Today, Mayor Muriel Bowser and Councilmember Vincent Orange held a press conference to announce the Fiscal Year 2016 (FY16) Certified Business Enterprise (CBE) spending goal. The Bowser Administration also unveiled a new website, cbeconnect.dc.gov, that will help CBEs better navigate the local government procurement process.
“Small businesses are the engine of our economy. As Mayor, I am committed to creating an environment where District businesses can start, thrive and grow,” said Mayor Bowser. “That includes leveraging the District’s local procurement dollars to support small businesses. We are re-envisioning the way we approach procurement by setting ambitious goals and providing tools so our small businesses can succeed and continue to create pathways to the middle class.”
The FY16 expendable budget for District government agencies is $634 Million, of which at least 50 percent, or $317 Million, must be spent with CBEs. This feasible, but bold, spending goal is the result of a top-to-bottom, data driven analysis of past practices and current agency budgets.
In FY15, the Bowser Administration spent more than $250 million through contracts with small businesses, which exceeded the total amount spent in each of the past five years. The FY16 goal reflects the Mayor’s commitment to build on the District’s progress, and to increase its support for small businesses.
“It is imperative to keep small businesses in the District solvent because small businesses create jobs, pay taxes and provide opportunities,” said Councilmember Vincent Orange. “Today’s press conference and aggressive implementation of CBE laws sends the message that the District’s mandate for small and local business development will be adhered to. More than ever, the District is committed to fostering an environment where small businesses can achieve success.”
Mayor Bowser launched cbeconnect.dc.gov to both increase transparency in the goal-setting process and help CBEs navigate the procurement process. The website offers a user-friendly platform to search for procurement opportunities across District government. The Bowser Administration will also release an ‘Opportunity Guide’ with an agency-by-agency overview of CBE opportunities.
The Bowser Administration and Councilmember Orange are committed to better utilizing local procurement power to drive small business creation, growth, and retention, and to hold District government agencies accountable to meet their spending goals.