Locally Owned Small Business and Minority/ Women Business Enterprise Programs

Supporting Area Development


Shelby County Government believes that a successful community is one where all levels of society and business are given equal opportunity to enjoy economic success and prosperity. Shelby County Government believes that locally-owned small businesses and minority/ women business enterprises represent a major part of our business community and offer a wide variety of products and services needed by the county. When the county utilizes this segment of the community through its Purchasing Department, it enriches the owners, employees, and families of these businesses and the community as a whole with success and prosperity.

How the Programs Works
Locally-Owned Small Business Program (LOSB) – Amendment by Ordinance #471

Locally-owned small business subcontractors who have been certified by the Shelby County Equal Opportunity Compliance (EOC) office are urged to consider same in compilation of their bid.

For informational purposes, the county considers a locally-owned small business to be one which:
  • Is a sole proprietorship, corporation, partnership, joint venture, or any other business or professional entity that has gross annual sales of $1 million or less during the last three fiscal years except: architecture and engineering firms, security companies, computer companies, roofing and contractors and vendors in the construction industry. Any architecture and engineering firm , roofing and contractors and vendors in the construction industry with average annual total sales or receipts within its last three fiscal years prior to its application to the Locally Owned Small Business Purchasing Program of less than $5,000,000 a year; Any security company or computer company with average annual total sales or receipts within its last three fiscal years prior to its application to the Locally Owned Small Business Purchasing Program of less than $15,000,000 a year.
  • At least 51% owned, operated, and controlled by a Shelby County resident and located within the boundaries of Shelby County, Tennessee

Minority/ Women Business Enterprise (M/WBE) Programs

Eligibility Criteria – must be a for-profit enterprise that is 51% owned and controlled by minority persons
Minorities – African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Asian Americans, and Native Americans
Women Business Enterprise – 51% Owned and Controlled by one or more Caucasian females
Business Location – Must be headquartered in Shelby County at least (6) six months prior to applying for certification and licensed to do business in Shelby County

Reciprocity - *All certifications must be current* No onsite inspection is required.

Certification program includes reciprocity with local agencies that have an M/WBE certification program which comports with Shelby County’s standards. To receive reciprocal certification, a business must supply general information to Shelby County Government by completing a brief reciprocity application.

In order to receive reciprocal certification as an M/ WBE and/ or LOSB the following documentation will be required:

  1. Proof of residency
  2. Proof of business location
  3. Affidavit of income (LOSB’s Only)
  4. Current certification
  5. Shelby County business license

Promoting Growth


To help expand these programs, the Purchasing Department urges our locally-owned small businesses and minority/ women business enterprises to contact the Shelby County EOC office at (901) 222-1100 and inquire about certification.

As we move to a new millennium, Shelby County will continue to emphasize policies that foster locally owned small businesses by removing obstacles to their growth and by implementing incentives. For all of us, it is important to remember that fostering small businesses is good business in Shelby County.