• Targeted Group/ Economically Disadvantaged (TG/ ED) Small Business Program
    The State of Minnesota Department of Administration’s Material Management Division operates a program for Targeted Group (TG) and Economically Disadvantaged (ED) 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 and ED small businesses must be certified as such by MMD in order to participate in the program. Once certified, TG and ED small businesses may be eligible for price preferences in selling their products or services or bidding on construction projects to the state. An application form and additional information about the program can be accessed from the Targeted Group/Economically Disadvantaged (TG/ED) Small Business Program web site.
  • Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) – Uniform Certification Program (UCP)
    The DBE program applies to federally funded transportation projects and is set forth in 49 CFR Part 26. Certifying Agencies under 49 CFR Part 26 include the Metropolitan Airports Commission, the Metropolitan Council, and the Minnesota Department of Transportation. A small business may submit its DBE application to any of the certifying agencies listed above and if approved, the certification is recognized by all.  The City of Minneapolis is also utilizing the MnUCP DBE certification for City projects.To be eligible, a DBE applicant must have 51% ownership by a woman, minority or socially and economically disadvantaged business. In addition the owner must control the business, be independent, and enjoy the risks and rewards of the business. The business must be consider small as defined by the SBA and the 51% women or minorities owner can not have a personal net worth above $750,000. The business must be ready, willing and able to do business in areas of work they are requesting for certification.
    Additional information including the application is available on line from the Minnesota Unified Certification Program.


  • CERT Program
    The Central Certification (CERT) Program is a small business certification program sponsored collaboratively by four local government jurisdictions: Hennepin County, Ramsey County and City of St. Paul. Small, minority- and woman-owned businesses are encouraged to apply for certification through the CERT program. Rather than operating separate certification efforts as they have in the past, the collaborative members have come together to create a “one-stop shop” for certification. Eligible business owners desiring to be certified by any or all of the participating jurisdictions now submit a single, standard application to a central processing location. Each application received is then evaluated using a uniform set of certification criteria. Certified businesses receive increased market exposure through inclusion in directories of certified venders that are regularly distributed to purchasing officials in various jurisdictions. In addition, some prime contracts contain goals for certified businesses. Additional information is available by contacting the City of St. Paul at 651-266-8900.
  • City of Minneapolis SUBP Program

The Small and Underutilized Business Program (SUBP) ordinance Chapter 423 of the city code is administered by the Contract Compliance Unit (CCU) of the Minneapolis Department of Civil Rights. The SUBP ordinance is intended to redress discrimination in the City’s marketplace* and create opportunities for Minority-owned Business Enterprises (MBEs) and Women-owned Business Enterprises (WBEs). The CCU assists in leveling the playing field in contracting by placing participation goals on City contracts. MBEs and WBEs must be certified through the MN/UCP for their participation to count toward the SUBP goals. MN/UCP certification fosters local participation, increases market exposure, and creates access to additional opportunities with participating jurisdictions. For additional information contact the City of Minneapolis at 612-673-3012.


  • Midwest Minority Supplier Development Council (MMSDC) (MBE)
    The Midwest Minority Supplier Development Council (MMSDC) provides business development and advocacy services to certified ethnic minority-owned businesses and corporations throughout Minnesota, North, South Dakota and abroad. The MMSDC is one of the 39 regional councils of the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC) in New York, NY and is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that works closely together with Corporate America to help these organizations increase minority business participation.Businesses owned and controlled by ethnic minorities can apply for certification as a Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) with the MMSDC.  Large Corporations often require certification from a council of the NMSDC before counting dollars spent with an MBE towards its supplier diversity goals.  MBE certification also provides access to networking opportunities, corporate buyers, and various business development tools and resources to help ethnic minority-owned businesses expand. The MMSDC offers business mentoring through the MBE Input Committee which brings together certified MBEs based on industry groups.Additional information including qualifications, fees and MBE application is available atwww.mmsdc.org.
  • Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) (WBE)
    The Women’s Business Development Center (WBDC) in Chicago, IL, a co-founder of the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC), provides national certification and procurement services for women-owned businesses throughout the Midwest. The WBDC partners with The Center for Women Entrepreneurs, Metropolitan State University to offer WBE certification to companies in the State of Minnesota. The WBDC’s Women Business Enterprise (WBE) certification process verifies that a business is at least 51% independently-owned, operated and controlled by women. Apply Online. Local contact: Natasha Fedorova, Assistant to Director, Center for Women Entrepreneurs, (612) 659-7233.


