SMALL AND DISADVANTAGED

BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES COUNCIL (SADBOC)

 

 

SADBOC's Mission

The Small and Disadvantaged Business Opportunity Council or SADBOC is a council under the Federal Executive Board of Minnesota whose mission is to promote supplier diversity in the public sector through collaboration and information sharing between its members and through education and outreach to the small business public. SADBOC members include Federal, State and local agencies as well as non-profits with an interest in supplier diversity.

SADBOC Government Procurement Fair

 

When:    Thursday, April 28th, 2016

Time:      9:00 am - 3:00 pm  (Registration starts at 8:30 am)

Where:    Earle Brown Heritage Center

                6155 Earle Brown Drive

                Brooklyn Center, MN 

Flyer:       Download Here

 

For more information and to register go to,  https://sadbocprocurementfair.eventbrite.com

 

GET A PIECE OF THE ACTION!

Small businesses interested in doing business with government agencies and prime contractors are encouraged to attend this Trade Fair.

Coupling education with marketing strategies, this event will provide small businesses an opportunity to meet with representatives from Federal, State and local agencies, commercial/prime contractors, and service providers; access available technical assistance; and learn about upcoming contracts.

The 17th Annual SADBOC Government Procurement Fair is sponsored by the Federal Executive Board’s Small and Disadvantaged Business Opportunity Council, in cooperation with Procurement Technical Assistance Center and the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Matchmaking 

Small businesses have the opportunity to be matched with a government or corporate buyer interested in their particular product/service (by appointment only).
 
Online registration for a 10 minute appointment begins April 4, 2016. Go to http://sadbocmatchmaking.eventbrite.com
 
Matchmaking will close Friday, April 22, 2016.

 

To stay current on upcoming events and training opportunities, LIKE our SADBOC Facebook Page at https://www.facebook.com/SADBOC/

 

 


CONTRACTING PROGRAMS IN MINNESOTA

Where do I need to go to be certified to receive a preference or satisfy a goal on a contract?

CERTIFYING ORGANIZATION WOMEN MINORITY VETERAN PLACE BASED

Federal Government (SBA)

Self-Certify or WOSB/EDWOSB Self-Certify or 8(a) BD Program Self-Certify or VA Verified HUBZone
Mn/DOT DBE DBE TG/ED/VO or VA Verified N/A
Met Council DBE DBE TG/ED/VO or VA Verified N/A
Metropolitan Airports DBE DBE TG/ED/VO or VA Verified N/A
City of Minneapolis DBE DBE -- --
MN Dept. of Administration Material Management Division (MMD) TG TG  TG/ED/VO or VA Verified ED
City of St. Paul CERT CERT -- --
Ramsey County CERT CERT -- --
Hennepin County CERT CERT -- --
Corporate WBE MBE -- --

FEDERAL: SBA Goaling Program

SBA Goaling Information

 

8(a) Business Development Program   

HUBZone  

Woman Owned Small Business (WOSB) and Economically Disadvantaged Woman Owned Small Business (EDWOSB)  

Small Business (SB) and the Small Disadvantage Business (SDB)

Service-Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business (SDVOSB)  

The Veteran Verification  

 
 

Minnesota State Government Certifications

 

Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Program  

Central Certification (CERT) Program  

Targeted Group (TG) / Economically Disadvantaged (ED) / Veteran-Owned (VO) Small Business Program 

 
 

National, Third-Party For Corporate America Certifications

Minority Business Enterprises (MBE)  

Women Business Enterprise (WBE)  

 

 

 


 

FEDERAL: SBA GOALING PROGRAM

 

It is the policy of the United States that all small businesses have the maximum practical opportunity to participate in providing goods and services to the Federal Government. Congress, in furtherance of that policy, enacted various small business goals for Federal procurement. The Small Business Act states that the Small Business Administration (SBA) is to “aid, counsel, assist, and protect, insofar as is possible, the interests of small business concerns in order to preserve free competitive enterprise, to ensure that a fair proportion of total purchases and contracts or subcontracts for property and services for the Government…be placed with small business enterprises, to ensure that a fair proportion of the total sales of Government property be made to such enterprises, and to maintain and strengthen the overall economy of the Nation.” Helping small businesses participate in Federal procurement is one of the most important ways the SBA can fulfill that mission. 

Hence, SBA is responsible for the management and oversight of the small business procurement process across the Federal Government. SBA negotiates with Federal departments concerning their prime contracting goals and achievement with small businesses to ensure that small businesses have the maximum practicable opportunity to provide goods and services to the Federal Government.  In addition, large businesses that receive large Government contracts are required under the terms of its contract to submit to the government contracting officer, subcontracting plans containing specific goals for utilization of the various categories of small businesses.

Program Prime Subcontracting
Small Business 23%  --
Small Disadvantaged Business 5% 5%
Women-Owned Small Business 5% 5%
HUBZone Business -- 3%  
Service-Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business 3% 3%

For additional information visit the SBA Goaling Program website.

