Frequently Asked Questions

WHAT IS THE LOCAL SMALL BUSINESS ENTERPRISE (LSBE) PROGRAM?

A Local Small Business Enterprise Program or LSBE is a public contracting program designed to support the development and sustainability of small and very small (micro) businesses within a jurisdiction’s service area.

WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF THE LSBE PROGRAM?

The Jacksonville Transportation Authority (JTA) is implementing the LSBE Program to stimulate the local economy by supporting small businesses and promoting equal opportunities for the local business community.

WHAT IS A LOCAL SMALL BUSINESS ENTERPRISE?

A local small business enterprise:

  • Is a for-profit business that is not a subsidiary of another business
  • Has five-year average annual gross receipts of $15 million or under; if the business has not existed for five years, the gross annual receipts is based upon the annual averages over the course of the existence of the business
  • Owner's personal net worth does not exceed $1.32 million
  • Is headquartered and licensed in Baker, Clay, Duval, Nassau or St. Johns counties

WHAT IS A MICRO-LOCAL SMALL BUSINESS ENTERPRISE?

A micro-local small business enterprise:

  • Is an owned and operated for-profit business that is not a subsidiary of another business
  • Has a five-year average annual gross receipts of $500,000 or under; if the business has not existed for five years, the gross annual receipts is based upon the annual averages over the course of the existence of the business
  • Owner’s personal net worth does not exceed $1.32 million
  • Is headquartered and licensed in Baker, Clay, Duval, Nassau or St. Johns counties
  • Has been in operation for 12 consecutive months prior to applying for certification

WHY DID JTA DECIDE TO IMPLEMENT AN LSBE PROGRAM?

The LSBE Program has the following objectives:

  • Create significant prime contracting and subcontracting opportunities for small businesses located in Baker, Clay, Duval, Nassau and St. Johns counties
  • Develop the capacity of small local businesses
  • Increase the utilization of small local businesses on JTA’s locally-funded construction, professional services, and goods and services contracts
  • Limit competition for small contracts to same size micro-local small businesses

WHAT TYPES OF WORK ARE AVAILABLE WITH THE LSBE AND MICRO-LSBE PROGRAMS?

Opportunities to participate in construction work, construction-related work, design, professional services, and the procurement of supplies, goods and services are varied. LSBE participation will be encouraged on all non-federally funded projects. We anticipate that many contracts will be with LSBEs for subcontract work in construction-related fields, and certified LSBE are expected to provide consultant services in technical fields and will be awarded projects as prime contractors.

WHAT ARE THE LSBE PROGRAM INITIATIVES?

LSBE Contract Specific Goal set on construction, professional services, and goods and services contracts valued over $100,000 based on LSBE availability and the size and scope of the project. The LSBE goal can be met by the prime contractor or at the subcontract level.

Bid Discount applied to the LSBE’s original bid amount on low-bid solicitations for construction and goods and services prime contracts estimated at $500,000 or less. The maximum discount cannot exceed $50,000. The bid discount is set on a contract-by-contract basis, based on the project’s scope and LSBE availability.

Incentive Credits applied as evaluation percentages during the proposal review process on solicitations submitted by LSBEs. The percentage credits are set on a project-by-project basis, based on the project’s scope and LSBE availability.

Mentor Protégé Program to build LSBEs’ capacity to perform as subcontractors and prime contractors on JTA’s construction and professional service projects. Prime contractors, as mentors, provide technical assistance to build the LSBE protégé’s business capacity to compete on JTA’s contracts. Mentors will receive evaluation credits or a bid discount applied during the evaluation of their bid or proposal when their subcontractor is a certified LSBE protégé.

WHAT IS THE INITIATIVE FOR MICRO-LSBES?

Sheltered Market Program limits competition for contracts valued under $35,000 to businesses certified as Micro-LSBEs. Micro-LSBEs are automatically included in the sheltered market database and will receive solicitation notifications based on their NAICS code.

ARE CURRENTLY CERTIFIED DBE FIRMS ALLOWED TO APPLY FOR THE LSBE AND MICRO-LSBE PROGRAMS?

Currently, certified DBE firms located in the five-county area are encouraged to apply. They will be required to meet all the requirements for each program to be accepted.

