Target Market Program
The City of Minneapolis has long been a champion of small businesses throughout our region, and recognizes that small and entrepreneurial businesses drive our robust and thriving economy. Furthering these efforts, the City is implementing the Target Market Program, a new program aimed at expanding opportunities for historically underutilized small businesses and stimulating local economy through increased economic opportunities in the City’s marketplace.
Under the Target Market Program, qualified small businesses will have the ability to respond alongside other similarly situated small businesses for City contracts up to $100,000 instead of competing against larger, more established companies.
The Target Market Program Ordinance was passed on Sept 23, 2016, with a program start date of January 1, 2017. This program is intended to provide a race-neutral and gender-neutral tool to expand opportunities for, and develop the capacity of, small and local businesses so that all segments of the community may participate in City contracts.
How does the program work?
Beginning on January 1, 2017, the Target Market Program will function as an additional tool within the city's purchasing processes. When a City department identifies a need to purchase a product or service under $100,000 they will submit a request to the Procurement office. After reviewing the scope of services, Procurement staff will check the Target Market Program supplier listing for small businesses that can provide the requested commodity or service. For commodity purchases, the City will issue an informal bid to the vendors enrolled in the Target Market Program. For professional services, City departments will receive a list of participating small businesses for the particular service and a proposal will be solicited from those businesses.
For a purchase to be subject to the Target Market Program, there must be at least 3 qualified vendors in a particular commodity category or service. If fewer than 3 qualified businesses are enrolled in the program, that purchase will follow the regular purchase process and will be open to all businesses.
Businesses that meet the following criteria are eligible to participate:
Size standards: In the most recently completed 3 fiscal years,* your business did not exceed the United States Small Business Administration (SBA) size standards** AND the gross receipts/sales of your business did not exceed the Target Market Program threshold for your industry. (If you have been in business for less than three years, the annual gross receipts will be averaged over the period of time that you have been in business). The size thresholds for the industry categories are: Construction $10 million or under; Manufacturing Operations $5 million and under; Professional/Technical Services $5 million and under; Retail Operations $3 million and under; Service Operations $3 million and under; Wholesale Operations - $4 million and under.
- Principal place of business: Your principal place of business*** is located within the 13-county metro area (Minnesota counties of Anoka, Benton, Carver, Chisago, Dakota, Hennepin, Isanti, Ramsey, Scott, Sherburne, Stearns, Washington, and Wright).
- Independently owned and controlled: Your business is independently owned and controlled. Whether the business is independently owned and controlled is indicated by the absence of control or influence of a non-SBE. The business must be free of such items as shared personnel, facilities, equipment, financial, or other resources with a non-SBE. Processing multiple SBEs under one business name with shared management, personnel, facilities, equipment, financial, or other resources is prohibited.
For-profit: Your business is a for-profit business.
Commercially useful function: For the contract opportunity to which your business will be responding, your business will be the one actually performing, managing, and supervising the work involved. Acting as a conduit to transfer funds to another business does not constitute a commercially useful function unless it is a normal practice of a particular industry.
*This could be a calendar year or a July-June fiscal year, depending on how your accounting year is set up.
**Detailed SBA size standards for your business, based on NAICS code, can be found here.
***Principal place of business is defined as “the primary physical location at which or from which a business performs, is maintained, or operates.”
All small business owners interested in participating in the Target Market Program - including both existing City vendors and new vendors - must enroll.
Enrolling for the Target Market Program is simple - just follow the steps below. Enrollment should take about 15 minutes to complete. Once you submit the enrollment form, City's Procurement Office staff will contact you within 5 days to let you know whether your business has been approved to participate in the program.
Online enrollment form process:
- Access the enrollment form by clicking on this link: Target Market Program Enrollment Form
- Instructions for submitting the online enrollment form (pdf)
- Complete and submit the form online.
- If completing the online form presents a hardship for you, you may call 311 and an operator will assist you.
Paper form enrollment process:
- Download the enrollment form by clicking on this link: Target Market Program Enrollment Form (pdf)
- Instructions for filling out the paper enrollment form (pdf)
- Complete the enrollment form by filling the fields in on your computer or printing the form out and completing it by hand.
- Return the form to the City's Procurement Office in one of the two ways:
a) Save or scan the document and email it to: TargetMarket@minneapolismn.gov
b)Mail or drop off a hard copy of the document to:
City of Minneapolis - Procurement, 330 South, 2nd Avenue, Suite 552, Minneapolis, MN 55401
As part of the enrollment process, you will affirm that the information you are providing is true, including information about whether your business meets the Target Market Program eligibility criteria. If you are chosen as a supplier for a City contract, you may be asked to submit a notarized self-certification before beginning work on the contract.
Frequently Asked Questions:
How does this program benefit my small business?
Enrolling in the Target Market Program means that you will have opportunities to take the City of Minneapolis as a client for your business. A City contract can provide the certainty of guaranteed work and income that a small business needs to sustain and grow. When you are an approved business in the Target Market Program, you will be notified about City contracts that your business is equipped to take on. You will compete for contracts alongside other similarly-situated businesses, increasing your likelihood of winning a contract.
How will I know what contracting opportunities are available to me?
Purchases of commodities and services under $100,000 will first consider the Target Market Program supplier list and if there are 3 or more approved businesses in the particular category where the purchase need is identified, businesses in that category will be notified of the opportunity.
How is this different from the City’s SUBP program?
The Target Market Program is a race and gender neutral program. Unlike the Small and Underutilized Business Program (SUBP) that focuses specifically on minority and women-owned businesses, the Target Market Program is intended to level the playing field for all small businesses. In addition, the Target Market Program only applies to City contracts under $100,000.
Does enrolling for the Target Market Program guarantee that I will receive City contracts?
Assuming you meet the eligibility criteria, registering for the Target Market Program means you are added to the supplier pool from which City contract managers draw for contracts under $100,000. You must still respond to the Bid or Request for Proposals (RFP) in order to be considered for any given contract, and you will still be considered alongside other Target Market Program suppliers to determine who best meets the City’s needs. Enrolling in the Target Market Program alone will not guarantee City contracts.
If I am already in your system as a supplier (if I have done business with the City before), do I still need to enroll for the Target Market Program?
Yes; all small businesses, including current City suppliers, need to register in order to be considered for Target Market Program-eligible contracts.
Is this a business certification?
No; the Target Market Program is not a certification program. If you have existing certifications through other organizations, we would like to know that when you enroll for the Target Market Program. However, you are not required to have any outside certification in order to participate in the Target Market Program.
Is there a deadline for enrollment?
No; enrollments are accepted on a rolling basis. Once you register, you will begin receiving information about Bid and RFP opportunities that you are eligible for. To be considered for as many contracting opportunities as possible, register early!
Request for Appeal Form:
If you have been notified that your business is ineligible for participating in the Target Market Program and you would like to appeal the decision, please complete the form below to be contacted for a hearing session: Request for Appeal Form
For additional information:
Please email us at TargetMarket@minneapolismn.gov with your comments, suggestions and questions.
Last updated Feb 8, 2017