January 31, 2023 -- To celebrate a milestone in the City of Houston's Supplier Diversity program, Mayor Sylvester Turner today honored the 5,000th small business to receive certification – Little Bits & Masterpieces, LLC.
The arts studio, which recently was granted the Minority Business Enterprise and Women Business Enterprise certifications, provides an environment that encourages children to be confident, to trust themselves, and to enhance their creative and artistic abilities through exploration and independent thinking.
During Mayor Sylvester Turner’s administration, the City of Houston’s supplier diversity program has certified 5,000th businesses. With this number, the City of Houston now has more certified businesses than any regional certifying agency in Texas, second only to the State of Texas HUB Certification Program. The City of Houston serves 10 counties in the Houston metropolitan area, while the State’s certification program certifies HUB firms in 254 counties across Texas.
With certifications, small businesses are eligible to participate in City of Houston goal-oriented contracts. They can also be used to do business in many public sector agencies across the region, as well as in the private sector. Last Fiscal Year, the City of Houston awarded more than $608 million to certified MWSBE firms.
“When I became mayor in 2016, there were 2,550 small businesses in the City’s Certified Firm Directory,” said Mayor Turner. “As I come to the end of my term, I’m proud to say we have increased that number by almost 100%. In fact, we are already growing past the 5,000 mark. With the help of the Office of Business Opportunity, the City of Houston will continue its commitment to the advancement of equitable access, economic opportunity and the success of historically underutilized small businesses in the Greater Houston region.”
During Wednesday's celebration, Mayor Turner also recognized owner Sultonah Theriot, proclaiming it “Little Bits & Masterpieces, LLC Day.” With the proclamation, he commended Theriot for making City of Houston history, for contributing to the growth of the local economy and for making an impact in the community through her certified business.
Through the Office of Business Opportunity (OBO), the City of Houston certifies the following businesses through its local certification program: Minority Business Enterprise (MBE), Women Business Enterprise (WBE), Small Business Enterprise (SBE), and Persons with Disabilities Enterprise (PDBE). OBO also provides the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) and Airport Concessionaire Disadvantaged Enterprise (ACDBE) on behalf of the United States Department of Transportation.
“This has only been possible through the work of the dedicated public servants at the Office of Business Opportunity,” said OBO Director Marsha Murray. “My team is truly committed to the growth and success of our local small businesses.”