SBA Goaling Program 
The U.S. Small Business Administration (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. The Government wide socio-economic small business goals are as follows:
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.
  • Small Business size standards
    SBA’s size standards are used to determine whether a business entity is small and therefore eligible for Government programs and preferences reserved for “small business” concerns. The regulation covering size standards can be found at 13 CFR 121. SBA’s size standards are based on the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS). Every industry has a corresponding NAICS code. Each NAICS code is assigned a size standard. The size standards are based on either average annual number of employees (manufacturing and wholesale trade) or on three year average revenue (service industry). SBA publishes the table of NAICS codes and corresponding size standards.When applying for an SBA program, an applicant must determine its primary industry NAICS code and have average employees or revenue less than the size standard for that NAICS code to qualify. On contracts set-aside for small business (including 8(a), HUBZone, and Service Disabled Veteran set-asides), the Government Contracting Officer selects the NAICS code that best describes the good or service being procured. The offeror must self certify that it is small for the NAICS code assigned to the contract. This is done by completing anOnline Representations and Certifications Application (ORCA). The ORCA profile is completed one time (but updated as necessary) and serves as the self certification for any solicitation a small business may bid on.
  • Small Disadvantaged Business (SDB)
On October 3, 2008 an interim final rule was published in the Federal Register stating that small businesses owned and controlled by socially and economically disadvantaged individual may self-certify its status as a Small Disadvantaged Business (SDB). There is a presumption that individuals belonging to the following groups are socially disadvantaged: Black Americans; Hispanic Americans; Native Americans; Asian Pacific Americans; and Subcontinent Asian Americans. Others that feel they have been subjected to racial or ethnic prejudice or cultural bias within American society because of their identities as members of groups and without regard to their individual qualities may also qualify.
The self-certification is done by completing an Online Representations and Certifications Application (ORCA), or by completing a questionnaire sent by a prime contractor. The business’s CCR and Dynamic Small Business Search Data Base registration should also reflect the small disadvantaged business status.
  • 8(a) Business Development
    The 8(a) BD Program — named for Section 8(a) of the Small Business Act – is a business development program created to help small disadvantaged businesses compete in the American economy. It is also designed to assist such companies in gaining access to federal and private procurement markets.The focus of the program is to provide business development support, such as mentoring, procurement assistance, business counseling, training, financial assistance, surety bonding and other management and technical assistance. The goal, however, is to prepare small disadvantaged firms for procurement and other business opportunities. The 8(a) BD portion of the SBA Website contains an assessment tool that will help a business determine if 8(a) is right for them. Additional information including eligibility requirements and the online application are available at the 8(a) Home Page.
Women Owned Small Business
On October 7, 2010 the Women-Owned Small Business Federal Contract Program Final Rule was published in the Federal Register. The final rule allows contracting officers to specifically limit, or set aside, certain requirements for competition solely amongst women ‐ owned small businesses (WOSBs) or economically disadvantaged women ‐ owned small businesses (EDWOSBs). The final rule goes into effect on February 4, 2010. In the interim, the SBA will work with the Federal Acquisition Regulatory Council and others in implementing the rule in the Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR) and contracting systems.
Only requirements falling under certain NAICs codes where women are underrepresented or substantially represented can be set-aside. Requirements classified under NAICs codes where women are substantially underrepresented may be set aside for women-owned small businesses (WOSBs) (which includes the subset of economically disadvantaged women ‐ owned small businesses (EDWOSBs)). Requirements classified under NAICs codes where women are underrepresented (but not substantially underrepresented) may be set aside for EDWOSBs.
Eligibility requirements:
Women-Owned Small Business
A Women ‐ Owned Small Business (WOSB) is a small business concern that is at least 51 percent directly and unconditionally owned and controlled by one or more women who are citizens (born or naturalized) of the United States.
Economically Disadvantaged Women-Owned Small Business
An Economically Disadvantaged Women-Owned Small Business (EDWOSB) is a small business concern that is at least 51 percent directly and unconditionally owned and controlled by one or more women who are citizens (born or naturalized) of the United States and who are economically disadvantaged. The EDWOSB automatically qualifies as a women-owned small business eligible for the WOSB Program. A woman is presumed economically disadvantaged if she has a personal net worth of less than $750,000, her adjusted gross yearly income averaged over the three years preceding the certification does not exceed $350,000, and the fair market value of all her assets (including her primary residence and the value of the business concern) does not exceed $6 million.
WOSBs and EDWOSBs must self-certify their status in the Central Contractor Registration (CCR) and the On-Line Representations and Certifications Application (ORCA) as other small businesses do. In addition, EDWOSBs and WOSBs must submit documents verifying the concern’s eligibility to an online document repository. The documentation may be a copy of a certification from an SBA approved third party certifying entity (at the present time there are no approved third party certifiers) or it could be copies of all documents required to determine that the business meets all of the requirements.
Additional information including a listing of the required documents, the self certification forms and instructions for accessing the online document repository can be found at SBA’s WOSB home page . More detailed information regarding the Women-Owned Small Business Federal Contract Program can be found in thecompliance guide.
  • HUBZone Small Business
    The HUBZone Program helps businesses in historically underutilized areas gain access to federal procurement opportunities. To be eligible, a business must:
  • Have its principal office in a HUBZone
  • Be 51% owned by U.S. Citizens
  • Qualify as a small business for its principal NAICS code
  • Have at least 35% of its employees residing in a HUBZone
The HUBZone Program is set up as a paperless program. All the information including mapping software to find out if a given location is in a HUBZone and the electronic application can be found at the HUBZone Homepage.
  • Veteran-Owned and Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Businesses
    The Veterans Benefits Act of 2003 allows Federal contracting officers to restrict competition to Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Businesses (SDVOSB) and award a sole source or set-aside contract where certain criteria are met. Public Law (P.L.) 109-461 gives the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) authority to give additional preferences in contracting with Veteran and Service Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Businesses.For non-VA contracts, Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Businesses may self certify their status by completing an Online Representations and Certifications Application (ORCA), or by completing a questionnaire sent by a prime contractor. The business’s CCR and Dynamic Small Business Search Data Base registration should also reflect the Veteran and Service Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business status.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.
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