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New state application system reduces the amount of time it takes for businesses to become M/WBE certified

January 12, 2016

JEFFERSON CITY – The Office of Administration today announced a new online application system for minority and women-owned business enterprises that will reduce the amount of time it currently takes to submit the necessary documentation to obtain M/WBE certification. The new system will also reduce the time the Office of Equal Opportunity (OEO) spends reviewing and tracking information. Previously, applications were typically submitted on paper and reviewed manually by state staff.

“This new online application system will allow us to significantly reduce the amount of time it takes an M/WBE to be certified,” Office of Administration Commissioner Doug Nelson said. “This will make government more efficient and effective by eliminating manual paper processes, and creating more opportunities for M/WBEs and small business owners all across Missouri.”

“Certifying more M/WBEs in the state of Missouri is one of our absolute highest priorities,” said Walter Pearson, OEO Acting Director. “By streamlining the certification process, we are making it easier for M/WBEs to do business with the state and to have more immediate access to state contracts, which promotes diversity and greater inclusion in state government.”

Obtaining the State of Missouri M/WBE certification provides greater opportunities for M/WBEs to bid on state contracts. All certified M/WBE vendors appear on the Office of Equal Opportunity’s Directory of Certified M/WBE Vendors. Both contractors and state agencies use this site as a resource in soliciting certified minority and/or women participation in ongoing projects.

To become M/WBE certified with the state, a business must meet the following requirements:

  • At least 51 percent of the business must be owned by a minority and/or a woman;
  • The minority and/or woman owner must be a U.S. citizen or lawfully admitted permanent resident of the U.S.;
  • The minority and/or woman owner must hold the highest position in the company and be capable of exercising direct control over the daily, as well as long-term decisions regarding the management, policies and operations of the firm; and
  • The business must be organized as a for-profit business.

The Office of Equal Opportunity, a program within Missouri’s Office of Administration, exists to: assist women and minorities with developing opportunities to contract with the state; promote a diversified workforce within state government; economically empower traditionally underserved communities and; improve the overall fiscal vitality of the State of Missouri.

In an effort to ensure that M/WBE businesses are aware and take advantage of contractual opportunities available within state agencies, OEO sponsors or co-sponsors activities ranging from regional workshops, orientation sessions for newly certified M/WBE vendors and training workshops for state agencies. In addition, OEO is constantly seeking proactive ways to foster the inclusion of M/WBEs in state contracting opportunities, including disseminating procurement information to M/WBE entities through its website.

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