A Message from the Mayor
When I came into office in January of 2015, I promised the small business enterprise (SBE) community that the District would better utilize its procurement power to better connect small businesses to government opportunities. I am proud to say that my Administration has delivered. In FY16, the SBE spending goal was $317 million, and in my first year in office, this government spent more than $600 million with SBEs, more than double the goal and more than any previous Administration to date.
My Administration has placed a priority on better connecting small businesses with local procurement dollars. We have revamped our approach to procurement and we have doubled down on our efforts to ensure District government agencies are held accountable for giving our Small Business Enterprises (SBE) a fair shot.
You may wonder how we did it. Last year, I released the inaugural SBE Opportunity Guide (Green Book) which included an agency-by-agency overview of SBE spending availability and launched a website (CBEconnect.dc.gov) that provides an online platform for SBEs to search for opportunities. My team conducted a top-to-bottom, data-driven analysis of past practices and set realistic, but bold, SBE goals for FY16. Importantly, for the first time, we made procurement opportunities more transparent and easier access, and we identified millions of dollars in procurement opportunities for which SBEs did not exist that could provide the services or goods.
Building on this success, the District Government is committed to spending $564 million with SBEs in FY17. We are confident that this goal accurately reflects the minimum amount that District agencies will spend with SBEs. And, like in FY16, I will hold District agencies accountable to this goal.
This year, we have enhanced the SBE Opportunity Guide and the CBE Connect website to help small businesses better navigate the procurement process. I hope you find the added features helpful in competing successfully for the hundreds of millions of dollars available to SBEs.
Small and local businesses are the economic engine of our city, and they are vital to our ongoing success. As a fifth generation Washingtonian, I have witnessed how small businesses have transformed our city, invested in our communities, and given countless District residents critical employment opportunities putting them on the pathway to the middle class. Because they have given so much to the District of Columbia, I am committed to giving back to them, and I will continue to be a friend and advocate of the District’s robust SBE community.
Mayor Muriel Bowser