The sole certifying agency in the state of Washington for Minority and Women-owned Business Enterprises (MWBEs) is the Office of Minority and Women’s Business Enterprises (OMWBE). Certified MWBEs become eligible to participate in certain state and local government contracts. Some firms in the private sector recognize and use the certifications of the OMWBE for their own diversity goals, as well. There is a fee of no more than $100, depending on business structure. The business that is certified will also be listed in the searchable OMWBE database.
Does this certification expire? Businesses must renew their certification every three years.
Does this program require bidders attempt to make a good-faith effort to meet participation goals? Some government agencies may institute participation goals on specific projects for which good-faith effort requirements are relevant.
Is any loan or bonding assistance provided through this program? Businesses that have been certified may apply for the Linked Deposit Program which can decrease interest rates on small business loans up to 2%.