ARE JSEB FIRMS CURRENTLY CERTIFIED BY THE CITY OF JACKSONVILLE ELIGIBLE TO APPLY FOR THE PROGRAM?

Yes.  This program was designed so that JSEB firms could apply. All firms located in the five-county area are encouraged to apply. Those firms that are certified by the DCPS system as MBEs are also encouraged to apply. All firms will be required to meet all the requirements for the program in which they are applying to be accepted.

ARE FIRMS REQUIRED TO APPLY FOR BOTH PROGRAMS?

No. A firm can apply for only one program, if they choose. JTA would strongly suggest that if a firm meets the criteria for both LSBE and Micro-LSBE programs, that they apply. Yes, there will be some firms that meet the requirements for the LSBE program but not the Micro-LSBE. The system will allow you to apply for both programs, if you qualify, with one application.

DOES A PRIME CONTRACTOR HAVE TO BE CERTIFIED AS AN LSBE BUSINESS IN ORDER TO BID ON A PROJECT?

Under the LSBE Program, the Prime Contractor does not have to be LSBE certified to bid on the projects and can be located anywhere outside of the five-county area. If an LSBE goal has been established on the project, the prime contractor will be expected to subcontract with certified LSBEs to meet the project goal.

CAN A DBE FIRM LOCATED OUTSIDE OF THE FIVE-COUNTY AREA BE USED AS A SUBCONTRACTOR WITH THE LSBE PROGRAM?

Yes, but their participation cannot be counted towards meeting the LSBE project goal since the firm is located outside of the five-county area and are not LSBE certified.

WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES OF BECOMING CERTIFIED AS AN LSBE?

Certification as an LSBE provides greater exposure for work opportunities on JTA’s non-federal projects. The names of all certified LSBEs and Micro-LSBEs will appear in the Directory. Contractors can use the Directory as a basic resource for soliciting LSBE participation on projects. If a firm is not LSBE certified, a contractor cannot receive credit toward the achievement of the LSBE participation goal by using that firm. In addition, all firms are eligible to participate in the networking sessions and business development workshop academies that are held periodically by the JTA.

ONCE CERTIFIED, CAN A FIRM BE ASSURED OF GETTING CONTRACTS OR SUBCONTRACTS?

No. Certification does not guarantee work to any LSBE or Micro-LSBE firm; however, it does enhance an LSBE's exposure to prime contractors and the business community. To be successful, a firm must market itself, its personnel and its services, as any good business should.

WHAT IS EXPECTED OF THE LSBE ONCE A CONTRACT IS AWARDED?

All LSBE and Micro-LSBE firms are expected to meet performance standards as established by contract specifications. This relates to the quality of work done, the submission of reports and written information in a timely manner and the firm's compliance with applicable regulations and laws. Once an LSBE firm has been awarded a sub-contract, the LSBE is responsible for submitting verification of all payments received to the contracting agency. This includes the amount of payment and the date received.

WILL JTA MONITOR THE PROGRAM AND MAKE PROGRAM REVISIONS, AS NEEDED?

Yes. The JTA will re-access the program every six months and make necessary program adjustments. Our goal is to continue to grow these programs with pertinent changes that result in success. We will continually solicit feedback from the community to define the programs as we move forward.

WHO SHOULD BUSINESS OWNERS CONTACT TO GET ADDITIONAL INFORMATION?

The Diversity, Equity & Customer Advocacy Program Office manages the LSBE and Micro-LSBE Programs. The Office can be reached by calling (904) 633-8533 or emailing DBE1@jtafla.com.

HOW DOES A FIRM BECOME LSBE / MICRO-LSBE CERTIFIED?

DOWNLOAD LSBE / MICRO-LSBE APPLICATION

The process is simple and fast.

  1. Go to the LSBE / Micro-LSBE System website.
  2. Under "Vendor Certification," select "Apply for Certification."
  3. To create a new account, click "Create Account" under "New Certification." Existing account holders can renew their certification by selecting "Login" under "Renew Your Certification."
  4. Follow all instructions. If you have any certification questions, please contact Yetunde Oyewole for assistance at (904) 632-5298 or Chris Macklin at (904) 632-5275.