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    MOVEBR program on track to exceed local small business participation target

    Mayor expects more than $57 million in preconstruction spending with small businesses

    Hoping to achieve at least 20% in small business participation in the MOVEBR program, Baton Rouge 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,” 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,” Broome said. “By exceeding the target we set for ourselves, the MOVEBR program is helping to keep East Baton Rouge Parish strong.”

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    MOVEBR hosts Oct. 3 small business outreach informational workshop

    MOVEBR through its Small Business Outreach initiative is hosting the first in a series of informational workshops on Thursday, October 3, 2019. This workshop is open to appraisers, abstractors, real estate agents or others interested in the available opportunities to do business with MOVEBR related to the topic of right of way acquisitions.

    As the MOVEBR program implements transportation and infrastructure improvements across East Baton Rouge Parish, a wide variety of opportunities will occur for all businesses irrespective of size to participate in the process. These will be advertised through the normal procurement processes of the City-Parish.  Specific efforts related to training and capacity building will be offered to small businesses through the Small Business Outreach (SBO) initiative.

    “MOVEBR provides an opportunity to invest in our local economy by helping our small businesses flourish, which are the backbone of our community. Ultimately, we’re investing in people as well as concrete,” said Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome. “The diversity and inclusion of a wide range of small businesses is key to ensuring these investments are cost-efficient and spread equally throughout our community.”

    The SBO effort will include targeted outreach for emerging and established businesses. Throughout the course of the MOVEBR program, several informational sessions will be offered for the various disciplines needed to support the MOVEBR program as the program evolves.  The first session will take place on Thursday, October 3 at the Delmont Gardens Branch Library, 3351 Lorraine Street, Baton Rouge, 5:30-7:00 pm. It will focus on Right of Way services. Small business owners interested in those services are encouraged to attend this session. Subsequent workshops will be held for other disciplines and trades including engineering and construction services.

    “The Small Business Outreach (SBO) Initiative will empower local, small, minority, women and veteran-owned companies by connecting them with opportunities to participate in the process,” said Raymond Jetson, MOVEBR’s SBO Workgroup Leader. ”It’s important that we help small businesses compete for these opportunities by providing timely communications, capacity-building strategies and technical assistance.”

    MOVEBR Small Business Definition

    For the purposes of outreach and engagement, a MOVEBR Small Business is defined as an entity that holds one of the following certifications and/or participates in one of the listed programs:

    The MOVEBR Small Business Outreach effort does not restrict or prohibit any otherwise designated small business or non-small business from pursuing opportunities with the City-Parish. The definition above is intended to identify the types of small businesses the effort is designed to reach, inform and support their inclusion in the MOVEBR Program.

    ONLINE: twww.movebr.brla.gov

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