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Wayne County Launches SBE Program

Qualified businesses in four Michigan counties may have more opportunities under a new Small Business Enterprise Program by the Wayne County Airport Authority.

“The airport authority is committed to providing equal contracting opportunity to all businesses for projects at Detroit Metro Airport and Willow Run Airport, and we continue to seek the best-valued, high-quality products and services by encouraging competition among our vendors,” says Lester Robinson, chief executive officer of the authority. “This new SBE program provides equalization credits so that smaller, local firms can compete more aggressively and equally for business opportunities at our airports.”

SBEs in Macomb, Oakland, Washtenaw and Wayne counties can submit bids or proposals as prime contractors or subcontractors by applying equalization credit to bids offered by or with certified small businesses. The value of the contract being solicited will determine the amount of equalization credit.

A 3% credit is available for contracts valued at or less than $100,000; 2% is available for contracts over that amount. Non-SBE firms can get a 1% credit, regardless of the size of the contract, if they offer a bid or proposal that has subcontracting opportunities for SBE firms valued at at least 30% of the contract’s value.

“Because the equalization credit is based on a percentage of the lowest qualified bid the authority receives from a non-SBE firm, the new program is designed such that SBEs have the same incentive to offer their most competitive bids as do larger firms,” says airport authority Procurement Director Sandra Allen.

SBE certification is not necessary to participate in the voluntary program, but firms must complete an SBE certification application and be approved by the authority’s purchasing unit to get an equalization credit.