PBS and NPR for Southwest Florida
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Moore About Business: How to do business with Florida, Fort Myers

The city of Fort Myers recently hosted a presentation to give local business owners the opportunity to learn about how to do business with state and local governments. Robert Major, executive director for Florida's office of Supplier Diversity, shared an abundance of vital information, including the purpose of this office, which is to help minority businesses. Engage with the state.

"It's our honor to serve our small businesses because if you look at the stats, it's not the large corporations that truly support a state economy. It's really the small business. If you look at employment, you look, it's small businesses. When you look at the community, you look at the taxation, you look at the support, it's small businesses."

One path to doing business with the municipal, county, state and federal governments is the minority business enterprise or MBE certification major went on to describe the benefits of getting the certification, including one targeted referrals 2 and online Directory 3. Targeted events for networking opportunities and five guidance for going through the process because it can be overwhelming businesses qualified to apply for the state MBE certification include women owned, veteran owned and minority owned businesses major, then shared. Why it is so important for businesses to apply for this certification.

"I wanna keep driving this," said Major, "First tier referrals listing in our directory. You get targeted information. And yes, it's worth it. It's worth it, it's worth it, and the training and the technical assistance is so important."

Major said the state certifies MBE candidates on a variety of factors.

"How do we define small business? Net worth less than 5,000,000. Fewer than 200 employees," he said. "And one key factor, not only must you be registered in My Florida Marketplace, but the business owner has to be a human. It can't be a trust, can't be a corporation. That business owner has to be a real live person. And it has to be owned and managed. 51% the business must be domiciled, just like in Lee County or the City of Fort Myers, you have to be domiciled in the state of Florida. And then lastly, you must be a UUS citizen or a permanent resident."

Major noted that in order to become a state of Florida vendor, you must complete the MBE certification process, which includes registering as a vendor in my Florida marketplace online allowing up to 15 business days for the approval process to be completed. Once all the requirements are met and then. A certificate is awarded that is good for two years and is renewable online. The best way to reach Robert is via his email, Robert.Major@dms.myflorida.com.

Karen Moore is a contributing partner for WGCU and the publisher of SWFL Business Today.

Publisher of SWFL Business Today