Small Local Business Enterprises (SLBE) Program
2000 Hampton Street (Health Building), Suite 3014, Columbia, SC 29204
Phone: (803) 576-1540
If you would like to apply for certification please click here .
*This summary is provided to simplify the eligibility requirements outlined in the ordinance, however, prospective participants and other interested parties are responsible for reading the SLBE Ordinance in its entirety before applying to the program.
Please note: Effective June 24, 2014 all firms must be located in Richland County at least one year prior to applying to the program.
Firms certified under the Program Development Team (PDT), On-Call Engineering (OET), and Dirt Road Paving (DRP) solicitations are included in the directory below:
Directory of Certified SLBEs
The purpose of this division is to provide a race- and gender-neutral procurement tool for the County to use in its efforts to ensure that all segments of its local business community have a reasonable and significant opportunity to participate in County contracts for construction, architectural & engineering services, professional services, non-professional services, and commodities.
The Small Local Business Enterprises (“SLBE”) Program also furthers the County’s public interest to foster effective broad-based competition from all segments of the vendor community, including, but not limited to, minority business enterprises, small business enterprises, and local business enterprises. This policy is, in part, intended to further the County’s compelling interest in ensuring that it is neither an active nor passive participant in private sector marketplace discrimination, and in promoting equal opportunity for all segments of the contracting community to participate in County contracts. Moreover, the SLBE Program provides additional avenues for the development of new capacity and new sources of competition for County contracts from the growing pool of small and locally based businesses.
Definitions (2-639 (c)):
Small Local Business Enterprise (“SLBE”). An independently owned firm that is not dominant in its industry, and that satisfies all requirements of being both a “Small Business Enterprise” and a “Local Business Enterprise.”
Emerging SLBE ("ESLBE"). An emerging firm that meets all of the qualifications of a Small Local Business Enterprise, and:
- Is less than five (5) years old;
- Has no more than five (5) full-time employees;
- Annual gross sales as averaged over the life of the firm are less than $1 million.
Joint Venture (“JV”). An association of two or more persons or businesses carrying out a single business enterprise for which purpose they combine their capital, efforts, skills, knowledge and/or property. Joint ventures must be established by written agreement. Joint ventures must be certified on a bid-by-bid basis. The joint venture shall not be subject to the average gross receipts and employee limits imposed by this section. However, each individual business participating in the joint venture must be certified by the Procurement Department as an SBE. This definition is subsumed within the definition of Small Local Business Enterprises.
Sect. 2-641 (a). For the purpose of this program, a firm will be certified as a Small and Local Business Enterprise (SLBE) (or Emerging SLBE (ESLBE)) with the Procurement Department upon its submission of a completed certification form (SLBE/ESLBE Form-R), supporting documentation, and a signed and notarized affidavit affirming that it meets all of the SLBE/ESLBE eligibility criteria as set forth below:
An independently owned and operated for-profit business concern as defined by South Carolina Code of Laws, Title 33, Chapter 31;
a. Is not a broker;
b. Is not a subsidiary of another business;
c. Is not dominant in its field of operation;
d. Whose owners are actively involved in day-to-day management and control of the business;
e. And that also is performing a commercially useful function.
2. It meets size standard eligibility requirements for Small Business Enterprises as defined in the box to the right:
Construction firms, specialty trade firms, and manufacturing firms have not employed more than 50 full-time persons at any time during the last three years, and the gross annual revenues of the business for its largest primary NAICS code have not exceeded an average of $7 million in its most recently completed 3 fiscal years; If a business has not existed for 3 years, the employment and gross revenue limits described above shall be applied based upon the annual averages not to exceed three years.
Once the gross annual revenues of a business exceed the three-year average gross annual revenue limits, it should no longer be eligible to benefit as an SLBE firm and should be permanently graduated from the program. The size standards in number of employees and annual gross revenue dollars should be reviewed annually and adjusted periodically to meet changes in market conditions. Joint ventures must be certified on a bid-by-bid basis. The joint venture itself shall not be subject to the size standard limitations imposed by this section. However, each individual business participating in the joint venture must be certified by the Procurement Department as an SLBE in order for the joint venture to receive the benefits of the SLBE program. This definition is subsumed within the definition of Small Local Business Enterprises.
Eligibility Requirements by Category:
GROSS ANNUAL REVENUE (GAR) LIMITS:
Small Business Enterprise (SBE)
· Not a broker
· Independently owned and operated
· Not a subsidiary of another business
· Not dominant in its field of operation
This definition is subsumed within the definition of Small Local Business Enterprises
Small Local Business Enterprise (SLBE)
All of the above plus:
· No more than 50 full-time employees
· Substantial presence in Richland County
· Documentation of 3 years average annual gross revenues
· $ 7 million for construction firms
· $ 3 million for architectural firms
· $ 3 million for professional services firms
· $2.5 million for engineering firms
· $ 2 million for wholesale operations
Emerging SLBE (ESLBE)
All of the above for SLBE plus:
· No more than 5 full-time employees
· Substantial presence in Richland County
· Documentation of 1 year average annual gross revenues
· Up to 5 years in operation
·$ 1 million for construction firms
·$ 1 million for architectural firms
·$ 1 million for professional services firms
·$ 1 million for engineering firms
·$ 1 million for wholesale operations
Joint Venture (JV)
· Certified on a bid-by- bid basis
Not subject to annual gross revenues and employee limits, however, each individual business participating in the joint venture must be certified by the Procurement Department as an SBE.
Upon receipt of SLBE/ESLBE certification or re-certification applications, the Director of Procurement, or designee, shall review all submitted forms, affidavits and documentation to make a prima facie determination as to whether the applicant satisfies the SLBE/ESLBE eligibility requirements as set forth in this policy. Applicants determined ineligible shall receive a letter stating the basis for the denial of eligibility and shall not be eligible to submit a new application for one year after the date of the notice of denial of eligibility.
Applicants determined eligible to participate in the SLBE or ESLBE program shall submit a completed re-certification form (SLBE-R) every two years to the Procurement Department for review and continued certification. To qualify for recertification, an SLBE’s or ESLBE’s maximum employment numbers and annual gross revenues average for the three fiscal years immediately preceding the application for recertification shall not exceed the size standard eligibility requirements.
In the course of considering the certification or re-certification status of any SLBE or ESLBE firm, the Director of Procurement or his or her designees shall periodically conduct audits and inspect the office, job site, records, and documents of the firm, and shall interview the firm’s employees, subcontractors, and vendors as reasonably necessary to ensure that all eligibility standards are satisfied and that the integrity of the SLBE Program is maintained.
If you would like to receive an email notification when the program launches, have questions or would like additional information about the program, contact us at SLBE@rcgov.us. Please include the following information: your first and last name and email address.
Address: PO Box 192, 2000 Hampton Street, (Health Building) Suite 3014, Columbia, SC 29204
Phone: (803) 576-1540
Fax: (803) 576-1549
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Check this site periodically to read about program updates.
Previously held course materials: