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Economic Development Framework
• To increase participation of minority, women and small business customers in Mecklenburg County business opportunities.
• To provide up-to-date and accurate information on all MWSBE Program services to all citizens.
• To have all MWSBE staff adequately and sufficiently trained on technical and practical applications and current issues and industry trends related to the field of procurement.
It is further the policy of Mecklenburg County to prohibit discrimination against any person or business in pursuit of these opportunities on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, national origin, age, disability, or veteran's status.
• To ensure that Mecklenburg County staff involved in purchasing, make good faith efforts to utilize MWSBE vendors in accordance with formal and informal procurement procedure as mandated by the Board of County Commissioners.
• To track MWSBE good faith efforts and utilization according to recording keeping
requirements mandated by the Board of County Commissioners.
• To create and maintain an ongoing outreach effort to MWSBE vendors including, without
limitation, assisting MWSBEs to register with the State IPS system and the State E-procurement
System, providing information regarding doing business with Mecklenburg County, and encouraging collaboration among MWSBEs.
• To establish partnerships with existing management and technical assistance providers in the Charlotte area to assist MWSBEs with securing and performing Mecklenburg County contracts.
• To provide and administer procedures for resolving complaints of discrimination made against businesses holding construction or equipment and service contracts with Mecklenburg
It shall be policy of Mecklenburg County Government to provide minority-owned, women-owned, and small business enterprises (collectively "M/W/SBE") as well as other responsible vendors with fair and reasonable opportunity to participate in Mecklenburg County's business opportunities including purchasing opportunities, construction projects, professional services, and procurement programs including but not limited to participation in procurement contracts for commodities, services and/or leasing activities as they relate to equal opportunities and affirmative action requirements established by federal, state and local governments.
Mecklenburg County's Minority, Women and Small Business Enterprises Program is not a set-aside program as it relates to construction contracting. It is a voluntary goal program. Competitive bidding is required for all contractors, subcontractors, suppliers and distributors. The MWSBE Program encourages contractors to actively and aggressively seek MWSBE participation.
Mecklenburg County's MWSBE Program is committed to support the economic development of small business enterprises and the minority community. It is further the intent of the program to widen opportunities for participation, increase competition, and ensure the proper diligent use of public funds.
There are a number of organizations that provide assistance to vendors in obtaining MWSBE certification, as well as certifications by other entities. Refer to the Resource Page for certification agency information. In addition to the respective agency contacts, Mecklenburg County’s Office of Economic Development – MWSBE Program provides assistance (excluding 8a program). In additional to others like MMCA, HCAC, etc.
MWSBEs are encouraged to provide goods and services as either primes or subcontractors depending on their business’ organizational capacity to provide the County with the goods and services with competitive/reasonable pricing and responsive/responsible proposals.
The certification process typically takes between 30-60 days (and, in some cases, up to 90 days) depending on when the application is submitted and the completeness of supporting documentation.
There are no fees associated with the certification process for NC Department of Administration’s Historically Underutilized Businesses (HUB); City of Charlotte-Charlotte Business Inclusion’s Small Business Enterprise (SBE); North Carolina Department of Transportation’s Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE); and the US Small Business Administration’s 8a Program.
It is your responsibility to maintain up-to-date certification. Your certification expiration date will be listed on your approval letter/certificate/profile. While your current registered contacts may receive a courtesy notification warning that your certification is due to expire, the respective agency/Mecklenburg County is not responsible for ensuring that your company gets recertified. Recertification remains the sole responsibility of your company.
It is recommended that you start the renewal process sixty (60) to ninety (90) days before your expiration deadline. Please allow for four (4) weeks of processing time. Learn more about the Certification Renewal process by visiting the respective agency websites or contact them.
• NC Department of Administration’s Historically Underutilized Businesses (HUB) – Four (4) years;
• City of Charlotte-Charlotte Business Inclusion’s Small Business Enterprise (SBE) – Three (3) years;
• NC Department of Transportation’s Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) – One (1) year;
The NIGP Commodity/Services Code is an acronym for the National Institute of Governmental Purchasings Commodity/Services Code. The NIGP Code is a coding taxonomy used primarily to classify products and services procured by state and local governments in North America.
Mecklenburg County uses the five (5) digit class-item code. As a source, you can use the master list of NIGP Commodity Codes. You will receive an email notification for bid announcements if your NIGP code matches an announcement’s NIGP code.
Upcoming formal bid opportunities for construction and procurement related projects are available on the NC Interactive Purchasing System (NC IPS) and posted in the Charlotte Observer newspaper. Procurement bid announcements are also available on MeckProcure.
No. The goals are separate, and each are expected to be met. A firm must be designated as either MBE, WBE, or SBE for a project and that designation remains for the life of the project. It is acceptable to exceed the goals where possible.
Pre-bid (pre-conference/ informational) meetings /Site-visit meetings are very important for potential primes and potential subcontractors. This is the opportunity to learn more about the project from the project managers/department leads, an opportunity to ask clarifying questions, and the opportunity to network with potential primes and or partners.
If you have questions about Vendor Registration or the Vendor Portal, please contact the Vendor Management Team via the following: Phone: 980.314.2400 | Email: Vendor.Management@MecklenburgCountyNC.gov
If you have specific questions about a bid announcement you will want to make contact with the project manager/department lead that is listed in the announcement. This information will vary depending on the project.
Procurement announcements are listed in the MeckProcure System. Another source is the NC IPS System which lists all of the current bid announcements for Mecklenburg County.
Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (PTAC) are federally- funded centers that can provide a wide range of procurement contract assistance. For example, these organizations can assist with MWBE certification, employee recruitment, preparing for audit, and securing financing. Furthermore, these organizations can help new vendors by reviewing their bid documentation.
Thresholds for Goods, Technology, Supplies, Equipment, Services, and Construction for federally and non-federally funded projects can be found on pages 8-13.
County services are operating at a limited capacity. Questions about COVID-19? Call Public Health Hotline: 980-314-9400