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FAQ's: 

What is the Office of Business Opportunity?

The Office of Business Opportunity (OBO) serves to encourage the inclusion of women, minorities, and small businesses, within the local community, in the school district’s contracts for goods and services. By forming, fostering, and forging partnerships with small businesses, OBO endeavors to support student achievement by building and maintaining relationships with the business community. OBO recognizes that purchasing goods and services from small, ethnically-diverse, or women-owned businesses enables everyone to get involved, improving the economic vitality of the Orlando area.

What does the Office of Business Opportunity (OBO) do?

OBO staff keeps small businesses informed of district contracts and maintains constant communication with the Facilities & Construction Contracting and Procurement & Contracting offices.

OBO actively seeks to:
  • Identify small businesses (MWBE, LDB and/or VE) who can provide products and services to the district.
  • Share information with potential vendors about the district’s procurement opportunities.
  • Meet with vendors to discuss procurement requirements.
  • Facilitate mentoring relationships between small businesses and larger companies.
  • Provide technical assistance to small businesses that are awarded contracts.
  • Monitor and Report levels of small business participation for the procurement of goods, non-professional services, construction, and professional services.

When small businesses are awarded contracts, the OBO contacts these vendors to ensure they are aware of the support services available to them through OBO. In addition, OBO staff works closely with vendors, prime contractors, architectural and engineering firms, and subcontractors to facilitate relationships between small businesses and larger firms.

What are MWBEs, LDBs, and VBEs?

Minority- and women-owned business enterprises (MWBEs) are firms owned (51 percent or more) by a woman or an African American, Asian, Hispanic or Native American. They must be certified as minority-owned or woman-owned by the State of Florida, Orange County, the City of Orlando, the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority, the National Minority Supplier Development Council (FMSDC/NMSDC).

Local developing businesses (LDBs) must meet specific net worth and profit limitations and be located in Orange, Osceola, Lake, or Seminole County. For specifics on the limitations, please see the LDB policy on the Business Opportunity homepage.

Veteran Enterprises (VEs) are a business at least 51% owned by an individual who has served in the US military, as certified by the State of Florida or the Center for Verification and Eligibility (CVE).

How does one become an OCPS vendor?

Companies interested in becoming a vendor may apply for registration on the district’s Procurement & Contracts Website. Applications, along with a W-9 form and MWBE/LDB/VE certification should be uploaded at the time of registration.

What are the school district's participation standards?

OCPS has established a standard that the district will spend the following percentages of contracted dollars with minority- and women-owned businesses.
• Construction Services and Materials 23%
• Professional Services (Architectural and Engineering) 15%
• Goods and Non-professional Services 12%

OCPS has established the expectation that the district will spend the following percentages of contracted dollars with local developing businesses.
• Construction Services and Materials 10%
• Professional Services (Architectural and Engineering) 10%
• Goods and Non-professional Services 10%

OCPS has established the expectation that the district will spend the following percentages of contracted dollars with local developing businesses.
Construction Services and Materials 3%
• Professional Services (Architectural and Engineering) 3%
• Goods and Non-professional Services 3%

Why register with the Office of Business Opportunity?

Registering with the Office of Business Opportunity as an MWB, LDB and/or VBE improves a firm’s likelihood of gaining knowledge about potential business opportunities with OCPS. Registered small vendors also receive increased exposure to prime contractors. Developing relationships with these contractors increases the opportunity to secure sub-contracting opportunities.

What is the process for becoming LDB certified?

The OBO certifies LDB firms and recognizes LDB certification from the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority. Find LDB eligibility.

How are small businesses included in the solicitation process?

OCPS encourages small business participation in the district's procurement process from inception to post-award. To that end, Office of Business Opportunity does the following:

  • Reaches out to MWBEs, LDBs, and VEs to notify them of district opportunities, including outreach/networking events.
  • Notifies registered small businesses of the specific opportunity if it matches the commodity code indicated in their business' certification record.
  • Assists vendors submitting proposals with identifying small businesses to meet the district's contractual requirements for participation.
  • Attends pre-submittals in order to answer questions regarding the district's requirements.
  • Attends bid-openings and participates in selection committees to evaluate a firm's participation history and plan.    

Where can I find out about upcoming outreach events?

Outreach events are listed on the Office of Business Opportunity (OBO) website (obo.ocps.net) in the section "Calendar of Events”.

Where is the Office of Business Opportunity Located?

The Office of Business Opportunity is located at 6501 Magic Way, Bldg 101F, Orlando, FL 32809.  

Magic Way Location Map: