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Via Express Mail
Suite 112, Lindsley Hall
730 2nd Avenue South
Nashville TN 37210

Via USPS Mail
730 2nd Avenue South
PO Box 196300
Nashville TN 37219

(615) 862-6180 Phone
(615) 862-6179 FAX
Business Assistance Office
(615) 880-2814 Phone
(615) 862-6175 FAX

Procurement Division

Metro's Small Business Program

Metro's Small Business Program strives to stimulate economic growth by implementing programs and initiatives to identify, prepare and grow small and disadvantaged businesses so that they can become and continue to be positive contributors to the Nashville economy.

BAO businesses by providing them with information, technical assistance, business development, and outreach services to help them participate effectively in procurements with Metro and other buying entities and thereby grow their businesses. BAO supports the goal of the government to make Nashville an inclusive city where qualified small businesses have an opportunity to participate in City procurement activities.

Metro's Small Business Program consists of a variety of components that work together. The program components are: Business Development and Outreach; Small Business Status Confirmation; Contract Compliance; Small Business Evaluated Preference and Staff Procurement Process Involvement; and Dispute Resolution.

Small Business Components: Business Development and Outreach, Small Business Status Confirmation, Small Business Evaluated Preference, Contract Compliance, Dispute Resolution

Business Development and Outreach

Good business development and outreach activities are extremely important to the success of a Small Business program. The Business Development and Outreach function is dedicated to working with vendors to promote their readiness to do business with Metro. Business Development and Outreach staff engages in a number of activities toward this end including but not limited to the following:

  • One-on-one technical assistance with vendors;
  • Conducting business development training through the BAO training series;
  • Participating in trade shows and business fairs sponsored by other business development entities;
  • Managing the delivery of an annual Business Symposium targeting minority and small businesses sponsored by Metro’s BAO;
  • Working to identify and linking minority businesses with available sources of capital;
  • Working to identify creative bonding solutions for small and minority businesses.
  • Serving as a liaison with approved certifying entities to ensure certified status of Metro vendors.
  • Partnering with other Procurement and Contract Management Staff to engage in Conflict Resolution/Ombudsman work designed to limit vendor-to-department and vendor-to- vendor conflicts resulting in fewer instances of contract breech and termination.

Business Status Confirmation

This is the process of confirming small business status through the review of tax documents.  This process has been reviewed and approved by the Procurement Standards Board and is reflected in the Procurement Regulations.  This process allows Metro to be sure that the suppliers benefiting from its incentive based small business program are indeed small.

Small Business Evaluated Preference

Procurement incentives are awarded for the use of small businesses.  Those incentives are in the form of points in the Request for Proposal (RFP) process, discounting and evaluated bid pricing in the Invitation to Bid (ITB) process.  When vendors seeking to do business either are a small business or commit to using small businesses, they receive a tangible benefit.

Dispute Resolution/Ombudsman Work

A component that was absent in Metro’s Small Business program in recent years was dispute resolution.  This work is extremely important because it allows for the management of the relationships between subcontractors and primes as well as between Metro and its prime contractors.  The work is critical because often participation is impacted by poor relationships and those relationships can be managed and prevented from becoming strained and remain positive.