Austin SMBR issues memo on MWBE personal net worth cap

TX News - Published Jan 30, 2024

The City of Austin's Small and Minority Business Resources Department (SMBR) has issued a memo relating to the personal net worth (PNW) cap on businesses eligible for its minority- and woman-owned business enterprise (M/WBE) program. The memo may indicate a raise in the PNW cap is coming.

The memo was issued pursuant to the findings of an Inclusive Procurement Working Group (IPWG), which made recommendations for improving the M/WBE program in 2023. The memo follows up on directives issued by the IPWG requiring SMBR to revisit its current PNW Cap to ensure that it is adequately reflecting economic conditions in Austin.

The memo goes on to describe that a review and analysis commissioned by SMBR recommended that SMBR add several metrics to its calculation of the PNW cap, including a workforce survey, the S&P 500, and housing data, in addition to the South Region Consumer Price Index (CPI) it currently uses, in order to fully capture economic conditions in the city. The attachment to the memorandum, going into the analysis of the PNW cap, states explicitly that the current PNW cap is "a little too low" to capture economic conditions in the city, and goes on mention a possible PNW cap of as high as $2.1 million as appropriately reflecting the more complete economic data.

Read the memo at https://services.austintexas.gov/edims/pio/document.cfm?id=422216.