Small and Underutilized Business Program

Comply with the Small and Underutilized Business Program (SUBP).

Program overview

Established by City ordinance, the purpose of the SUBP is to:

  • remedy discrimination in the City's marketplace; and
  • create opportunities for minority-owned and women-owned businesses.

The Contract Compliance Division (CCD) oversees the program.

SUBP goals

As a requirement of SUBP, goals may be set on any City contract that is more than $175,000. These goals are to ensure Minority-owned Business Enterprises (MBEs) and Women-owned Business Enterprises (WBEs) are included in the work. 

Goals are set before a bid or RFP is published and are based on the following factors:

  • project scope
  • subcontracting opportunities
  • availability of qualified MBEs/WBEs

If SUBP goals are set on a contract, to be awarded that contract a bidder must either:

  • meet the goals, or
  • show they made good faith efforts to meet the goals.
  • If a bidder does not meet the goals and does not show they made a good faith effort then they will not be awarded the contract.

Qualifying MBEs and WBEs

To count toward SUBP goals, an MBE/WBE business must meet the following criteria:

  • The business must be certified as a Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (“DBE”) before the business performs work on a City contract.
    • If a business is not yet certified as DBE, but may qualify for certification, visit the MnUCP website to learn more about the certification process.
    • You can look for SUBP-eligible businesses in the MnUCP online directory. Check the box labeled “SUBP (Small and Underutilized Business Program)” to narrow your search results to include only SUBP-eligible businesses. 
  • The business must have its primary location in the Minnesota counties of Anoka, Carver, Chisago, Dakota, Hennepin, Isanti, Le Sueur, Mille Lacs, Ramsey, Scott, Sherburne, Sibley, Washington, or Wright; or the Wisconsin counties of Pierce or St. Croix.
  • The business must be DBE-certified in the scope of work it will perform. Determine this by looking at the NAICS codes listed at the bottom of a business’s profile in the MnUCP online directory. To learn more about what each NAICS code means, you can search for a NAICS code’s definition on the U.S. Census website.
  • The business must actually perform, manage, and supervise the work involved. At least 30 percent of its contract must be performed by its own workforce, or it can subcontract out work based on normal industry practices.

Contact us if you have you have more questions about what qualifies as an MBE/WBE.

Good faith efforts

If SUBP goals are not met, you must show a good faith effort to follow SUBP requirements, in order to be awarded the contract. This includes documenting your efforts to hire MBE/WBE businesses for that contract. CCD will conduct a review of your good faith efforts. 

There are eight factors that CCD will look at when reviewing your good faith efforts. Find the full list in our SUBP bid documents.

Bidding requirements

Our SUBP bid documents provide instructions to bidders about SUBP.

Bidders, Solicitation, and SUBP List (Excel)

Contact us if you have general questions about SUBP requirements for bidding.

For questions about a specific City of Minneapolis bid, while the bid is published and active you must use only the contact information listed in the documents published with that bid.

Disparity Study

SUBP inclusion goals are based, in part, on a regional disparity study, which the City participated in.

Read our most recent Disparity Study.

Read our 2010 Disparity Study

Contact us

Johnnie Burns


Contract Compliance Division




City Hall
350 Fifth St. S., Room 239
Minneapolis, MN 55415

Office hours
8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Monday – Friday

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