On July 11, 2000, the Board of County Commissioners enacted Ordinance 00-57 to adopt a Women/Minority Business Enterprise (W/MBE) Program. By enacting this ordinance the Board establishes their commitment to increasing the participation of women and minority owned business enterprises in the procurement of commodities, services, and construction for Polk County government. All Divisions are committed to the implementation of the W/MBE program adopted by the Board of County Commissioners.
The policy statement from this ordinance is also included in the new Polk County Procurement Ordinance 00-57. This policy states that W/MBE's shall have maximum feasible opportunity to participate in the County's procurement process and the Procurement Division shall do the following:
- Ensure nondiscrimination in the administration of the County's procurement process.
- Maintain a procurement environment in which W/MBE's can compete fairly.
- Prevent barriers that may obstruct the participation of W/MBE's in the County's procurement activities.
- Assist in the development of firms so that they can compete successfully in the marketplace outside the W/MBE Program.
The Women and Minority Business Enterprise Program is administered by Polk County's Office of Supplier Diversity, located in the Administration Building. As an education and outreach effort, the program identifies and registers minority and women-owned firms that wish to supply goods and services to the county. Program activities include seminars, workshops and individual consultations to inform minority or women-owned firms of county procurement policies and procurement opportunities. There are more than 300 business opportunities with Polk County.
The program's primary emphasis is toward minority and women owned businesses. A bonafide minority/woman owned business is one that is at least 51 percent owned by minority or women group members who independently control the management and day-to-day operations of the firm. Group members are Females, African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Native Americans, Asian-Pacific Americans and Asian-Indian Americans.
Online W/MBE Directory
The Online W/MBE Directory is provided to encourage all vendors doing business with the Polk County Board of County Commissioners to solicit and use W/MBE's in the performance of work for Polk County.
How Can You Participate?
The first step to participating in the W/MBE Program is to complete a Vendor Application. Firms that are already certified should submit a copy of their certification. Firms that are not certified can obtain a State Certification application (Click here for State Certification) from the Office of Supplier Diversity, 330 W Church St, Bartow, Fl 33830 or call (863) 534-5959. The certification application should be completed and forwarded to the State of Florida Office of Supplier Diversity, Florida Department Management Services, 4050 Esplanade Way, Suite 360, Tallahassee, Florida 32399-0950.
The County considers the W/MBE Program as a viable way to effectively increase participation by women and minority businesses in the County's procurement process. Furthermore the County views the growth and development of minority business as an integral part of the community at large.
Therefore, it is the continuing goal of Polk County to encourage women and minority businesses to be actively involved in bidding on contracts to provide goods and services for the County.
For further information on this program, please contact:
Cedric Joseph, Office of Supplier Diversity Director
330 W. Church Street
Bartow, Florida 33830
Telephone (863) 534-5959