LUZCO Technologies, LLC was recognized as the M/W/DBE of the Year by the SLC3 (St. Louis Council of Construction Consumers) at the SLC3 Awards Gala, held at the Hilton St. Louis Frontenac. In receiving the award, LUZCO President Lusnail Haberberger congratulated the LUZCO familia for the accomplishment, stating, “This award reinforces what we are building here at LUZCO. We are gaining recognition for our culture, our values, our quality of work, and what we represent.”  

What does MBE, WBE, DBE, SBA mean?

  • MBE: City of St. Louis Local Minority Business Enterprise 
  • WBE: City of St. Louis Local Women Business Enterprise 
  • DBE: Federal Disadvantaged Business Enterprise
  • SBA: Small Business Administration 

These certifications provide invaluable marketing exposure and award opportunities for owner corporations like Ameren and other utilities, leading contractors like Burns & McDonnell and Black & Veatch, and government agencies like MODOT and Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District. In fact, many companies pledge to contract services or products from businesses holding at least one of these certifications. The intent is to invite to the table businesses that would not have otherwise been able to participate due to their size, lack of resources to bid, or unconscious biases.  

How does a business qualify for any of these certifications?

The enterprise must qualify all the requirements set by the vetting committee. The rigorous process can take months. The following states the minimum requirements:

  • MBE: MBE applicants must meet a variety of requirements prior to consideration for the certification. All MBE businesses must be at least 51% minority-owned, operated and controlled. Minority eligibility is established via a combination of screenings, interviews and site visits. Ownership, in the case of a publicly-owned business, means that at least 51% of the stock is owned by one or more minority group member(s). Candidates must receive final approval from both committee and board members before certification can be granted.
  • WBE: WBENC Certification validates that a business is at least 51 percent owned, controlled, operated, and managed by a woman or women. This means one or more women must have unrestricted control of the business, a demonstrated management of day-to-day operations, and a proportionate investment of capital or expertise. To become certified, business owners undergo a thorough vetting process, including review of business documentation and a site visit.
  • DBE: Organized as a for-profit small business whose annual gross revenues or number of employees do not exceed the limits applicable to the type of business as determined by the US Small Business Administration Table of Small Business Size Standards. A minimum of 51% of the business must be owned by one or more individuals who are both socially and economically disadvantaged or, in the case of a corporation, in which 51% of the stock is owned by one or more such individuals. Individuals who are African American, Hispanic American, Asian Pacific-American, Native American, or women are presumed to be socially and economically disadvantaged if their personal net worth does not exceed the net worth limit.
  • SBA: Size standards define the largest size a business can be to participate in government contracting programs and compete for contracts reserved or set aside for small businesses. Size standards vary by industry and are generally based on the number of employees or the amount of annual receipts the business has.

Why are these certifications beneficial?

The purpose of these certifications is to provide equity empowerment, as well as help close the gap for historically disadvantaged groups. This truly fits in with LUZCO’s commitment to helping our community thrive. Our current efforts involve the provision of jobs, the creation of a more inclusive culture, mentorships for students interested in STEM regardless of background, and supporting not-for-profit organizations working toward the betterment of our city.