enterprise (SBE) program, coordinated by The Greenhouse team, fosters growth in the economy and provides opportunities for participation in city construction projects and the procurement of Goods & Services.

The SBE program gives smaller businesses a chance to gain exposure to large-scale projects and experience working alongside big firms. The 3-year certification is free with required training, covers a 5-county area and is race and gender neutral.

ELIGIBILITY & CRITERIA FOR BUSINESSES

  1. Independently owned, operated and controlled
  2. Not dominant in its field of operation
  3. Serves a commercially useful function
  4. Has been in operation for one year
  5. Defined as an SBE local small business:
    • Has 50 full-time, permanent employees or less
    • Has an annual sales volume (averaged over the previous three years) of $5 million or less for Goods/Services/Supplies, or $8 million or less for
        Construction
    • Must be domiciled in Pinellas, Hillsborough, Pasco, Manatee or Polk Counties (a post office box is not acceptable as a business address)

BENEFITS BECOMING A CERTIFIED SBE

  • Enhanced contracting opportunities
  • Discounts for goods and services (1 – 15% for bids and quotes)
  • Technical assistance and financial assistance referral
  • Solicitation of certified SBEs for all sheltered market contracts
  • Specialty workshops, seminars and training opportunities
Small businesses that become SBE certified will have enhanced opportunities to do business with the City of
St. Petersburg. There are two ways to participate:
             1) Goods and Services – For purchases of certain goods and services, the City of St. Petersburg will directly consult the SBE registry.
             2) Construction – Certified SBEs compete for City of St. Petersburg contract opportunities in a sheltered market, in which contracts are selected and                                     specifically set aside for small businesses on a competitive bid or negotiated basis. Certified companies will also be listed on the City’s SBE Directory for                         preferred subcontracting opportunities.

SBE CERTIFICATION/RE-CERTIFICATION PROCESS

STEP 1: Become a supplier with the City of St. Petersburg
 
STEP 2: Select your SBE certification application status

*NOTE* If your firm holds an active small business certification with the City of Tampa or Hillsborough County, you may apply to have your outside certification recognized by the City of St. Petersburg through an abbreviated application.  Please expand the section below titled Recognition of Certifications from Outside Programs for further instructions.  For all others, follow these steps:

Visit:  stpetegreenhouse.com/SBEapplication.

  1. Click Apply for/Renew Certification.
  2. Click Create Account under New Certification
  3. Fill out and submit application.
  4. Satisfy SBE workshop requirements detailed below.

    NOTE: Review will take up to 30 days depending on workload and additional document requests.  Greenhouse staff will contact you if there are deficiencies or additional information needed.

*NOTE* If your certification with the City of St. Petersburg is approaching expiration or already expired, and your firm holds an active small business certification with the City of Tampa or Hillsborough County, you may apply to have your outside certification recognized by the City of St. Petersburg through an abbreviated application. Please expand the section below titled Recognition of Certifications from Outside Programs for further instructions.

For all others, follow these steps:

Visit:  stpetegreenhouse.com/SBEapplication.

  1. Click Apply for/Renew Certification.
  2. Click Login under Renew Your Certification
    • Note:  If you are renewing, but have not created a B2Gnow account, please do so using the Create Account  link under New Certifications:  Your firm is not currently certified
      Contact Greenhouse staff below if you need assistance or have other issues with login credentials.
  3. Fill out and submit application.
  4. Satisfy SBE workshop requirements detailed below.

    NOTE: Review will take up to 30 days depending on workload and additional document requests.  Greenhouse staff will contact you if there are deficiencies or additional information needed.

If your certification with the City of St. Petersburg  is expired, and your firm holds an active small business certification with the City of Tampa or Hillsborough County, you may apply to have your outside certification recognized by the City of St. Petersburg.

If your City of St. Petersburg SBE Certification is not yet expired, firms have the option to recertify through the Outside Certification Application OR through the Recertification: all others application to maintain certification status with the City of St. Petersburg. 

Recognition of Certifications from Outside Programs
Firms that meet City of St. Petersburg certification criteria and hold an active Small Business Enterprise (SBE) certification with Hillsborough County or Small Local Business Enterprise (SLBE) certification with the City of Tampa may request certification with the City of St. Petersburg by filling out and submitting an Outside Certification Recognition Application.  Approved firms via this application process will be granted certification for the remainder of the certification period from the originating agency. 

How to Apply for Outside Certification Recognition

  1. Go to https://stpete.gob2g.com
  2. Click Log In button and log in with your existing B2Gnow account credentials
  3. In the Certification Application page, proceed to the Select an Option box.
  4. Click Your firm is NOT currently certified as a Small Business Enterprise (SBE) with the City of St. Petersburg
  5. From the drop down options, click Your firm is currently certified as a Small Business Enterprise (SBE) or Small Local Business Enterprise (SLBE) with one of our recognized agencies.
  6. Click Submit an Outside Recognition Application

All firms will be subject to SBE workshop attendance requirements outlined in the section below as well as all other City of St. Petersburg SBE program requirements.  The City of St. Petersburg accepts certification from approved outside certification programs.  However, formal reciprocation is not established, and outside programs may not accept or recognize City of St. Petersburg certification.

NOTE: Review will take up to 30 days depending on workload and additional document requests.  Greenhouse staff will contact you if there are deficiencies or additional information needed

SBE WORKSHOP REQUIREMENTS

The Greenhouse offers SBE-specific training designed to build SBE capacity and ensure competency in basic topic areas for business growth.  Effective August 1, 2009, all SBEs are required to attend the following core workshops:

  • How the City Buys
  • Disaster Preparedness/Recovery for Small Business Owners
  • City Services and Incentives

In addition to the above core workshops, companies are required to attend the following business-related workshops based on specialty:

Companies Providing Construction Services

  • Basics of Bonding 
  • Estimating and Bidding

Companies Providing Goods and Services

  • Pricing for Profit

Workshops must be taken within 90 days of certification/re-certification (or certification/recertification will be revoked).  Workshops only have to be taken once for current and future certification periods, and any member of your staff can attend the workshops on behalf of the company.  If you have already taken any, your company is not required to take them again.  

For live workshop details, dates and registration, visit the Greenhouse Trainings & Workshops Calendar, or complete a recorded webinar by visiting our Greenhouse OnDemand Library.

CERTIFIED SBE SEARCH

Are you in need of a SBE-certified company to furnish goods or for construction-related purposes? Visit our SBE Search Page and click “Search Registered Directory”.  This is searchable by business name, specialization, location and contact information.

Small Business Enterprise (SBE) vendors are only certified as meeting the established criteria of the existing SBE program and not certified as qualified in any other area.  The city is not responsible for and disclaims any representation made by any SBE vendor.  You must do the appropriate due diligence before selecting an SBE vendor.

CONTACTS

Please contact SBE staff for more information or questions:

Eric Lavina, Economic Development Analyst
(727) 893-7539
eric.lavina@stpete.org

Ondria McDonald, Administrative Secretary
(727) 893-7767
ondria.mcdonald@stpete.org

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