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Special to Florida Construction News
With Broward County’s Mobility Advancement Program (MAP Broward) on track to fund an estimated $1.68 billion in procurement opportunities over what is remaining in the 30-year program, local businesses are reaping the benefits of becoming a certified County Business Enterprise (CBE) with the Office of Economic and Small Business Development (OESBD).
In 2018, Broward County voters approved a 30-year, 1% surtax to fund transportation improvement projects across the county. With the focus on improving mobility in the county, MAP Broward (formerly known as the Transportation Surtax Program) has established the following goals: Create Connectivity, Improve Transit Service, Relieve Congestion, Enhance Multimodal Options, and Ensure Economic Development and Benefits.
The transportation-surtax is expected to collect $355 million annually, representing an estimated $1.68 billion in competitive procurement opportunities available for the total of 30-years. To increase the participation of small businesses in County projects as both prime contractors and subcontractors, County Commissioners unanimously adopted a 30% participation goal for certified CBE firms for all eligible projects funded by the transportation-surtax. This provides an estimated $53 million in project opportunities for CBEs on eligible projects each year.
Economic development and benefits will result from the program by assuring tax dollars benefit local businesses and stay in local communities. MAP Broward allocates funds collected through the transportation surtax to fund approved projects throughout Broward County that will create connectivity, improve transit service, manage traffic systems, enhance multimodal options, and ensure economic development and benefits.
Projects focus on 16 areas including congestion management, upgrading bridges, safety improvements, transportation infrastructure, transit services, roadway resilience, rehabilitation, and maintenance.
“If you are one of our certified small businesses, if you happen to be a small business in Broward and you are not yet certified, or if you happen to be outside the state and you have been hearing about the wonderful things going on in Broward, MAP Broward will drive your business forward,” said McDonald.
OESBD provides local no-cost certification programs to support the growth and sustainability of Broward County’s small business community. Firms are encouraged to visit OESBD’s website to learn more about certification or to submit a free online application.
To become a certified CBE with Broward County, firms must meet the following eligibility requirements:
- The firm must be independent;
- The firm must have a continuing operating presence in Broward County for at least 1 year prior to submitting an application;
- The vendor must have a Broward County Business Tax Receipt, and be located in and doing business in Broward County;
- Each owner must not have a personal net worth exceeding $1,320,000;
- The firm shall, when combined with any and all affiliates, have less than $5 million in average annual gross receipts calculated over the previous 3 calendar years, except firms in construction, which must have less than $9 million in average annual gross receipts (calculated over the previous 3 years) or commodity suppliers which must have no more than 25 permanent full-time employees but are not subject to gross receipts limitations;
- Completion of a site visit by OESBD staff to the applicant firm’s business location.
MAP Broward’s 30% CBE participation goal for 30 years on eligible projects supports capacity-building, and technical assistance is provided to ensure small businesses are competitive for surtax opportunities. As a result, it will increase direct, indirect, and induced jobs in many sectors, including high-wage industries, with approximately 30,000 new jobs anticipated over the life of the program.
As of Nov. 1, 2021, a total of 673 transportation-surtax-funded projects are approved for surtax-funding, with complete project details accessible through the MAP Broward Website.
“If you are a business in Broward or outside of Broward you should know that there are real opportunities available here,” Director McDonald emphasizes. “Call us, get more information and get certified so you can start bidding on these projects. Now is definitely the time!”
To learn more about MAP Broward projects, visit the interactive project dashboard at: MAPBroward.broward.org.