TMG Consulting Facilitates DBE Workshop in Baton Rouge

651f58fe-9f07-40d6-8315-9a1c9a60a220The 12th Annual Business Opportunities Workshop was held at the L’auberge Casino & Hotel in Baton Rouge on October 31st, 2017. This annual event series was first started by TMG as a tool to allow small and disadvantaged businesses to interact and create business relationships with Airport staff, prime firms, agencies providing small business assistance, and other small firms. This free workshop is sponsored by the Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport and is geared toward those interested in pursuing future work with the Airport and other businesses in the surrounding area.

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The workshop brought together over 100 attendees from a variety of backgrounds including small business owners, government officials, and resource groups. Along with sitting in on informational presentations, attendees were given the opportunity to network with other businesses while enjoying a complimentary breakfast and lunch catered by the casino. This event is one of many outreach efforts encouraging small and disadvantaged business development in Baton Rouge. The Airport was selected by the Airports Council International (North America) as the Small Hub Inclusion Champion for 2017, recognizing their dedication to promote diversity in the airport industry both through business development and community engagement.

1401f5e9-f0f7-4f9f-9943-8d5cc36e3162The opening remarks were given by Ralph Hennessy, Interim Director of Aviation for the Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport, and followed by DBE consultants Dylan Wade and Nathan Lipson of TMG Consulting who presented an overview of the Baton Rouge DBE program and discussed the best practices for submitting bids and proposals. Joe Levraea, Program Manager for BTR of AMG Consulting, gave an overview of upcoming projects and contract opportunities available at the Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport.

 

be94f18c-bdae-4af1-ab95-6c2ab0a441aaMike Taffaro kicked off the afternoon events describing procurement opportunities with the Airport as well as the City of Baton Rouge. Remy Graves, DBE/SBE Program Manager for the Louisiana Department of Transportation & Development, discussed what it takes to become DBE certified and the resources that the LADOTD can provide for business owners looking to get certified. Jo Ann Lawrence, Deputy District Director for the U.S. Small Business Administration closed out the workshop with her presentation, “Support for Small Business in Louisiana,” in which she identified numerous bond assistance, insurance, and general business advice programs which the SBA provides in Baton Rouge, New Orleans, and throughout the state of Louisiana.

a8ae9d5a-2b49-4f3f-ae6e-b205406f0e32TMG Consulting started the DBE program with the Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport in 2001 and has successfully assisted in planning and hosting the workshop since its first year in 2005. The event has continued to grow over the years with increased numbers of attendees and local participation.

 

Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport Prevails in Challenge to Public Bid

Court Formally Recognizes TMG’s Knowledge and Experience in Victory for Client

Since 2001, TMG Consulting has administered and monitored the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Program (DBE) at the Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport (BRMA). One of our responsibilities is to review the bid documents submitted on federal projects to ensure compliance to the DBE Program. In short, did the bidder meet the DBE project goal and/or make Good Faith Efforts (GFEs) to utilize DBE participation?

This month, TMG participated in a hearing on behalf of the BRMA.

BTRRecently, BRMA solicited sealed bid responses for Wildlife Hazard Mitigation Improvements, a drainage and infrastructure project to eliminate potential attractions to wildlife near the airfield. The apparent low bid was contested by another bidder for a number of reasons, including a DBE-related matter. The bidder filed a temporary restraining order and writ of mandamus on the project in Baton Rouge Civil District Court.

Specifically at question was whether the apparent low bidder made adequate Good Faith Efforts to include DBE participation on the bid.

The Judge ruled in favor of the Airport:

(1)   Rejecting the plaintiff’s claims to award the contract to the plaintiff (writ of mandamus); and

(2)   Deeming that the burden of proof required for a permanent restraining order trial was not met, thereby removing the temporary restraining order.

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Baton Rouge Master Planning Process Gets Results

“Reconnecting to the River” and “Plan Baton Rouge” Lead to Significant Improvements Downtown

IMG_7948TMG Consulting’s Bonnie Garrigan and Rachael Bauer were in downtown Baton Rouge last week assisting the Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport administer its Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Program. Savvy planning efforts guided by the “Baton Rouge Riverfront Master Plan: Reconnecting to the River” have led to enormous progress in the city’s downtown.

In 2009 the City-Parish of Baton Rouge, through its Downtown Development District, debuted a new downtown riverfront master plan — a component of Baton Rouge’s comprehensive master plan, “Plan Baton Rouge.” This downtown revitalization implements the comprehensive master plan’s critical themes of establishing a greener, more active downtown, with better access to the river and neighborhoods. The redesigned downtown added over one acre of green space to the downtown area, fulfilling a key component of the City’s master plan recommendations. The redesign particularly focused on pedestrian access and connectivity to cultural and municipal amenities and institutions. This unified downtown plan highlights the important surrounding cultural and civic buildings, including:

  • City Hall
  • River Center Library
  • The Old State Capitol
  • Shaw Center for the Arts
  • Louisiana Art and Science Museum
  • River Center Campus
  • 19th Judicial District Courthouse
  • River Center Theatre for the Performing Arts
  • Two existing downtown hotels

