Hattiesburg discussing program for disadvantaged businesses

Hattiesburg discussing program for disadvantaged businesses

HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - “A disadvantage business enterprise is any business that’s owned by a person who’s declared socially or economically disadvantaged,” said Zach Jones, a Legal Assistant to the City Attorney.

Hattiesburg disadvantaged business enterprises, or DBE’s, could be getting a helping hand with a new program.

“The purpose of our DBE program would be to level the playing field, to keep money local and also to offer business opportunities to those businesses that are socially and economically disadvantaged to offer them an opportunity to compete in city contracts,” said Jones.

The city is still researching how the program would operate.

“What we’re hoping will happen is these businesses will participate more in city contracts and hopefully will help increase the city’s tax base as well,” said Jones.

Several factors will go into becoming a DBE for Hattiesburg including a geographic limit of a 100-mile radius.

These businesses may not get the entire contract but rather a percentage of the entire project.

“We’ll set a percentage goal based on each contract based on the relative availability of DBE’s in the market,” said Jones.

Once the program is put in place the city plans on doing an outreach program to get businesses in the database.

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