City of Columbus Q1 2023 WBE Updates from the Office of Diversity & Inclusion
Tuesday, March 14, 2023 11:30am
City Representatives in Attendance: DaWanna Allen
Meeting facilitated by: Deonna Barnett
DaWanna Allen oversees outreach and engagement for the City of Columbus Office of Diversity & Inclusion. Since the last meeting, Jason Jenkins has been named Director of the Office. To ensure he is available for our meetings, the Update meetings will need to be changed from Tuesdays at 11:30a to another time.
In 2022, $18M was spent on contracts for WBEs
The City would like to increase participation in the Goods & Services industry as well as Professional Services.
There are now Interactive Dashboards on the City’s website to provide you with insight on the City’s Supplier Diversity program. View here: https://public.tableau.com/app/profile/columbus/viz/ODISupplierScorecard/ExternalScorecard
MWBE goals will now be set for projects over $100,000. The city defines MWBEs as the following:
Any minority or woman-owned business located outside of Franklin County are considered EBEs (Emerging Business Enterprises) . They are working on defining workspaces such as CoHatch an option for businesses needing a city address.
To determine MWBE goals on projects, they take a survey of the # of businesses in Franklin county using the U.S. Census Data, local databases and other reports to determine a percentage based on the businesses available.
The City of Columbus will recognize Ohio WBE, WBENC and other certifications. However, you will still need to register with the City as a vendor and complete the City’s WBE application. The application will be shorter because your existing certification will not require you to complete all the steps. You will be put on a fast track to receive your City WBE certification.
The concern to apply for multiple certifications with the city, state, and others was addressed. Who determines how the certification process is conducted, the rules and the laws are outside of ODI’s jurisdiction. One the call: 3 City WBE certified businesses; 5 non-City WBE certified businesses
Your vendor profile with the City is very important to receive and be identified for opportunities specific to your business. Be sure to use as many NAICS Codes and Capability Codes as possible that relate to your business and its products/services.
In the last meeting, it was requested that the City hold another conference or event to bring small businesses, vendors and purchasing agencies together. The City does not have a City conference planned to date. They are awaiting their Operating Budget to be approved. The Mayor will address the Operating Budget at the State of the City Address on 3/21/23.
Action Items for Next Update Meeting:
Next City of Columbus Update Meeting TBD. Register here for Zoom login credentials: https://nawbocbus.org/calendar-of-events/