April 20, 2016 –
The Phoenix City Council finance, efficiency, economy and sustainability subcommittee voted unanimously, Wednesday, to extend the Small Business Enterprise Program until July 30, 2020.
“The Small Business Enterprise Program provides small business enterprises with opportunities to participate in city construction and purchasing,” said Donald Logan, City of Phoenix equal opportunity director, at a city meeting Wednesday.
Logan said the SBE program was implemented in July 2010 and was granted an extension last year.
“Given all the enhancements that we are considering, we decided we’d come back and ask for an extension that would allow us to continue to engage with our stakeholders and look for ways that we can improve the SBE program,” Logan said.
“I think we want to make sure that we have the opportunity to get the program extended because that was something we heard loud and clear from the industry,” said Kini Knudson, street transportation assistant director and city engineer for the City of Phoenix. “They want to continue the program, but we obviously want to continue discussing enhancements with our oversight committee and bring in the enhancements after we get the extension.”
Based on what was said during the meeting, the program has a bright future, said Councilman Bill Gates.
Just one of many community members that spoke at the meeting in favor of SBE was Adam Morris, owner of Offsite Sweeping. Morris and his brother started their street-sweeping company when he graduated from ASU.
“At the point we were able to start a shop, we were introduced to the SBE program,” Morris said. “We had to turn in a serious amount of credentials about our backgrounds, how much money we had, and any other financials we had.”
Morris said that SBE helped him get bids, noting that “without this program, we would probably not be anywhere the size we are now.”
I’m a real prime example that this does work, Morris said.
“This is a viable program that we cannot afford to let go or release.” Ricardo Carlo, Associated Minority Contractors of America president, said.
Carlo noted that not everybody gets an opportunity with the City of Phoenix, but because of that SBE certification there are other organizations that look at that certification and offer small businesses opportunities.