Need government contracting documents and resources in a hurry? Click here to go to the SBA Contracting website

 

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What is the 8(a) BD Program?

 

The 8(a) Business Development Program is a business assistance program for small disadvantaged businesses. The 8(a) Program offers a broad scope of assistance to firms that are owned and controlled at least 51% by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals.

The 8(a) BD program helps thousands of socially and economically disadvantaged entrepreneurs gain a foothold in government contracting.

Participation in the program is divided into two phases over nine years: a four-year developmental stage and a five-year transition stage.  The overall program goal is to graduate 8(a) firms that will go on to thrive in a competitive business environment.

To make sure 8(a) firms are on track to accomplish their goals and are following requirements, the SBA district office monitor and measure the progress of participants through:

  • Annual reviews
  • Business planning
  • Systematic evaluations

In addition, 8(a) participants may take advantage of specialized business training, counseling, marketing assistance, and high-level executive development provided by the SBA and our resource partners. Firms can also be eligible for assistance in obtaining access to surplus government property and supplies, SBA-guaranteed loans, and bonding assistance for being involved in the program.

 

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Benefits of the 8(a) BD Program

 

Participants can receive sole-source contracts, up to a ceiling of $4 million for goods and services and $6.5 million for manufacturing. 

8(a) firms are also able to form joint ventures and teams to bid on contracts. This enhances the ability of 8(a) firms to perform larger prime contracts and overcome the effects of contract bundling, the combining of two or more contracts together into one large contract. Also, see the Mentor-Protégé Program for more information on allowing starting 8(a) companies to learn the ropes from other more experienced businesses

 

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Eligibility criteria for the 8(a) BD Program

 

To qualify for the 8(a) BD program, the business (except entity-owned firms*) must:

  1. Be small by SBA standards at time of application and throughout the 9 year program term. See SBA size standards here, www.sba.gov/size.
  2. Be at least 51% unconditionally and directly owned and controlled by one or more socially disadvantaged individuals who are US citizens and are economically disadvantaged.
  3. Show potential for success (generally by being in business for two years) and have the necessary financial capacity to successfully perform on federal contracts.
  4. Have all its principals demonstrate good character including not owning any outstanding federal financial obligations.

*Requirements are different for firms that are owned by Entities such as: Alaska Native Corporations (ANCs), Indian tribes, Native Hawaiian Organizations (NHOs), and Community Development Corporations (CDCs).

Socially Disadvantaged individuals:  Those who have been subject to racial or ethnic prejudice or cultural bias within American society because of their identification as members of groups without regard to their individual qualities.

For purposes of the 8(a) Business Development program, the following individuals are presumed socially disadvantaged (called “presumed groups”):

  • Black Americans
  • Hispanic Americans
  • Native Americans
  • Asian Pacific Americans
  • Subcontinent Asian American

In the absence of evidence to the contrary, an individual applicant is presumed socially disadvantaged if:

  • Holds him or herself out to be a member of a presumed group
  • Is currently identified by others as a member of a presumed group

The presumed groups listed above are solely for purposes of SBA’s 8(a) Business Development program. Other individuals may similarly be found socially disadvantaged and eligible for the program on a case-by-case basis. For more information visit, Other Socially Disadvantaged Individuals.

Economically Disadvantaged Individuals: Before SBA can approve an application, the individuals claiming to be disadvantaged must submit supporting documents to prove their assets, income, and net worth fall below certain threshold amounts. These include:

  • Assets cannot exceed $4 million
  • Personal income cannot exceed $250,000, averaged over 3 years
  • Adjusted net worth must be less than $250,000

 

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How to get certify for the 8(a) BD Program

 

For admission into the 8(a) Business Development program you can apply online or you may apply via hard copy application.

  • To apply on line: Click here, Steps to Apply to the 8(a) Program
  • For a hard copy application: Click Here, 8(a) BD Program Application
  • To see a list of required documents: Click here, Before You Apply to the 8(a) Program
  • For help with the 8(a) online application, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

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For more information visit:

 

  • Contact the Minnesota District Office: Randy Czaia at (612) 370-2314, email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  or Shaun McClary at (612) 370-2320, email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 
  • SBA 8(a) Business Development Program Home Page
  • Print this information in PDF: 8(a) Business Development

 

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What is The Historically Underutilized Business Zones (HUBZone) program?

 

The HUBZone program is designed to help small businesses located in historically underutilized business zones - or HUBZones, gain access to federal procurement opportunities.

HUBZone areas are typically areas of low median household incomes or high unemployment, or both. These areas are located in certain urban, rural, Indian reservation, and military bases closed under the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) Act and difficult development areas outside the U.S. mainland. HUBZone-certified companies will help these areas increase employment opportunities, stimulate capital investment, and empower communities through economic leveraging.

