Taking advantage of minority business certifications can help you can access to federal, state, municipal and local government contracts. Most government agencies have “set-asides” or a percentage of contracts that go to support minority businesses. Large companies such as Wells Fargo, Ford and Marriott to name only a few, have programs to support minority business owners as suppliers. There are various bodies that provide widely recognized certifications, but some government and non-governmental organizations will have their own certification process.
Minority Owned Small Business
The National Minority Supplier Development Council has 3,500 corporate members including publicly-owned, privately-owned and foreign-owned NMSDC companies, as well as universities, hospitals and other buying institutions. The Regional Councils certify and match more than 16,000 minority-owned businesses with member corporations that want to purchase their products and services.
To receive certification from the National Minority Supplier Development Council the owner of a company must be a US citizen and have at least 25% Black, Hispanic, Native American, Asian-Indian or Asian-Pacific heritage (documentation required). The company (or company stock) must be 51% minority owned and the minority individual/individuals must be active in the management and operation of the company.
Veteran Owned Small Business
Vetbiz.com offers certification for veteran-owned small business (VOSB) and service-disabled vetran-owned small business (SDVOSB). This certification will give you access to priority contracting opportunities with the VA’s Veterans First Buying Authority, will give you special consideration with federal contracting opportunities from prime contractors and federal government agencies and you will receive notices of contracting opportunities.
To receive veteran-owned small business (VOSB) and service-disabled veteran-owned small business (SDVOSB) certification the company or company stock must be 51% owned by one or more veterans or service-disabled veterans . The management and daily operations must be controlled by one or more veterans or service disabled veterans or in the case of a veteran with permanent and severe disabilities, a spouse or permanent care-giver.
Women Owned Small Businesses
The SBA offers certification for the Women of Small Business (WOSB) Federal Contract program. The SBA also accepts third party certification from:
- The National Business Owners Corporation
- The El Paso Hispanic Changer of Commerce
- The US Women’s Chamber of Commerce
- The Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC)
To be eligible the company or company stock must be 51% owned and controlled by one or more women and primarily managed by one or more women. The women must be US citizens. The firm must also be “small” according to SBA’s size standard for that industry.
According to the SBA the size standard for construction is as follows:
Construction – General building and heavy construction contractors have a size standard of $33.5 million in average annual receipts. Special trade construction contractors have a size standard of $14.0 million. The size standard for Land Subdivision is $7.0 million in average annual receipts. The size standard for Dredging is $20.0 million in average annual receipts.