The Minnesota Department of Transportation saw an opportunity to streamline their contracting process; creating a more efficient process that would save department resources while providing opportunities for small businesses and smaller companies. The solution: an $11 million process called “Negotiated Maintenance Contracts” or NMCs. Projects valued at $150,000 or less would implement a NMC. These contracts were designed to be written in “plain English” so as to be easily understood to foster faster reaction times to contracting needs. NMCs also remain flexible enough to be used for future projects, allowing the department and contractors to identify opportunities down the road. The project was a collaborative effort between MnDOT and the contracting community. During the pilot phase, over 220 projects were submitted – with 70 percent of those contracts being awarded to small businesses. MnDOT says that NMCs have allowed them to connect to the community and gain their trust, and promote diversity, inclusion, and equity within project teams.