 

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Benefits of the HUBZone Program

 

The federal government has a goal of awarding 3% of all dollars for federal prime contracts to HUBZone-certified small business concerns.

The program’s benefits for HUBZone-certified companies include:

  • Competitive and sole source contracting
  • 10% price evaluation preference in full and open contract competitions, as well as subcontracting opportunities.

Click here to see a list of the biggest industries, by contracting dollar amount, for HUBZone companies and small businesses.

 

Back to HUBZone Program

 

 

Eligibility criteria for the HUBZone Program

 

To qualify for the HUBZone program, a business (except tribally-owned concerns) must meet the following criteria:

  • It must be a small business by SBA standards.  See SBA size standards tool here.
  • It must be owned and controlled at least 51% by U.S. citizens, or a Community Development Corporation, an agricultural cooperative, or an Indian tribe.
  • Its principal office must be located within a “Historically Underutilized Business Zone,” which includes lands considered “Indian Country” and military facilities closed by the Base Realignment and Closure Act.  To find out if your business is located in a "Historically Underutilized Business Zone", Click Here. 
  • At least 35% of its employees must reside in a HUBZone.

Click Here for a review of The HUBZone Primer, Eligibility & Certification Requirements. 

 

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How to get certify for the HUBZone Program

 

Before You Begin:

Review the HUBZone Primer, see HubZone Certification FAQ, and the application guide which can help you prepare to submit the online application. There are several important registrations that must be completed before you can start the electronic application process. Those are:

  • DUN & BRADSTREET: Obtain a free D&B ID number, known as a Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS).
  • System for Award Management (SAM): Create a SAM profile for the principal office address that is applying for HUBZone certification
  • Dynamic Small Business Search (DSBS), aka, SBA’s supplemental page: DSBS profiles will reflect each firm’s certification status. At the SAM Web site, simply update your SAM profile and SAM will update the DSBS profile. Once completed, you can view your firms profile here.
  • SBA’s General Login System (GLS): you must complete registration in this system to obtain access to the HUBZone application module.
  • Review the list of supporting documentation you will need to submit after submitting the online application.

 

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For more information 

 

  • Visit the SBA HUBZone page
  • Read, SBA HUBZone FAQ
  • For assistance:  HUBZone offers eligibility assistance on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1-2pm CT via toll free number: 1-888-858-2144 access code 1875223#. Participants influence the topics by their questions. HUBZone staff facilitates the discussion by providing the answers and introducing specific topics as time allows. This format offers the opportunity to learn how to maintain eligibility to decrease the possibility of an initial application being declined or being decertified after obtaining the HUBZone certification. If you are seeking status information, need help in resolving technical difficulties, or need individualized assistance please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Local contact: Minnesota District Office: Randy Czaia at (612) 370-2314, email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  or Shaun McClary at (612) 370-2320, email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

 

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What is the WOSB and the EDWOSB Program?

 

The Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB) program authorizes contracting officers to set aside certain federal contracts for eligible:

  • Women-owned small businesses (WOSBs)
  • Economically disadvantaged women-owned small businesses (EDWOSBs)

The impact of this program levels the playing field for WOSBs to compete for and win federal contracts, provides procuring agencies a tool to help meet their WOSB contracting goal (i.e., the Federal government must award 5% of its prime contracting dollars to WOSBs) and ultimately, the program helps create and retain more jobs for WOSBs.

It is important to note that not all industries (NAICS codes) qualify for the program. Only firms that can identify with industries where women owned small businesses are underrepresented or substantially underrepresented should apply.  

WOSB Programs identify 330 six-digit NAICS codes where WOSBs are underrepresented or substantially underrepresented. See eligible NAICS Code listings for WOSB and EDWOSB certification.

Contracting officers may set aside contracts in these industries if:

  1. The contract can be awarded at a fair and reasonable price.
  2. The contracting officer has a reasonable expectation that two or more WOSBs and/or EDWOSBs will submit offers for the contract. 
  3. The anticipated contract price is not greater than $5 million for manufacturing contracts and $3 million for other contracts.

There is no term limit on the program, you can receive WOSB/EDWOSB Program contracts as long as you are eligible for the program and have met all of the requirements set forth in the regulations.

 

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Benefits of the WOSB/EDWOSB Program

 

WOSB:

  • 5% Government-wide contracting goal
  • Eligible for set-aside contracts in certain very underrepresented industries (Note:  WOSB qualify to receive awards in WOSBs industries only. These industries are defined by NAICS codes.)
 

EDWOSB:

  • 5% Government-wide contracting goal
  • Eligible for set-aside contracts in certain very underrepresented industries
  • Able to bid on contracts for WOSB and EDWOSB (Note: EDWOSB are able to receive awards of contracts in both EDWOSBs and WOSBs industries. These industries are defined by NAICS codes.)

