Hoping to achieve at least 20% in small business participation in the MOVEBR program, Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome announced the program is on track to exceed that number with current spending committed for preconstruction services at 40% for small businesses and a forecast of at least 33% over the life of the program, excluding program management services.
Mayor Broome said increased participation by local small, minority-, women- and veteran-owned businesses is a result of the requirements she made that the program management team conduct outreach to educate local small businesses on the program’s contracting opportunities and how to access the City-Parish procurement and selection processes.
“More than ever, this investment in local small businesses is directly supporting our local economy,” Mayor Broome said. “This is the largest infrastructure program in the history of East Baton Rouge Parish, and it should not only be an investment in better traffic flow and safer streets; it should also be an investment in the people and small businesses that are the backbone of our community. In today’s current economic environment, the impact of MOVEBR is even more beneficial.”
The MOVEBR program has currently committed approximately $46 million for preconstruction activities, excluding cost of property and utility relocations, with small businesses contracted to provide 40% of those services. By the completion of the program, the amount of local small business spending on preconstruction activities is forecast to exceed $57 million.
The total preconstruction services spending on MOVEBR projects that are currently active amounts to over $30 million on capacity projects and over $16 million on corridor enhancement projects.
Since kicking off the MOVEBR program, the City-Parish has worked with the program management team to hold workshops — converted to webinars when in-person meetings were cancelled due to the COVID-19 crisis — to inform local small businesses on opportunities to participate. These workshops provided information about the professional services needed on MOVEBR projects, how to access and apply to be a City-Parish vendor, and networking opportunities for large and small businesses interested in teaming to pursue work together.
The City-Parish and MOVEBR program management team also worked together to provide small contracting opportunities along with the larger projects that offered openings for small businesses to provide services.
“My commitment was that MOVEBR would be the industry standard of excellence for delivering transportation with a diverse network of small businesses that shared in the work,” Mayor Broome said. “By exceeding the target we set for ourselves, the MOVEBR program is helping to keep East Baton Rouge Parish strong.”