GOVERNMENT CONTRACTING OPPORTUNITIES FOR MINORITY- AND WOMEN-OWNED BUSINESSES

January 27, 2013 Comments Off on GOVERNMENT CONTRACTING OPPORTUNITIES FOR MINORITY- AND WOMEN-OWNED BUSINESSES

Minority- and women-owned businesses have a competitive edge when submitting bids for certain federal, state, and local government contracts in Arizona. In particular, minority- and women-owned businesses may be interested in the Small Business Administration’s Section 8(a) program and the Arizona Department of Transportation’s Disadvantaged Business Enterprise program.

Small Business Administration’s Section 8(a) Program

The SBA’s 8(a) program is designed as a launch pad for minority- and women-owned businesses. The 8(a) program works closely with other governmental programs to promote economic growth in economically disadvantaged areas. Only small businesses qualify for the 8(a) programs, and eligibility is determined by a cap set on annual receipts, which varies by industry. The owner of the business must qualify as “socially or economically disadvantaged,” but there is a presumption that most minority and women business owners are socially or economically disadvantaged. In addition, the business must be controlled and managed on a day-to-day basis by a minority or woman owner of the business. For more information on the 8(a) program and other SBA programs, click here.

Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Program

The Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (“DBE”) program is a federal program, but administered by state departments of transportation in connection with federal funding for state highway, transit, and airport projects. The purpose of the DBE program is to remedy past and current discrimination against minority- and women-owned businesses, especially in contracts involving highway, transit, and airport programs.

In Arizona, the Arizona Department of Transportation, the City of Phoenix, and the City of Tucson utilize the database of minority- and women-owned businesses that are certified under Arizona’s program. The general requirements for certification are:

  1. A small business that is at least 51% owned by one or more minorities and/or women.
  2. The business may not be a subsidiary of another business and the minority or women owners must control day-to-day operations.
  3. The business must be organized as a for-profit business.
  4. The personal net worth of the minority or woman owner must not exceed $1.32 million, after deducting the owner’s interest in the DBE business and the owner’s equity in a place of residence.

For more information on Arizona’s DBE program and the certification process, click here.

For assistance with the 8(a) Program or the DBE Program, or for more information on the legal services offered by the Law Office of James D. Griffith, P.L.L.C., please call (480) 275-8738 or use the “Contact Us” page on our website.

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