 

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Eligibility criteria for the WOSB/EDWOSB Program

 

To be an eligible WOSB, a company must be:

  • A small business that is at least 51% percent unconditionally and directly owned and controlled by one or more women who are United States citizens. 
  • A woman must manage the day-to-day operations, make long-term decisions for the business, hold the highest officer position in the business and work at the business full-time during normal working hours.

To be an eligible EDWOSB, a company must be:

  • A WOSB that is at least 51% owned by one or more women who are “economically disadvantaged”. SBA may waive the requirement of economic disadvantage for industries in which WOSBs are “substantially underrepresented.”
  • A woman is presumed economically disadvantaged if she has a personal net worth of less than $750,000 (with some exclusions), her adjusted gross yearly income averaged over the three years preceding the certification less than $350,000, and the fair market value of all her assets is less than $6 million.

Please note that for both WOSB and EDWOSB, the 51% ownership must be unconditional and direct.

 

 

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How to get certify for the WOSB/EDWOSB Program(s)

 

There are two ways to certify for the WOSB program:
Third-Party Certification. SBA has approved four organizations to act as Third Party Certifiers under the WOSB Program. The four organizations are (click on the organization for the contact information):

  1. Read the WOSB Federal Contract program regulations in the Federal Register and the WOSB Compliance Guide.
  2. Register in System for Award Management (SAM) to represent your WOSB or EDWOSB status.
  3. Log onto SBA’s General Login System (GLS) to use the repository. To log into GSL you must create and account, go to “Request SBA User ID” to create an account, read GLS instructions.
  4. Go to the WOSB program repository (through GLS) and upload / categorize all required documents**.

**A complete list of required documents to upload to the Repository can be found in the Compliance Guide for the WOSB Program. All eligible WOSBs and EDWOSBs who would like to participate in this program must complete and sign the WOSB SBA form 2413 or EDWOSB certification SBA form 2414 and upload it into the repository.

 

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For more information visit:

 

 

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What is the SB and the SDB Certification Program?

 

Small Business (SB) 

The Small Business (SB) Certification documents that your business is small by means of industry size standards established by the SBA.  

A business may want to certify itself as small to be eligible for Government programs and preferences reserved for "small business." For instance, small business set-aside procurements are reserved for offerors or bidders who are certified as small.

Determine if your business is small, Determine Business Size.

Small Disadvantage Business (SDB)

The Small Disadvantage Business (SDB) certification documents that your business is small and owned and control by one or more disadvantage persons. 

A small business owned and control by a disadvantaged owner(s) may want to certify itself as SDB to be eligible for Government programs and preferences reserved for a "small disadvantage business." For instance, SDB set-aside procurements are reserved for offerors or bidders who are certified as a SDB.

A Disadvantage Individual must be social and economically disadvantaged.  For definitions see,  Social Disadvantage Eligibility and Economic Disadvantaged.

 

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Benefits of the SB/SDB Program

 

Small Business (SB)  

  • Competitive advantage for set-aside contracts in Federal, State and Local Governments.
  • 23% Government-wide contracting goal.

Small Disadvantaged Business (SDB):

  • Eligible for SB and SDB set-aside contracts
  • 5% Government-wide contracting goal for SDB and 23% for SB

 

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Eligibility criteria for the SB/SDB Program

 

Small Business

The firm must:

  • Be small, according to SBA’s size standards - SBA defines a "small business" in terms of the number of employees over the past year, or average annual receipts over the past three years. Size standards vary by industry. Visit Am I a Small Business?
  • Is organized for profit
  • Has a place of business in the US
  • Operates primarily within the U.S. or makes a significant contribution to the U.S. economy through payment of taxes or use of American products, materials or labor
  • Is independently owned and operated
  • Is not dominant in its field on a national basis

Small Disadvantaged Business:

In addition to the Small Business criteria's stated above, the SBD firm must, 

 

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How to get certify for the SB/SDB Program(s)

 

For Federal Government contracts, a business self-certifies that it is small by registering in the System for Award Management (SAM), checking the appropriate box and completing the SAM process.

For subcontracts to large business prime contractors, a business self-certifies that it is small by checking the appropriate box on the prime contractor’s size self-certification form.  (Some prime contractors also require SAM certification).

If a small business needs to demonstrate to a particular state, city, or other non-Federal Government entity that it is small, it needs to contact the individual state or city for the applicable requirements for "small business" certification.

For SAM certification, follow these easy steps to certify your firm as a small business and/or Small Disadvantaged Business:

  1. Obtain a D-U-N-S Number - This is a unique nine-digit identification number for each physical location of your business.
  2. Find the NAICS Codes for Your Company
  3. Register your Business with the System of Award Management (SAM) -  SAM is the primary database of vendors doing business with the federal government. FAR require all prospective vendors to be registered in SAM prior to the award of a contract, basic agreement, basic ordering agreement, or blanket purchase agreement. SAM is also a marketing tool for businesses. SAM allows Government agencies and contractors to search for your company based on your ability, size, location, experience, ownership and more.

