Many business owners are looking for ways to expand or create new revenue streams for their business. Selling your products or services to the government is one way to do that. That being said, not every business is a good fit to sell to the government so do your research. A great place to see if you have a product or service New York State purchases check out the Contract Reporter at www.nyscr.ny.gov it has a list of current bids. Just click on the box that says “I want to find contracts to bid on” and follow the directions. The next consideration is whether New York State Minority Women Business Enterprise (MWBE) Certification is an option.
Per Empire State Development “Because state government has been mandated by the Governor and the legislature to provide greater opportunity for participation by MWBEs in state contracting, certification gives business owners an advantage when marketing goods and/or services to state agencies and authorities.”
• 30% of vendors must be NYS MWBE certified
• Prime Contractors use MWBE certified Sub Contractors
• You are at the top of the list – DOES NOT GUARANTEE A CONTRACT
• Potential significant revenue stream for some businesses
Herein lies an opportunity for qualifying businesses. New York State has very specific criteria to become certified. Below is an overview of the requirements:
• MBE is a business enterprise in which at least fifty-one percent (51%) is owned, operated and controlled by citizens or permanent resident aliens who meet the ethnic definitions. A WBE is the same requirement but woman owned.
• All firms seeking MBE, WBE or MWBE certification must be independently owned, operated and controlled by minority members and/or women.
• The ownership must be real, substantial and continuing, and the minority members and/or women must exercise the authority to independently control the day-to-day business decisions.
• Each minority or woman owner upon whom certification is based, cannot have a personal net worth exceeding $3.5 Million after allowable deductions.
• In no event can the applicant firm employee more than 300 Full Time Equivalent Employees(FTE)
• The firm must operate independently of other firms, must demonstrate it is an active business’ and generally, the business must be in operation for at least one year.
A detailed list of requirements can be found at http://esd.ny.gov/MWBE/Qualifications.html. This program is a great option to help your business catapult to the next level. It is the expectation of the department that you will grow your business to the point of no longer qualifying for the program. That would be a good problem to have. For information about certification visit http://esd.ny.gov/MWBE/Certification.html. Look for my next article where I will cover how to begin the certification process. Cynthia Marsh-Croll is the former Entrepreneurial Assistance Program Manager at the Orange County Chamber of Commerce and Operations Productivity Specialist that can be reached at 845-649-2778 or cmc@CrollPS.com.