Certifications

Certifications

The benefits of obtaining a disadvantaged certification, which can range from a few thousand to millions of dollars, can be significant to small businesses interested in engaging in business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-government (B2G) contract opportunities. 

Federal and many local government authorities have programs in place that set aside a percentage of what they spend on contracts and supplier opportunities exclusively for certified disadvantaged businesses. Additionally, many private organizations maintain supplier diversity policies that provide access to contracts for businesses with a disadvantaged designation. The benefit of certification programs to these public and private organizations is that the programs create a qualified, well-vetted pool of small businesses competitively bidding for their contracts.

There are diverse certifications, as well as certifying agencies. The grid below sorts out details to help you determine which certification(s) is best for your business.

CORPORATE PROCUREMENT

Type: WOSB

Women Business Enterprise Council South (WBEC)

2800 Veterans Memorial Blvd Ste 180
NOLA 70003
www.wbecsouth.org

WBEC is a leader in business development for female entrepreneurs. The organization processes all of WBEC’s business certifications, in addition to providing skills- and business-building programs. The requirements for certification are that WBE businesses are at least 51% owned and controlled by U.S. citizens who are female in gender.

Type: MBE

Southern Region Minority Supplier Development Council (SRMSDC)

400 Poydras Street
NOLA 70130
www.srmsdc.org

SRMSDC certifies and develops minority suppliers that are interested in engaging with the business purchasing community. The organization provides certified minority business enterprises (MBEs) the access, technical assistance, training and support needed to expand and market their services to prospective corporate buyers. The requirements for certification are that MBE businesses are at least 51% owned and controlled by U.S. citizens belonging to certain ethnic minority groups. “Ethnic minority groups” are United States citizens who are Asian, African American, Hispanic and Native American.

Type: LGBTBE

National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce

729 15th Street NW 9th Floor
Washington, DC 20005
www.nglcc.org

LGBT-owned businesses are a least 51% owned and controlled by U.S. citizens who are LGBT individuals certified by the NGLCC (National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce). The NGLCC is the exclusive, third-party certification body that verifies that eligible businesses are majority-owned by LGBT individuals and that subsequently grants LGBT Business Enterprise designations to eligible businesses.

STATE PROCUREMENT

Type: SEBD

Louisiana Economic Development (LED) Small and Emerging Business Development Program

617 N 3rd Street
Baton Rouge, LA 70802
www.opportunitylouisiana.com

LED’s Small and Emerging Business Development (SEBD) Program provides the managerial and technical assistance training needed to grow and sustain a small business. SEBD provides developmental assistance, including entrepreneurial training, marketing, computer skills, accounting, business planning, and legal and industry-specific assistance.

Type: HUDSON

Louisiana Economic Development (LED) Louisiana’s Hudson Initiative Certification program

617 N 3rd Street
Baton Rouge, LA 70802
www.opportunitylouisiana.com

Louisiana’s Hudson Initiative is a certification program that is designed to help eligible Louisiana small businesses gain greater access to purchasing and contracting opportunities that are available at the State government level.

MUNICIPAL (NEW ORLEANS) PROCUREMENT

Type: Permits

City of New Orleans’ One Stop Shop

1300 Perdido Street 7th Floor
NOLA 70112
www.nola.gov/onestop

The City of New Orleans’ One Stop Shop and information on all permits, licenses and City Planning Commission actions have been brought into a single place. In order to simplify what have been seen as complicated and difficult processes, we have broken down the barriers between departments.

Type: SLDBE

State and Local Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Program

1300 Perdido Street 7th Floor
NOLA 70112
https://www.nola.gov/economic-development/supplier-diversity/certification/

A business may qualify for the SLDBE Program if it is determined that the firm’s ability to compete in the business world has been restricted due to industry practices, limited access to capital and/or restricted credit opportunities that are beyond the firm’s control. A business may also qualify as a SLDBE certified firm if it is owned, operated and controlled by one or more socially and economically disadvantaged person(s); and that person or those persons own, operate and control at least 51% of the company.

