Small Business Development


Certification Overview

All businesses seeking certification as a City of Milwaukee Small Business Enterprise are required to complete one of the applications below.  

  • SBE New Certification: Small business seeking SBE with the City of Milwaukee
  • SBE Renewal Certification: Certified SBE firms whose certification is expiring within the next 90 days.
  • SBE Addendum Certification: Certified SBE firms who have expanded their business and wish to become certified for new products or services.

Thoroughly completed applications containing all required supporting documentation will be processed by date of receipt and on a first-in, first out basis.  Application review and processing times may be completed within 90 days, however timeframes may vary depending on the number of applications in queue and/or if applications are submitted without required information.  

For a complete overview of our process, please review our certification procedures here: Small Business Enterprise Certification Procedures  or contact our office at 414-286-5553 or [email protected]

If you need instructions on how to access and complete an application, please view the B2Gnow Online Application User Manual

Apply here.

Certification Requirements

In order to be certified as a Small Business Enterprise (SBE), all businesses must meet the following minimum certification requirements:

  1. The business shall be a U.S.-based business which is independently owned, operated and controlled and is not dominant in its field of operation, or an affiliate or subsidiary of a business dominant in its field of operation.

  2. The business shall meet the size standards of the United States Small Business Administration (SBA).

  3. The business shall have demonstrated capacity to perform independently or as a subcontractor relative to its field of operation.

  4. The business shall not be owned, operated and controlled by individuals or groups of individuals, who own, operate and control a large business involved in the same category of work as the business for which SBE certification status is sought.

  5. The business shall be operational for at least one year prior to certification.

  6. The owner shall control the day-to-day critical operations of the firm.

  7. The owner or owners shall be citizens or permanent, legal residents of the United States.

In addition, detailed below are specific certification requirements that assist in determining SBE certification eligibility:

The business shall be at least 51% owned, operated and controlled by one or more persons who are at an economic disadvantage and who is experiencing substantial difficulty in achieving business-related success as a result of at least 3 of the following:

  1. At a disadvantage with respect to business location.
    • To determine whether your business location meets this criterion, enter your business address on My Milwaukee Home and click on the "Special Interest" tab.  Scroll to the bottom of the page to determine whether your business is in a Renewal Community.

  2. At a disadvantage with respect to education.

  3. At a disadvantage with respect to employment.

  4. At a social disadvantage.

Required Documents

The City requires several documents to affirm whether a business meets the eligibility criteria for certification.  To assist with gathering the appropriate information, please review the checklists below which contain comprehensive lists of supporting documents that must be submitted along with the application.

If an application is submitted with incomplete or missing documents, the business has ten (10) business days to respond and provide the requested information.  If the requested documents are not provided within ten (10) business days, the application review process will be terminated and the application will be returned to the business owner.  

To expedite the review process, please review the document checklist as many times as needed prior to submitting the application.  If you have any questions, please contact our office at 414-286-5553 or [email protected].

City of Milwaukee

City Hall
200 E. Wells Street
Room 606
Milwaukee, WI 53202  

[email protected]

Dontreal Teague
Business Inclusion Program Coordinator
[email protected] 

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