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TMG Increases Engagement for DBEs and SBEs at Airport Event

On July 30th, 2014, TMG Consulting organized the 9th Annual Business Opportunities Workshop for the Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport. This year featured a small business trade show, where small and disadvantaged businesses, along with resources agencies, tabled to showcase their talents. Attendance at this event topped over 120 small and disadvantaged business, prime contractors, resource agencies, and airport staff! The purpose of the Business Opportunities Workshop is multi-faceted:

  • to educate firms about the Airport’s Disadvantaged Enterprise (DBE) program and Small Business Enterprise (SBE) program;
  • to inform attendees about upcoming work opportunities at the Airport;
  • to facilitate networking among prime and potential subcontractor firms in order to create connections now, learn what businesses have to offer and prepare a qualified team when the next Baton Rouge Airport bid is released.
  • and to provide resources to help small businesses grow.

Small businesses are an integral aspect of the Baton Rouge Airport’s long-term vision and the airport has a history of actively engaging the DBE and small business communities on Airport contracts. The Airport DBE Program is mandated by the federal government under FAA grant assurances and aims to ensure that government grant funds are distributed equitably.

TMG Consulting has assisted the Baton Rouge Airport to draft and administer both DBE and SBE programs and regularly sets DBE project goals, conducts compliance reviews of bid, and monitors ongoing DBE participation on projects. Events such as these are hosted to help communicate the wide range of opportunities at an Airport for businesses and to demystify the DBE program for all contractors.

 

Contributed by:

Bonnie Garrigan
Manager of Economic Analysis
bonniegarrigan@tmg-consulting.net or 504.569.9239 ext.29

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 Disclaimer
The views, interpretations, or strategies expressed are those of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the position of TMG Consulting. This site is meant for educational purposes only and does not constitute professional advice. TMG Consulting makes no representation as to accuracy, completeness, or suitability of any information on this site and will not be liable for damages arising from its display or use.

 

 

TMG Assists Baton Rouge Transit System as it Prepares for Big Change

In need of additional resources, the Baton Rouge Capital Area Transit System (CATS) turned to the voters of East Baton Rouge Parish to establish the agency’s first dedicated source of revenue.  Following an extensive outreach campaign that included a coalition of business, faith-based and other organizations, the Baton Rouge community in April 2012 approved a property tax measure which effectively doubled the agency’s budget in order to implement a number of significant improvements to service.  This ballot success was a big win for the future of transit in the Capital and an exceptional event for transit nationwide, representative of a larger trend of new attitudes toward transportation.

In late 2012, CATS retained TMG Consulting to analyze the current state and progress of the organization as it was preparing to implement its growth plans and to make recommendations on what management structure would best meet the agencies goals through transition.  TMG researched data from CATS and other relevant transit agencies of current and future size.  Using gap analysis, TMG was able to estimate what resources and staff capacity the organization was likely to need to meet its future goals.  After vetting a number of management alternatives that ranged from all in-house to fully contracted, or delegated, management, TMG recommended that CATS augment staff by contracting out selected management positions, an arrangement similar to transit agencies in El Paso, TX and Lexington, KY.  TMG also prepared a number of other recommendations, from the pace of introducing new service to technology investment, to enable the agency to stay on track to deliver its ballot goals and bring CATS to the next level.

The CATS Board and staff is currently reviewing TMG’s recommendations as it prepares for what will undoubtedly be a bright new future for transit in Baton Rouge.

Contributed by:

Dwight Norton, AICP

Senior Analyst, Planning

dwightnorton@tmg-consulting.net  

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Disclaimer
The views, interpretations, or strategies expressed are those of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the position of TMG Consulting. This site is meant for educational purposes only and does not constitute professional advice. TMG Consulting makes no representation as to accuracy, completeness, or suitability of any information on this site and will not be liable for damages arising from its display or use.

TMG Pioneers Development of Small Business Pilot Program for Baton Rouge Airport

TMG Consulting recently designed and developed a Small Business Program for the Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport.  This program, in compliance with recent changes in FAA regulations, includes new race and gender-neutral elements that would facilitate wider participation from small businesses.

TMG surveyed best practices of similar programs nationwide and conducted stakeholder meetings with small business advocacy organizations and professional trade organizations to gauge their response.  While many of the participants representing prime firms and sub-contractors expressed enthusiasm and support for this program, they also expressed concern about having to go through another certification process. The development of this pilot program has provided a great opportunity for the Airport to work closely with City Purchasing and to create a program that might be replicated across multiple public agencies.  This greatly benefits firms of all sizes by creating a uniform program – reducing confusion over the multitude of programs that exist and the cumbersome processes they entail, and most importantly allowing firms to bid on more opportunities.

Through the series of stakeholder meetings, TMG has found that there is great support for increased small business participation.  TMG Consulting will be submitting the program to the Federal Transit Authority for approval in the coming weeks, with the goal of a program kick-off in early 2012.

