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um good morning everyone i'm liz russell i am one of the procurement counselors with the arkansas procurement technical assistance center and we want to express our appreciation for your persistence during this pandemic we know it has not been easy we continue to be open for business our staff is working remotely but we're finding it's been pretty seamless so this morning's training is going to be taught by miss karen castle with the arkansas economic development commission's office of minority and women-owned business enterprise uh karen is the program manager for the certification program you're here to learn about today um just i just want to interject this is one of the topics that i think our staff gets calls about the most are the various certifications so i just want to clarify that what we're going to be learning about today is a specific certification with the state of arkansas there are other uh there's a federal certification for minority-owned businesses and women-owned businesses and there are private sector certifications and i know it's really confusing um so that's one of the things that we're here for is to work with you sort out what certifications are available to you and make you know figure out what's most appropriate for your business but today we're going to hear about the state of arkansas program and the benefits of that are substantial um before we start just a little bit of housekeeping we are recording the webinar uh including the q a so if you have any privacy concerns just send us a private chat and we'll see what we can do to accommodate that um to ensure the quality of our recording we are putting all um participants on mute except for the speaker um and um karen is going to be going through a slide presentation which we will be sending out to all participants um after the conclusion of the presentation um but before i turn it over to karen i want to introduce kim mcgee kim is one of our outreach coordinators and she's going to share a little bit of information about the p-tech program kim i am kim mcgee an outreach coordinator with arkansas recruitment technical assistance center which means i am normally traveling all over the state sharing what ptac can do for businesses in arkansas right now of course that's all virtually but obviously we're still doing that and i wanted to start with our first slide which is just our contact information it will be shared on the last screen as well okay the next slide i believe just talks about our mission which is simply to help businesses secure government contracts our counselors have many years of experience right now we have a full staff minus administration support we don't have that right at the moment but we have our director who is on the call right at the moment melanie berman and then we have our five counselors of which most of those are on the call as well and then myself and ed mabry the outreach coordinators which are the ones that just go around telling what ptac can do for clients okay it's coming up slowly okay sorry about that it worked of course when we tested it so we are just go down to slide three if you will okay but we are a free service we are funded by department of defense which is the dod department of defense as well as university of arkansas system division of agriculture cooperative extension service why do they keep funding us because we provide we need to be on another slide where i can see those okay here's the next one gotcha yeah we jobs created were 3082 the contracts were 1092 and those contracts totaled over 145 million dollars next one hold on well kim there we go here's where we like to emphasize what the government purchases they purchase a vast array of goods and services and basically anything you or i need the government also needs so we never like a business to count themselves out thinking that the government doesn't buy what you might offer because they buy everything from toilet paper to vegetables as you can see on the on the screen then another thing we like to emphasize next slide is that a lot of government contracts do go to small businesses simply because it's 95 percent of the contracts are four amounts less than 250 000 and those are set aside for small businesses which i'll just go out on limb here and say most businesses in arkansas qualify a small business so a lot of the contracts are going to those how do we assist businesses in getting the government contracts what do we do for them we'll go on to our next slide and you have to click down we do one-on-one consulting and our clients some our counselors sometimes get onto me for saying but they have been known to go line by line through bid packets with with clients in the past but we do one-on-one consulting bid matching which when you sign up to be a client with us which is free by the way when you sign up to be a client you will tell us information about your business keywords about what you do what you're capable of we'll put that into the computer system and then when bids come across to us that are of interest to your business you will automatically receive those without you having to do anything except review those in an email and then if when you get those if you see one that you want to bid on we can help you interpret those bid opportunities understand the language in those and and what it all means then when you write your proposal if you would like our counselors to review that so that it is as strong as possible when you submit that they will do that and then locate opportunities to sell products and services to the agencies that are buying goods and services and subcontracting assistance because that's a good way to get your foot in the door if you're not prime serving as prime yet you can get your foot in the door by subcontracting for prime contractors and we offer free seminars workshops and networking events such as this one to day they've all been virtual just like this one so far and then a monthly electronic newsletter which will include success stories so when our clients are receiving awards we like to highlight those in that newsletter and then more free webinars trainings that we offer is through a service that we pay for called govology which will give our clients more opportunities for trainings okay what arkansas what we expect from our clients once you become a client we want your primary business to be in arkansas you can have branch branches of your business in other locations but we want your primary business to be in arkansas so that those jobs and dollars are staying in arkansas we need you to be able to communicate via the internet because that is how you get paid so that's very important to have internet access we want you to be a viable contractor or capable of becoming one even if you're not at the point when you come in we need you to be capable of becoming one and then complete a simple request for assistance it's literally a 10-minute process to do that provide data about the company so that we are able to provide those bid opportunities to you that might be of interest to you we want you to actively pursue those and not just ignore those when they come out because at some point if you are you will go to an inactive client and then submit a monthly online client activity report and that so we can see if you are getting awards we want to we want to know about those and see if what we're doing is successful and then submit an annual evaluation survey so that dod and our funders can see that we are actually doing our job and then probably number one is contact us before it's too late so as long as you don't come in at three o'clock the day before your bid is due we can help