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Shelby County considers adjustments to MBE, LOSB program rules

Published Jan 31, 2018

Commissioners for Shelby County voted on January 22nd on a first step in making fixes to the minority- and locally-owned business program that was approved by the county on the heels of a disparity study in December 2016.

Some of the proposed fixes the commissioners are considering include a formal statement of preference towards minority-owned businesses (MBEs) over locally-owned small businesses (LOSBs) in the case of a contract where the award is a choice between a MBE and a LOSB. Procedures for the county working with larger businesses are also subject to change. Under one proposal, businesses that meet part but not all of the participation goals for working with disadvantaged businesses on certain contracts could be given proportionately partial preferences. Under another, companies with a documented history of working with MBEs in the private sector could also be given credits or points when doing business with the county.

It has also been suggested that the gross receipts cap for MBE and LOSB registration should be received, to avoid kicking companies out of the group receiving preferences and assistance too early.

The County's commissioners expect that the attorney will be able to easily identify whether any of the proposed fixes depart from the findings of the disparity study, in order to forestall possible legal changes to the changes.

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