 

Back to the SB/SDB Program

 

 

For more information visit:

 

 

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What is the SDVOSB Program?

 

The purpose of the Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) Program is to provide Federal contracting assistance to service-disabled veteran-owned small business concerns.

This procurement program provides that federal contracting officers may restrict competition to  SSDVOSBCs and award a sole source or set-aside contract where certain criteria are met.

The program also establishes the criteria to be used in federal contracting to determine service-disabled veteran status; business ownership and control requirements; guidelines for establishing sole source and set-aside procurement opportunities; and protest and appeal procedures for SDVOSBC procurements.

 

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Benefits of the SDVOSB Program

 

The SDVOSB program help service-disable veteran owned firms to bid for federal contracts.  It also provides procuring agencies with authority to set acquisitions aside for exclusive competition among service disabled veteran owned small businesses, as well as the authority to make sole-source awards.

Sole Source Contracts:

  1. SDVOSB determined to be responsible and capable. No reasonable expectation that 2 or more SDVOSB will submit offers.
  2. The contract can be made at a fair and reasonable price.
  3. Award price of the contract (including options) not to exceed:
    1. $5M for industrial classification NAICS code manufacturing.
    2. $3M in the case of any other contract opportunity

Restricted Competition

Contracts can be set aside if:

  1. Reasonable expectation that two or more SDVOSB will submit offers and
  2. Awards can be made at a fair and reasonable price.

 

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Eligibility criteria for the SDVOSB Program

 

In order to be eligible for the SDVOSBC, the owner(s) and the business must meet the following criteria: 

Owner(s)

  • Must be a Service Disabled Veteran (SDV) Disability must have been incurred or aggravated in active service and has been determined by the VA. Click here for the  Veteran Verification information listed on this site. 
  • The SDV owner(s) must unconditionally own 51% or more of the business.
  • Must control the management and daily operations of the business.
  • Must hold the highest officer position in the business.

 

Business:

  • Be small, according to SBA’s size standards - SBA defines a "small business" in terms of the number of employees over the past year, or average annual receipts over the past three years. Size standards vary by industry. Visit Am I a Small Business?
  • Business must be directly owned by a SDV. A business owned by another business entity that is in turn owned and controlled by SDV does not qualify for this program.

 

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How to get certify for the SDVOSB Program

 

For non-VA contracts, Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Businesses may self certify their status by completing the assertions in the System for Award Management (SAM), or by completing a questionnaire sent by a prime contractor.

 

Veteran-Owned and Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Businesses wishing to benefit from the VA’s unique contracting authority must register with the VA’s Center for Veterans Enterprise and agree to have their Veteran or Service Disabled Veteran status verified by the VA.

 

Back to the SDVOSB Program

 

 

For more information visit:

 

 

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What is the Veteran Verification Program?

 

The Veteran Verification Program is the process by which a veteran is evaluated by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and determined eligible to be listed in the VIP or VetBiz database

As a part of the VA’s Veterans First Program, contract set-asides are available for Veteran Owned Small Businesses (VOSB) and Service Disabled Small Businesses (SDSB); however, an applicant must be verified to qualify.  The Center for Verification and Evaluation (CVE) is the office within VA that manages the verification process and verifies VOSB/SDVOSBs for inclusion in the VetBiz database.

 

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How to get Veteran Verified

 

Begin a self-assessment » Verification Self-Assessment Tool

Read the “Guide for Applicants” on VetBiz.gov

  • Review 38 CFR 74 for ownership and control criteria
  • Review the Verification Assistance Briefs on http://www.VetBiz.gov/ for more clarity on issues and requirements
  • Register in the System for Award Management (https://www.sam.gov/)
  • Gather all the documentation for your business type and scan them to a separate folder on your computer (this will make it easier during the submission process)
  • Compare the business documents to the criteria in 38 CFR 74, and ensure that there are no clerical errors on the documentation.

How do I apply for Verification?  You can find step-by-step instructions in the Verification Process Briefing. This short briefing provides an overview of the process, screen shots for submitting your application and an explanation of the stages of the process.

Ready to Apply!  Click here, Application for Verification

 

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For more information: 

 

  • Does my business qualify? - Veterans First Verification Program Initial Application Guide
  • What documents do I need to apply? - Required Documents for VIP Application
  • Learn more about Verification
  • 4 Steps to verification
  • Applying for Verification FAQs
  • Contact Mark Cooper at MN PTAC: 612-332-6332, email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

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What is the DBE Program?

 

The Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Program (DBE) is a program aiming to increase the participation of women and minority owned businesses in state award contracts for highway, transit, and airport projects by the following agencies:

  1. US Department of Transportation (DOT)
  2. Federal Transit Administration (FTA)
  3. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)
  4. Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)

The program is intended to create a “level playing field” on which DBEs can compete fairly with larger non-DBE firms.

If you operate a small business that provides services in areas such as professional/technical/design and planning, supply, trucking or transportation, construction, and construction-related or other services that might be utilized by one of the MNUCP members you may want to seek certification.

