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Published on Thursday, May 19, 2016

Amendments to the Small Business Economic Development Advocacy Ordinance Approved by City Council

Media Contacts: City of San Antonio Economic Development Department: Jeannette Garcia 210.207.3915 |

SAN ANTONIO (May 19, 2016) – Today, City Council voted to approve amendments to the Small Business Economic Development Advocacy (SBEDA) Ordinance, which provides preferences for certified small, minority- and women-owned businesses (S/M/WBE) when bidding for City contracts. Created in 1992, the SBEDA Ordinance addresses disparity found for S/M/WBEs participating on public and private sector contracts.

“As mayor and as a black woman, I am proud to say that the City of San Antonio takes these issues very seriously,” said Mayor Ivy R. Taylor. “We are making thoughtful improvements to an already outstanding program and I am confident we will realize measurable gains in our minority contracting numbers.”

The amendments adopted by City Council were developed to address the findings from  a Disparity Study conducted by the National Economic Research Associates (NERA). The study showed that the City of San Antonio has made significant progress in creating contracting opportunities for small, minority- and women-owned businesses, but disparity in the utilization of S/M/WBE’s still exists. The study suggested the continuation of the City’s SBEDA Program with potential amendments to strengthen the program.

Many of the amendments to the SBEDA Ordinance expand the application of current benefits offered in the program. An example is the Emerging Prime Contractor Program, which now applies to all industries. The program targets emerging businesses or firms who are one-fourth the size of a small business per the Small Business Administration (SBA) size standard. This will help businesses be more competitive in their bid response to City contracts.

“These amendments will add to the current tools the SBEDA Ordinance utilizes on City solicitations,” said City Manager Sheryl Sculley. “This will enhance the City’s utilization of certified small, minority- and women-owned businesses and continue to  grow and diversify our City’s economy.” 

Prior to adoption of the amended SBEDA Ordinance, City staff embarked on an extensive public comment period, wherein staff sought feedback and suggestions on various policy options through the community. Staff also held individual meetings with numerous stakeholder groups, including professional and trade organizations, and chambers of commerce, to communicate and gather feedback on the benefits and impact of the proposed amendments. 

The Economic Development Department will host a series of training sessions in June to review the SBEDA amendments. If interested in attending please contact the Small Business Office at (210) 207-3922 or email

The new SBEDA program is expected to take into effect on July 1, 2016.

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Categories: Economic Development