History & City Ordinance Changes
The Emerging Business Enterprise (EBE) Program was enacted through Chapter 360 of the Milwaukee Code of Ordinances. The EBE Program, formerly known as the DBE program, was created to assist and protect the interests of individuals who are disadvantaged and small business concerns in order to promote and encourage full and open competition in the City of Milwaukee.
Chapter 360 of the Milwaukee Code of Ordinances was revised to utilize city-certified EBEs in all contracting activities by approving an annual 18 percent EBE utilization requirement for each contracting department, and all other operating departments.
Chapter 370 of the Milwaukee Code of Ordinances went into effect and implemented the recommendations of the city’s disparity study conducted in 2009/2010 by redesigning the Emerging Business Enterprise (EBE) Program to a minority, women and small business enterprise (MWSBE) program. The Emerging Business Enterprise program has transitioned into the Office of Small Business Development (OSBD) to further implement and oversee the programmatic changes. The changes also limited MWSBE certifications to businesses located in a 4-county area: Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Washington, and Waukesha counties.
Portions of Chapter 370 of the Milwaukee Code of Ordinances were repealed to remove the race and gender conscious programs (minority and women business enterprise) and maintain the race and gender neutral small business enterprise program. Additionally, the 4-county area restriction was removed, opening up certifications to businesses located in the contiguous United States. The "Disadvantage with Respect to Business Training" was also removed as a possible eligibility criteria for businesses seeking new or renewal certification.