Small Business Enterprise Program

Program Overview

Does your business provide a commercially useful good or service that the City of St. Petersburg buys?  In accordance with the Municipal Code as defined by Section 2-239 to 2-246 of Division 4, Article 5, Chapter 2, The Greenhouse’s Small Business Enterprise (SBE) program fosters growth in the economy and can provide your company with enhanced opportunities to participate in construction projects and provide services and supplies.

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 for a database 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.

Benefits of the SBE Program

SBE goals on project-by-project basis
Prioritized recruitment and utilization of SBE-certified companies as subcontractors to achieve city-mandated SBE participation on construction projects.  Goals of up to 50% of contracts costs toward SBEs can be set.

Sheltered market (construction set asides and on goods and services)
Set asides (opportunities to bid on projects open only to SBE-certified firms) for construction projects and on goods and services.

Discounts for goods and services (1-15% for bids and quotes)
Application of SBE discounts to bids or quotes for goods and services to increase likelihood of SBEs being awarded contracts.

Technical Assistance
SBE staff is available to assist with

  • SBE outreach
  • Networking
  • Recruitment
  • Payment Issues
  • Program Compliance

Workshops, Seminars and Training Programs
The Greenhouse offers SBE-specific training in addition to its regular business development curriculum.  Topics include:

  • Orientation to city procurement
  • City programs, services and business incentives
  • Pricing for businesses
  • Disaster preparedness and recovery for business
  • Estimating and bidding
  • Bonding

These offerings are designed to build SBE competency in basic topics for business growth.  Visit our Training & Events page to see when they are offered next.

Eligibility and Criteria

A business that is independently owned, operated and controlled; and is not dominant in its field of operation; and which meets the following criteria:

  1. Serves a commercially useful function
  2. Has been in operation for at least one year
  3. Has 50 full-time, permanent employees or less
  4. Has an annual sales volume (averaged over the previous three years) of:
    • $5 million or less for Goods/Services/Supplies
    • $8 million or less for Construction
  5. Must be domiciled in Pinellas, Hillsborough, Pasco, Manatee or Polk counties (A post office box is not acceptable as a business address).
  6. Must be certified by the Greenhouse.  SBE certification with the City of St. Petersburg does not reciprocate with small business certification programs from other municipalities, counties,  or at the state or federal levels.  You must be certified through The Greenhouse to participate in the City of St. Petersburg SBE program and receive benefits.

SBE Certification Process

  1. Complete an SBE Complete Certification Application
  2. Register your company with the City of St. Petersburg purchasing department
  3. Submit Application (Choose one of the following)
    • Drop off or mail completed applications and supporting documents to The Greenhouse at 440 2nd Avenue North, St. Petersburg, Florida 33701, OR
    • Scan and email your application package to  Applicants sending packages via email are required to submit the original affidavit of the application (pages 9-10) to the address above.
  4. Review will take 7-10 days depending on workload and additional document requests.  Greenhouse staff will contact you if there are deficiencies or additional information needed.

Please contact Eric Lavina at (727) 893-7539 or; or Ondria McDonald at (727) 893-7767 or for more information or questions.

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 (Part 1 or 2)
-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 workshop details, dates and registration, visit the Greenhouse training calendar on the web at:, or call (727) 893-7767.

SBE Re-Certification Process

Current City of St. Petersburg SBEs renewing their existing certification need to complete a SBE Recertification Complete Application and submit the required supporting documents.  Also, please make sure to update your company’s contact information and products and services in iSupplier so that you are receiving bid notices.  iSupplier Log-in

Completed SBE applications can be mailed to:

The Greenhouse
City Hall Annex
440 Second Avenue North
St. Petersburg, FL 33701

If you have any questions or are in need of assistance, do not hesitate to contact the Greenhouse at (727) 893-7146 or contact one of our specialists directly.