Starting in June, Metra is launching a new initiative to help small businesses have a fair opportunity to do business with the agency and work on Metra projects. The Small Business Enterprise (SBE) Program is designed to increase the number of competitively awarded contracts to small businesses, maximize contract opportunities and minimize contract bundling.
To qualify as an SBE, companies must:
- be an independent for-profit business
- have an owner whose personal net worth is $1.32 million or lower
- meet the Small Business Administration's size standard
- not exceed $23.98 million in gross annual receipts
The mission of Metra's Office of Business Diversity and Civil Rights (OBDCR) is to give small, minority- and women-owned businesses an equal opportunity to receive and participate in Metra contracts. The SBE Program is race- and gender- neutral, consistent with Metra's goal to ensure that businesses of all types and sizes have the opportunity to participate in its projects. Metra anticipates identifying between 10 to 20 contracts to be set aside under this program in its first year. Areas of opportunity may include landscaping, auto parts, etc.
To bid on a Metra contract set-aside for an SBE, a business must:
- complete Metra's SBE verification process
- or provide proof of SBE verification from one of the other four Illinois Unified Certification Program Members: the Illinois Department of Transportation, Chicago Transit Authority, Pace and the City of Chicago
On average, Metra’s SBE verification process is expected to take 60 to 90 days from the time the agency receives the application and all required documents.