Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry says he wants to give small businesses more access to participate in city-funded projects. Henry is working with developers and contractors to increase the number of opportunities for Emerging Business Enterprises.
Launched in 1990, the EBE is a city-initiated program to help small businesses grow and succeed.
The city set a goal of 10% EBE contractor participation on city projects where city dollars are spent. Fort Wayne annually tracks the participation rate.
In 2018, EBE participation was 10.4 percent. In 2017, the total was 11.5 percent , according to city data.
The city recently adjusted revenue levels. Previously a contractor could earn a maximum of $5 million and be established in business less than 15 years to be considered an emerging business. That amount has been doubled.