Disclaimer
The views, interpretations, or strategies expressed are those of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the position of TMG Consulting. This site is meant for educational purposes only and does not constitute professional advice. TMG Consulting makes no representation as to accuracy, completeness, or suitability of any information on this site and will not be liable for damages arising from its display or use.

New DBE Regulations Take Effect: Implementation at the Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport

This year, TMG will coordinate the 6th annual DBE Outreach Event for the Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport (BRMA). Each year the BRMA and TMG invite contractors, consultants and vendors to attend the DBE workshop to learn about the Airport’s DBE Program and upcoming business opportunities. Airport staff and program managers are available to discuss project details and many small business resources are on hand to promote technical, financial and advisory services. This year there will be a special presentation to discuss the new DBE regulations that took effect in February 2011 including the increased personal net worth cap for DBE certification, increased program oversight, and revised provisions on substitution or removal of DBE firms. The Outreach Event has been greatly effective in past years to expand the quality and quantity of bids received at the Airport and it is also an excellent opportunity for small businesses to meet the big players in the Airport industry and to network for future work.

TMG Consulting is abreast of the revisions made to the Department of Transportation 49 CFR Part 26 regulations. The changes to the regulations dramatically affect current DBE programs by creating increased monitoring efforts, new reporting requirements, and a new race and gender neutral small business program requirement. TMG has researched nation-wide best practices and is prepared to respond to the needs of your agency.

If you have any questions about how the new regulations affect your current program or if your agency needs assistance in updating your DBE program and drafting the newly required Small Business Program (to be implemented by February 2012) please contact Bonnie Garrigan at (504)569-9239 Ex. 29 or bonniegarrigan@tmg-consulting.net.

DBE Master Tracker Program Implemented by TMG Consulting

TMG Consulting has been an expert on the DBE Program since the inception of the DBE regulations in the 1980’s. Since then, TMG has worked with public agencies to write, implement, and monitor DBE programs that are effectively diminishing the barriers that exist for small, minority firms to participate in large government contracts. TMG’s joint mission with our clients is to create a DBE program that is realistic and effective, yet simple to manage. To realize this mission, TMG assists clients in setting realistic DBE goals for federally funded projects, streamlining the bidding process, monitoring DBE participation over the course of a project, and providing reports to the Federal Government and the Agency’s Board.

Over the past few years, the DBE regulations have been modified to require more detailed reporting, including individual tracking of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funds. Additionally, Boards have expanded their mission to include participation by small and minority firms on state and locally funded projects, going above the federal mandates. TMG has responded by developing a comprehensive tracking system. The  “DBE Master Tracker” is a TMG exclusive product that monitors payments made to subcontractors (DBE and non-DBE) and Prime firms and produces simple reports that are available at any time to Board members, Federal Agencies, or the public. By creating a database that stores and analyzes DBE participation progress, TMG enables its clients to be confident that they are complying with their grant assurances, meeting the DBE missions of their Board and setting realistic DBE goals for future projects.  Moreover, as regulations and requirements change, Master Tracker can easily output customized reports in response.

Our DBE services include:

  • Developing new or updated DBE Programs
  • Drafting small and minority programs for state and local funds
  • Setting DBE goals
  • Reviewing bids and proposals for DBE compliance
  • Utilizing DBE Master Tracker program to monitor contract participation and to provide annual accomplishment report

A comprehensive DBE Consultant contract is complementary to your current DBE staff and can improve efficiency and confidence in your DBE Program within the parameters of sole source contracting.

TMG DBE Program Division Contact: Bonnie Garrigan, bonniegarrigan@tmg-consulting.net, or 504.569,9239 Ex. 29.

DBE Outreach a Success at Baton Rouge Airport

In early July, TMG assisted the Baton Rouge Airport (BTR) in producing its annual Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Vendor Outreach Conference. This annual event showcases the airport’s DBE program and renews and expands the vendor pool as well as increasing awareness of BTR’s minority inclusion efforts in the community. TMG manages this event every year and works with BTR to maintain and expand their DBE program, establishing participation goals for construction and services contracts, monitoring goal attainment, and preparing regulatory documents and reports.

TMG Consulting and the Airport Community

TMG manages the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) program at Baton Rouge Airport. We evaluate procurement, set and maintain goals, monitor payments, and implement outreach efforts to inform minority businesses of available opportunities. We have prepared benefit-cost analyses, master plans, and environmental impact statements for airports such as Baton Rouge, Houma-Terrebonne Airport, Lambert-St. Louis International, and Mobile Regional. We routinely perform independent fee estimates for Armstrong as well as for general aviation clients such as Chesterfield County Virginia.

TMG Consulting has experience providing consulting services to more than 20 airports, large and small. We remain fully committed to serving the needs of the aviation community throughout the Gulf Region and the nation. We have over 25 years of experience to match the toughest challenges our clients have. We actively recruit and train talented professionals from wide and diverse backgrounds to meet our clients’ needs, efficiently and effectively.