 

Benefits of the DBE Program

 

Every year government agencies in Minnesota spend millions of dollars on highway, airport, housing, and transit planning, construction, and maintenance projects. When federal dollars are utilized for this work, goals for DBE participation may be set on these projects. Certified DBE’s are listed in a directory published by the MnUCP. Once listed in the directory your small business will be among the pool of DBEs prime contractors can use to meet DBE goals on projects.  

 

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Eligibility criteria for the DBE Program

 

  • The DBE program is for business owners that own at least a 51% interest in the firm and control the management and daily business operations.
  • The owner must have technical competence and experience directly related to the type of work in which certification is being sought and must be a United States citizen or a lawfully admitted permanent resident of the United States
  • The owner must be socially and economically disadvantaged.
    1. Socially and economically disadvantaged individuals are women and African Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans, Asian-Pacific and Subcontinent Asian Americans. Other individuals may also qualify as on a case-by-case basis.
    2. To be regarded as economically disadvantaged, an individual must have a personal net worth that does not exceed $1.32 million.
  • The firm must be small; it must meet the Small Business Administration size criteria AND have average annual gross receipts not to exceed $22.41 million when averaged over a three year period.
  • Size limits for the Airport Concessions DBE program are higher.
    1. The ACDBE program is specifically for airport concessionaires that may be located within an airport or for which the business activity takes place at an airport. While eligibility standards for ACDBEs are similar to those of DBE businesses, such as the personal net worth limit of $1,32,000.00, the average annual gross receipts not to exceed $56.42 million when averaged over a three year period (With the exception of car rentals, auto dealers, pay phone operators, and banks).

 

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How to get certified for the DBE

 

These are the basic steps to become a DBE.

Complete and Submit DBE Application (via paper or online)

  1. A Specialist from a certifying agency will review application to determine eligibility.
  2. A Specialist will perform an On-site Visit
  3. The MnUCP will vote on the eligibility
  4. You will be notified about determination

Find online DBE application here.

You may download a DBE Microsoft Word Version or PDF Version of the application.

 

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For more information: 

 

  • Visit MNUCP website
  • Online DBE Application Questions:
    Contact Person: Debra Johnson (612) 726-8193, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 
  • If you are an out-of-state DBE certified firm looking to obtain INTERSTATE CERTIFICATION in Minnesota, please call Tracey Jackson at (612) 349-7695 for assistance.

 

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What is the CERT Program?

 

The Central Certification (CERT) Program is a small business certification program recognized by Hennepin County, Ramsey County and The City of Saint Paul. The CERT Program includes certification for Minority-Owned Business Enterprise (MBE), Women-Owned Business Enterprise (WBE), and Small Business Enterprise (SBE).

The CERT Program seeks to promote market growth, increase competitiveness, and create jobs among participating businesses, as well as to improve the quality of life for area residents. The City of Saint Paul currently serves as the contact point for the CERT Program.

Eligible business owners who want to be certified by any or all of the participating jurisdictions can submit a single, standard application to a central processing location. Each application received is then evaluated using a uniform set of certification criteria.

 

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Benefits of the CERT Program

 

  • Participating businesses instantly boost their market exposure because they are included in a CERT directory.
  • Eligible to participate in various activities specifically for certified vendors sponsored by the four jurisdictions. 
  • Recognize by the U of M as a certified small business with access to U's small business procurement program.

 

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Eligibility criteria for the CERT Program

 

The Business must:

  • Have a primary place of business in any of these counties: Anoka, Benton, Carver, Chisago, Dakota, Hennepin, Isanti, Ramsey, Scott, Sherburne, Stearns, Washington, Wright, and the Wisconsin counties of Pierce and St. Croix.
  • Is at least fifty-one (51) percent owned by one or more citizens of the United States.
  • Not be a broker, or a manufacturer's representative, does not operate as a franchisee or under a franchise agreement, and is not a business in which the owner is also owner or part owner of one or more businesses that is dominant in the same field of operation
  • Performs a commercially useful function
  • Has been in operation for at least one (1) year or, in operation for less than one year and is able to provide documentation showing that it has an established record of generating revenue while performing the business function represented in its application for certification or, if a professional service, is able to provide documentation showing that it possesses applicable licenses or professional certifications or credentials

Small Business Enterprise (SBE) — a qualified business that additionally:

  • Is not a business dominant in its field of operation , nor an affiliate or subsidiary thereof.

Minority-owned Business Enterprise (MBE) — a qualified business that additionally:

  • Is at least fifty-one (51) percent owned by one or more minority persons, and has its management and daily business operations controlled by one or more minority persons who own it.

Women-owned Business Enterprise (WBE) — a qualified business that additionally:

  • Is at least fifty-one (51) percent owned by one or more women, and has its management and daily business operations controlled by one or more women who own it.

