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Differences Between Types of Minority Owned Business Certifications

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8(a) Certification – The “8a” Certification gets its name from the SBA code “8a” that enacted the certification. It is the federal government’s socially and economically disadvantaged certification (minority owned). The federal government spends across all agencies at least 5% of all federal procurement with 8a firms, which for 2017 was in excess of 38 billion dollars. There are approximately 7,500 firms in this program and the average 8(a) firm does over $4 million per year in federal business. The qualifications for this certification are generally regarded as the most stringent of all minority owned business certifications. 8a firms receive their contracts via sole source (direct award contract) and set-aside contacts that only 8a firms can bid.

Approximate Timeframe: 4-6 months

NMSDC (National Minority Supplier Development Council) – This certification allows a minority owned business access to large business buyers as part of a national network of minority owned businesses. The council has over 1,750 corporate members and functions nationwide to support the group of minority owned businesses. This certification is generally regarded as the must have if you are going after fortune 1,000 businesses.

Approximate Timeframe: 4 months

State MBE Certification (Minority Business Enterprise) – This is an individual state certification whereby the state has created its own certification for contracting for state. It provides preferential treatment in the award of state contacts via a bid adjustment criteria or set aside status. This is a must have certification for pursuing these types of contracts. There are many cities and counties that also have their own MBE certifications.

Approximate Timeframe: 4-5 months

DBE Certification – The DBE Certification is part of a federal program that is administered by each of the 50 states as a condition of receiving federal transportation dollars. The firms must register in each state in which they which to obtain work on state contracts that are supported by these federal funds. This certification gives small minority businesses a part in these large highway/airport contracts.

Approximate Timeframe: 5-7 months

ACDBE Certifications – The least widely know minority business certification, this certification deals with the airport concessions for federally funded airports. All airports are recipients of FAA grants and larger airports generally award 20% or more of all concession contract dollars to ACDBE firms. There approximately 1,000 firms currently taking advantage of this program. This is an excellent niche business play for firms that take advantage of this certification.

Approximate Timeframe: 4-6 months

Because of the different types of minority business certifications it is important to determine who your target customer is before you begin the certification process. This way your firm obtains the correct certification for your firm’s marketing needs.

Our consulting firm http://www.ez8a.com helps small minority owned businesses through the certification process and assists with post award marketing. We have helped many small businesses grow their revenue multiple fold.

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