Providing opportunities and incentives to certified firms located in Pima County to do business with the City of Tucson on projects and contracts administered by the City's Procurement Department.

Mayor and Council adopted the City of Tucson's Minority and Woman-Owned Business (MWBE) Program on August 5, 1996. The Program was implemented on October 1, 1996.

Program Advantages 
Participation Requirements 
Application Requirements 
How to Participate 
What the MWBE Program IS and IS NOT

Program Advantages

  • Certified firms may qualify to meet subcontracting goals on City construction projects.
  • Certified general procurement firms may qualify for:
    • Up to 7% price preference on goods and service contracts of $25,000 to $150,000
    • And up to 5% bid price preference on contracts above $150,000 to $250,000.
  • Certified Architectural and Engineering firms may qualify to receive five (5) preference points on Request for Qualification contracts. Preference points may be added to scores received from the rating committees for each solicitation.
  • Certified businesses/firms will be listed in the MWBE Online Directory, which is used by governmental, public, and private procurement entities, as well as contractors that are soliciting bids on projects.


Participation Requirements

  • A firm must register as a vendor with the City's Procurement Department 
    Log on to the Procurement Department web site at:
    • Click on Vendor Services 
      That will take you to BuySpeed Online
    • Click on Registration 
      Complete the information as required
  • To participate in the City's MWBE Program, a business must be certified with the OEOP as a minority or woman-owned business. MWBE certification applications must be completed and submitted to the OEOP for processing.


Application Requirements

  • A firm must be a minority/woman-owned business.
  • The minority or woman owner must own at least 51% of the firm.
  • The minority or woman owner must manage, operate, and control the firm and must possess the expertise to do so.


How To Participate

  • Complete the MWBE certification application and provide the required documents. 
    Print out the MWBE Application form (pdf) 
    The form can be filled out on-line and printed. It cannot be saved.
  • An audit of the documentation will be conducted to determine preliminary eligibility.
  • An on-site visit/review by an MWBE Specialist will be performed to determine program compliance and eligibility.


What the MWBE Program IS and IS NOT:

  • The MWBE Program enhances opportunities for local firms. 
    It is NOT available to firms located outside of Pima County.
  • The MWBE Program expands contracting opportunities for qualified minority and women-owned firms by providing a competitive "edge". 
    It is NOT a "hand-out" nor a set-aside program.
  • The MWBE Program enhances opportunity and addresses disparity. 
    It is NOT an attempt to encourage dependency.
  • The MWBE Program establishes reasonable, attainable, goals - NOT quotas.
  • Subcontracting goals for construction contracts are based on the availability of certified, qualified, and willing MWBE businesses in specific industries and/or trades. 
    It is NOT based on an arbitrary number.
  • The MWBE Program provides a good faith waiver to contractors. 
    It does NOT force contractors to use unavailable, overpriced minority and women-owned firms.
  • Subcontracting goals for construction contracts apply to all prime contractors whether majority, minority, or women-owned. 
    It does NOT place a greater burden on majority-owned prime contractors.
  • The bid price preference afforded to MWBEs on goods and services contracts (amount is dependent on size of contract - either 7% or 5%) 
    does NOT "give" contracts to non-competitive firms.
  • Preference points awarded to MWBEs on Architectural and Engineering contracts provide a competitive edge to eligible firms. 
    Preference points are NOT exclusive to MWBEs; they are also awarded to non-certified local firms for other preference categories.

For the MWBE Directory or a Certification Application, call the City's OEOP Office at (520) 791-4593.