 

 

How to get the CERT certification

 

Potential applicants are encouraged to review the eligibility criteria prior to starting the application process.

Apply online Online (new applications and renewals): CERT System

 

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For more information:

 

Visit CERT System website

If you have any questions regarding the certification process, need assistance with completing the application, or would like more information regarding the CERT Program, please contact (651) 266-8900 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

 

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What is the TG/ED/VO Small Business Program?

 

The State of Minnesota Department of Administration’s Material Management Division (MMD) operates a program for Targeted Group (TG), Economically Disadvantaged (ED) and Veteran-Owned small businesses. The commissioner of Administration periodically designates businesses that are majority-owned and operated by women, persons with a substantial physical disability, or specific minorities as targeted group businesses within purchasing categories as determined by the commissioner.

TG, ED small businesses must be certified as such by MMD in order to participate in the program. Once certified, TG, ED and VO small businesses may be eligible for price preferences in selling their products or services or bidding on construction projects to the state. Targeted Group businesses may be eligible to be counted towards subcontracting goals on construction projects and professional service contracts.

 

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Benefits of the TG/ED/VO Small Business Program

 

Targeted Group, Economically Disadvantaged and Veteran-Owned vendors are added to the state's vendor list, and are listed in the Directory of Certified Targeted Group, Economically Disadvantaged and Veteran-Owned Vendors.

 

Targeted Group small businesses

  • May be eligible for up to 6% preference in selling their products or services or bidding on construction projects to the state in accordance with the Commissioner's designation of eligible businesses.
  • Subcontract with prime contractors for construction or consulting services 
  • May also be eligible to participate in similar state-funded programs operated by the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MN/DOT) and several Metropolitan Agencies.

 

Certified Economically Disadvantaged small businesses

  • May be eligible for up to 6% preference in selling their products or services to the state, and may be eligible for up to 4% preference on construction projects.
  • May also be eligible to participate in similar state-funded programs operated by the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MN/DOT) and several Metropolitan Agencies.

 

Certified Veteran-Owned small businesses

  • May be eligible for up to 6% preference in selling their products or services or bidding on construction projects to the state.
  • May also be eligible to participate in similar state-funded programs operated by the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MN/DOT) and several Metropolitan Agencies.

 

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Eligibility criteria for the TG/ED/VO Small Business Program

 

Targeted Group small business

  1. The business must be at least 51% owned by a woman, racial minority, or person with a substantial physical disability.
  2. The business must be operated and controlled on a day-to-day as well as long-term basis by the qualifying owner. In other words, ownership is not enough; operational control is also required.
  3. The business must be Minnesota-based and small as set by the US Department of Transportation
 

Economically Disadvantaged small business

  1. The business must be located (or the owner must reside) in an Economically Disadvantaged Area in Minnesota. These areas include labor surplus areas, as designated by the federal government, and low income counties in Minnesota.
  2. The business must be Minnesota-based and small as set by the US Department of Transportation. 
 

Veteran-Owned small business

  1. The business must be at least 51% owned by a veteran or service-disabled veteran as determined by the Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs (Veteran Verification).
  2. In addition, the business must be operated and controlled on a day-to-day as well as long-term basis by the qualifying owner. In other words, ownership is not enough; operational control is also required.
  3. The business must be Minnesota-based and small as set by the US Department of Transportation

Additional eligibility criteria for the above programs are contained in Minnesota Rules, Chapter 1230. You may obtain a copy by calling the MMD HelpLine at 651-296-2600.

 

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How to get certify as a TG/ED/VO Small Business


Complete the MN DEPARTMENT OF ADMINISTRATION TG/ED/VO CERTIFICATION APPLICATION and submit it to the Materials Management Division (MMD) office in St. Paul, MN; along with the information required on the Supplemental Information Sheet that is attached the application.

 

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For more information

 

State of Minnesota Department of Administration’s Material Management Division (MMD) website

Additional information about the program and state purchasing can be obtained by contacting the Helpline at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 651-296-2600. 

For Veteran Owned businesses 

 

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What is the MBE Program?

 

The Minority Business Enterprises (MBE) certification encourages minority-owned business growth through facilitated participation in government procurement.

The North Central Minority Supplier Development Council (NCMSDC) provides valuable resources to help businesses grow and succeed. The NCMSDC can offer businesses an excellent opportunity to meet with corporate buyers who are interested in working with qualified MBEs. NCMSDC offer many formal and informal venues to meet with corporate buyers, learn about state and local opportunities, and expand your professional network. Certification by the NCMSDC is a nationally recognized NMSDC Certification and is honored nationwide.

 

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Benefits of the MBE Program

 

  • Expanded business opportunities. More than two-thirds of MBEs confirm an increase in revenues as a result of partnership with Corporate Members.
  • Local, regional and national referrals of minority business to member corporations.
  • Exposure to about 3,600 leading national, regional and local companies.
  • Access to corporate buyers.
  • Listing in the National Minority Supplier Development Council MBE computer database ( NMSDC Central).
  • Participation in education programs and workshops to assist in personal and professional growth.
  • Opportunities to network with Corporate Members at various NCMSDC events and activities.
  • Second tier and MBE to MBE business opportunities.

