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City of Frederick launches MWBE program

MD News - Published Nov 24, 2021

The Mayor and Board of Aldermen for the City of Frederick have approved municipal legislation which will create Minority and Women Business Enterprise (MWBE) program complete with contract participation goals and a Small Business Reserve set-aside program.

The MWBE program will be managed by the City's Equity Program Administrator, in partnership with the City's Department of Budget and Purchasing. It will set annual aspirational participation goals for MWBEs on City contracts, as well as make various efforts to meet those goals, including setting contract-specific goals, perform outreach to the MWBE community on upcoming contracts, and assist businesses in getting certified and registered.

The Small Business Reserve program will be authorized to set aside construction contracts valued at less than $250,000 (and contracts in other fields valued at less than $10,000) for bidding and awarding only to certified small business enterprises.

Approval of the programs comes after the delivery of a disparity study in 2020, which found statistically significant underutilization of MWBEs, relative to their availability in the area, in all industry categories surveyed.

Mayor Michael O'Connor described the new programs as "[ensuring] that the City, in all that it does, works for everyone in our community with equal opportunity."

Read the City's press release at https://www.cityoffrederickmd.gov/civicalerts.aspx?aid=6880.