FEDERAL PROCUREMENT

Type: LA UCP

New Orleans Regional Transit Authority (NORTA)

2817 Canal Street
NOLA 70119
www.norta.com

New Orleans Regional Transit Authority participates in two programs that help level the playing field for small businesses: the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Program (DBE) and a small business program called the State and Local DBE Program (SLDBE).

Type: LA UCP

Regional Transit Authority /Louisiana Dept. of Transportation & Development (DOTD)

1201 Capitol Access Road
Baton Rouge, LA 70802
www.dotd.la.gov

DBEs are businesses owned and controlled by one or more socially and economically disadvantaged persons as defined by DBE Regulation 49 CFR Parts 23 and 26. All eligible owners must affirm that they are members of a disadvantaged group (for example, an eligible ethnic minority group or a female). In addition, the personal net worth of each eligible owner applicant must be less than $750,000, excluding the values of the applicant’s ownership interest in the business seeking certification and the owner’s primary residence.

Type: Section 3 DBE

Housing Authority of New Orleans

4100 Touro Street
NOLA 70122
http://www.hano.org/
business/dbe_section_3.aspx

The Housing Authority of New Orleans Section 3 DBE procurement program is designed to effectively provide access to procurement opportunities for socially economic disadvantaged business enterprises and/or underserved populations to perform on projects that provide quality safe, decent and affordable housing to New Orleans’ citizens by creating and sustaining viable communities. Qualifications require business concerns that are 51% or more owned and controlled by residents of any HANO housing site or whose full-time permanent workforce includes 30% of HANO residents of any housing site; or HUD Youthbuild program in Orleans Parish; or Business concerns that are 51% or more owned and controlled by HANO residents or are low or very low-income Orleans Parish residents or whose full-time permanent work force includes 30% HANO residents or low/very low-income Orleans Parish residents.

Type: SAM

Federal Government System For Award Management (SAM) B2G Opportunities

www.sam.gov

System for Award Management (SAM) is changing the way you do business by merging nine legacy, siloed systems into one. This provides users one login and access to all the capabilities previously found in the legacy systems. SAM also consolidates data from these systems into a single database, eliminating data overlap while sharing the data across the award lifecycle.

Type: WOSB

Women-Owned Small Businesses

https://www.sba.gov/contracting/
government-contracting-programs/
women-owned-small-businesses

The WOSB Federal Contract Program was implemented in February 2011 to expand the number of industries where WOSBs were able to compete for business with the federal government.  This program enables Economically Disadvantaged WOSBs (EDWOSBs) to compete for federal contracts that are set aside for EDWOSBs in industries where women-owned small businesses are underrepresented.  It also allows set-asides for WOSBs in industries where women-owned small businesses are substantially underrepresented.

Type: SBA 8(a)

Small Business Administration (SBA) 8(a) Program

365 Canal Street
NOLA 70130
www.sba.gov

SBA 8(a) businesses are owned and controlled by a socially and economically disadvantaged individual. Under the Small Business Act, certain presumed groups include African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Asian Pacific Americans, and Subcontinent Asian Americans. Other individuals can be admitted to the program if they show through a “preponderance of the evidence” that they are disadvantaged because of race, ethnicity, gender, physical handicap or residence in an environment isolated from the mainstream of American society. In order to meet the economic disadvantage test, each individual must have a net worth of less than $250,000, excluding the value of the business and primary residence.

Type: Disabled Vet

Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Business Program

https://www.sba.gov/
contracting/government-contracting-programs/service-disabled-veteran-owned-businesses

The purpose of the Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business Concern Procurement Program is to provide procuring agencies with the authority to set acquisitions aside for exclusive competition among service-disabled veteran-owned small business concerns, as well as the authority to make sole source awards to service-disabled veteran-owned small business concerns if certain conditions are met. (See Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 13 C.F.R. § 125.8-125.10).

Type: HUBZone

HUBZone Program

https://www.sba.gov/
contracting/government-contracting-programs/hubzone-program

The Historically Underutilized Business Zones (HUBZone) program was enacted into law as part of the Small Business Reauthorization Act of 1997. The program falls under the auspices of the U.S. Small Business Administration. The program encourages economic development in historically underutilized business zones – “HUBZones” – through the establishment of preferences.