September 23, 2019 - Mayor Tom Henry today announced he has expanded the Emerging Business Enterprises (EBE) program to encourage more small business participation on construction projects in the City of Fort Wayne.

The new recommendation requests that whenever possible on private construction projects that include some City funding assistance that the City’s EBE participation goal of 10 percent be applied to the City’s funding portion. The goal is to have a collective partnership with developers and contractors to increase and strengthen opportunities for small businesses to grow and succeed.

Last year, Fort Wayne encouraged more participation from emerging businesses by revising the EBE executive order. As a result, emerging businesses now are allowed to earn revenue up to $10 million a year from the previous $5 million requirement. The changes allow the program goal of 10 percent EBE participation on construction contracts to also be satisfied with the use of disadvantaged business enterprises, minority business enterprises, and women’s business enterprises that are certified firms by the State of Indiana. The benefits include assisting small businesses in their ability to serve as subcontractors on City projects, enhance a company’s opportunities to fill areas where subcontractors aren’t available, and increase participation from emerging businesses.

The Mayor’s Opportunity Advisory Council provided leadership and input on the EBE revisions. The purpose of the Mayor’s Opportunity Advisory Council is to advise Mayor Henry in regard to current procurement and employment processes by providing best practice recommendations designed to continuously promote and strengthen the City’s diversity policies and procedures within the organization to effectively reflect and serve the community.

EBE participation citywide in 2018 was 10.4 percent. In 2017, the total was 11.5 percent and 9.5 percent in 2016.