 

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Eligibility criteria for the MBE Program

 

To become a Certified Minority Business Enterprise (MBE), your business must meet the following requirements. Both current and historical facts are considered in determining ownership qualifications and participation in the management and operations of the company.

Your business is a for-profit enterprise.

  • Your business is physically located in the United States or its trust territories.
  • Your business is at least 51% ethnic minority owned. Ethnic minority owned is defined as any business having owner(s) belonging to the following minority groups: African-American, Hispanic-American, Native American, Asian and Pacific Islander American (Asian-Indian included).
  • The minority/ethnic owner(s) of the business are U.S. citizens.
  • The minority/ethnic owner(s) of the business must be active in management and daily business operations.

 

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How to get certify for the MBE Program

 

Applying for MBE Certification at NCMSDC, consists of the steps below. The Certification process can take up to 90 days.
  1. Filling out the online Certification application. Certification starts with the online application. You may take as long as necessary to complete the application. Your information will be saved for your next session and is completely confidential.
  2. Pay for your application fee. You may pay by credit card or send a check. The processing of your application will begin when payment is received. 
  3. Upload required documentation in NMSDC Central. See the FAQ for documentation requirement.
  4. Application and documents are reviewed for completeness.
  5. Conducting Site Visit. NCMSDC will perform a site visit to review your business premises and conduct a personal interview of the owner(s). This step is performed by a Certification Specialist and the applicant.
  6. Committee Review. The Certification Committee meets regularly to review applications for MBE Certification. The Certification Committee must approve the application before it can be submitted to the Board for final approval.
  7. Board Review. The Board will review the Certification Committee's recommendation and make the final decision. If the Board rejects the application, you may submit a letter of appeal. If approved, you will be notified by e-mail and postal mail.

 

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For more information

 

Visit NCMSDC website

NCMSDC Headquarters (Serving Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota) 
Phone : 612.465.8881  
Email : This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

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What is the WBE Program?

 

The Women's Business Enterprise (WBE) certification can be a powerful marketing tool for expanding your company’s visibility with corporate and government procurement decision-makers.

WBE is a business concern, which has gone through a rigorous and stringent certification process to confirm the business is owned, managed, and controlled by a woman or women. WBEs certified companies use their certification credentials to gain access to WBENC Corporate Members, as well as a number of federal, state, and local government agencies. 

 

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Benefits of the WBE Program

 

Some of the many benefits are:

  • WBEs can gain access to over 10,000 other WBENC certified WBEs in order to purchase products or services and partner on joint venture opportunities
  • National recognition of WBENC-Certified WBEs by thousands of major U.S. corporations and federal, state and local government entities.
  • Formal and informal opportunities to pursue business deals with National Corporate Members and/or WBENC-Certified WBEs
  • Access to mentoring, education, and capacity development
  • Eligibility to participate in face-to-face match making sessions.

See more WBE benefits here.

 

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Eligibility criteria for the WBE Program

 

All applicants seeking Women's Business Enterprise (WBE) Certification need to meet the following criteria:

  1. Ownership:  The business applying for WBE Certification must be at least 51% owned by a woman or women 
  2. Contribution:  Female owner(s) must be able to provide proof of contribution of capital and/or expertise
  3. Operation and Control:  Female owner(s) must provide proof of management of the business
    1. Operating position
    2. Bylaws
    3. Hire-fire
    4. Other decision making roles
  4. Independence:  Female owner(s) must be able to provide evidence that she has the ability to perform in the area of specialty or expertise without the reliance on either the finances or resources of a non-female owned firm
  5. US Citizenship or US Resident Alien Status

Read more about WBENC's Standards and Procedures

 

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How to get certify for the WBE Program

 

WBE CERTIFICATION APPLICATION PROCESS

To expedite the efficient handling of your application, please read all of these instructions before you begin the online application.

  1. Gather all of the required documents. For documents that do not apply to your company, please provide a written explanation stating which documents do not apply and why. Click here for Documentation Required.
  2. Review your legal and financial information to ensure that your documents support woman/women ownership and control.
  3. Register and complete the online application. Go to WBENCLink to complete the application.
  4. Mail your application processing fee, required documents, Summary View, sworn affidavit that has been signed by the female owner and notarized by a 3rd party, and WBENCLink User Agreement 3.7, by certified mail, UPS or FedEx to your assigned Regional Partner Organization.

 

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For more information:

 

  • Women's Business Development Center website
  • Women's Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC)
  • Submit questions via e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 312.853.3477 x 0 and ask to speak to a certification specialist.
  • Read WBENC's Standards and Procedures. Reading this document first will ensure that you are aware of all criteria.

 

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