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Policy Manual

6320.02 - Supplier Diversity

The School Board is committed to doing business with contractors, vendors, and other suppliers who reflect the great diversity of our community. It is the policy of the Board to promote and attain that diversity through the Small Business Encouragement (SBE) Program that encourages and facilitates the participation of small businesses, including those that are woman and minority owned, in every aspect of the Board's procurement activities.

The SBE Program is gender/race neutral and is open to any small, certified business that meets the eligibility requirements set forth in this policy.

District staff, vendors, contractors, consultants, and bidders are encouraged to utilize businesses registered with the Office of Supplier Diversity (OSD). The OSD shall maintain a searchable vendor directory designed to inform interested parties of registered firms/vendors.

Only companies that are small, certified, and meet the District’s Encouragement Program criteria are eligible for participation and/or recognition in the District’s SBE/WBE Encouragement Program.

Application Registration Procedure

To apply to participate in the SBE Program, businesses shall do the following:

  A. Register through the District’s Procurement Department’s On-line Application, available at VendorLink, 

available at, indicating an interest in participating in the SBE Program.

  B. Meet the following eligibility standards:
    1. be an independent business that has an office in the Tampa Bay area, which, for purposes of this policy, includes Hernando, Hillsborough, Manatee, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, and Sarasota.
    2. have been in an active business in the Tampa Bay area for one year prior to application.
    3. have a staff of 100 or less.
    4. have an average net income of $2,000,000.00 or less, and a net worth of $3,000,000.00 or less.
    5. be a certified small business, including those that are women or minority owned. (See information below about certifying agencies.)

The OSD database is updated on a weekly basis and all vendors can verify information by visiting the following website:

Each company that is approved for participation in the SBE Program is required to renew its registration at the expiration of the approved certification period, which is either annually or every two years. Expired certificates are not accepted. Failure to qualify for the SBE program does not affect vendor registration or capacity to do business with the District.

Certifying Agencies

The Board does not certify businesses as small and/or women and/or minority-owned. The Board will accept certifications issued by any of the following agencies:

  A. Hillsborough County
    601 East Kennedy Boulevard, 13th Floor
    Tampa, FL
    Phone: (813) 272-5979, Fax: (813)276-2638


  B. City of Tampa
    306 Jackson Street, 7th Floor
    Tampa, FL
    Phone: (813) 274-5522, Fax: (813) 274-5544 
  C. Florida Statewide and Inter-local Certification
    4050 Esplanade Way, Suite 360
    Tallahassee, FL
    Phone: (850) 487-0915, Fax: (850) 922-6852
  D. Florida Minority Supplier Development Council
    6880 Lake Eleanor Drive, Suite 104A
    Orlando, FL
    Phone: (407) 245-6062, Fax: (407) 857-8647

Note: There is a small cost associated with the certification process with the Florida Minority Supplier Development Council.

Bid Notifications

All business opportunities are announced via email to vendors based on commodity codes in the vendor’s VendorLink registration, and identified by the Procurement Department.

Registration in VendorLink is no guarantee of work or contract.

Notifications are sent in accordance with commodity codes selected by the vendors during the registration process.

Addenda to existing bids are placed in VendorLink.  Awards, notices of intent, and tabulation sheets are posted in VendorLink.  A vendor must download a solicitation from VendorLink to be notified of all changes and updates to that solicitation such as addenda, awards, notices of intent, and tabulations.

Supplier Diversity Sub-Contractors
Construction Managers that are awarded contracts for construction projects for Hillsborough County Public School shall invite at least two vendors where applicable who are on the list of the Office of Supplier Diversity to submit bid packages as sub-contractors.

Revised January 15, 2019

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