you and we want to highlight our website which is on the next slide http uaex.edu dot p-tag and from there you can go in there and see the newsletter archives you can see the upcoming trainings you can apply to become a client all from that website then one thing i did not mention which will go to the next slide but our main office is in little rock housed in university of arkansas system division agriculture cooperative extension service but we also have a branch office in bentonville at the community college there and our counselor max franks runs that office there but we do service the entire state so it doesn't matter where in arkansas your business is located we can assist you in government contracting so we have our contact information up there again just for you to be able to see our locations our telephone number address and email as well as the website is there as well okay kim thank you so much um and um i think most of you know our counselors are available for one-on-one as well as training like this so if if at any point during the presentation you think you do need some one-on-one uh consultation just drop a note in the um chat box and we'll have somebody get in touch with you um also we have another special guest with us this morning i want to introduce miss pat brown um pat is the director of the office of minority and women-owned business enterprise for the aedc and pat would you like to say a few words thank you i appreciate it very much we're glad to be here and thank you aipac for hosting this certification workshop we hope that you will learn something about certification and will be able to if you have not certified your business we hope that you will take this opportunity to learn what you need to do and i'm sure karen's going to let you know all the documents that you need everything that you need in order to participate in our certification program our certification program uh for women on businesses who were added to our program back in 2017 and also for service disabled veterans and minorities and we use the minority definition that's used by the legislature so one of the things that and she's going to tell you all about the certification so i don't have to talk about that but i do want to talk about our new our event our matchmaking event this is our first virtual matchmaking event it's going to be held on september 17th from uh nine o'clock in the morning until three in the afternoon we will have a kickoff speaker our speaker will be mr james frederick thrower he is a camden native and he is a former nfl football player with the philadelphia eagles and also the uh detroit lions and he and his family own about 11 mcdonald's so it's going to be a great event and you know anybody that you know if you want information about it right now you can call me or email me my number is 501-425-8910 and you can contact me about that and we will get you to repeat your number one more time the number is 501 times thank you via p brown at arkansasedc.com but we're hoping to have uh at least maybe 300 uh people to attend and this is going to be a great event so make plans to attend put it on your calendar september 17 2020 from nine o'clock in the morning until three o'clock in the afternoon thank you so much again melanie and ptac for inviting us and for hosting the certification workshop thank you and um pat one more time your email address is at p brown at arkansas edc.com okay we've put the contact information in the chat box okay so um we're excited to get on with our presentation just a little bit about the format today um if you've come in um in the last few minutes we encourage you to hop in the chat box tell us your name and the name of your business um normally when karen teaches this class it's an interactive live presentation so we're going to kind of try to keep the same rhythm i do ask that you keep yourself on mute uh that will ensure the quality of our presentation but if you have a question that comes up um during her presentation just drop it in the chat box we may not do it right that second but we will get to it for sure um and then if you missed the opening remarks we will be sending her presentation out uh afterwards in the form of an email so um i believe that gets all of our housekeeping out of the way and karen i'm ready to turn it over to you all right can everybody hear me we can great well good morning and welcome to the minority and women-owned business certification training um we're going to cover a few things today let me get to that agenda we're going to define minority and women-owned business enterprise certification you hear me it's call it or speak to it as mwbe by the acronym so no that's exactly what we're talking about i'll cover the benefits of the certification program um we'll answer whether the business qualifies we'll go through that whole piece and um what's needed from the business and the owner or about the business and what's needed from the owner we'll ask we'll answer questions at the end but as liz said we'll go ahead and take those throughout the uh the presentation so the arkansas minority and women on business certification is simply the betting or the review of a business to ensure that it's owned operated and managed by an ethnic minority person or persons a service disabled veteran-owned business owner and um a woman or female so as pat mentioned earlier in uh 2017 it's act 1080 of 2017 there were some changes to the legislation and to the program and one of the biggest changes is that the women were added to the program um of the benefits as we know them and as uh it's been shared by our some of our current certified uh business owners the state of arkansas purchasing agents have a threshold of 20 000 and under it's their small orders purchase anything that's 20 000 and under they do not have to go through um a solicitation process with that said if a business is certified and they do business with that purchases with that business services or commodities they can spend up to forty thousand dollars annually with that same company again without any competitive solicitation uh as long as the business is certified these service disabled veteran owned businesses fall under minority for this case in this case so you'll hear me going back and forth between really minority or one women owned and certified service disabled veterans fall under the minority uh definition another benefit is that the vendor registration fee is waived um if a business owner is interested in becoming or registering as a registering as a vendor with the state of arkansas um there's a 25 fee it's an annual fee for certified businesses that fee is um waived of course any business or women owned minority owned service disabled veteran owned can request to be have their business information published on the aedc mwbe online directory however when the business is certified we go in and we put in that certification designation we know that there are purchasing agents throughout the state state government purchasing agents we know that private sector purchasing folks use that that online directory when they are looking to do business with those minority business owners and women in particular and we know that the city particularly little rock and some other cities in the state reference that um reference the online directory in search of minority and women-owned businesses so to have that certification designation lets the purchasing person know that the business has been vetted or it's been the information has been reviewed to ensure that that business is owned operated and managed by the uh the audience that it's supposed to be so they feel pretty comfortable utilizing that i get calls sometimes for about specific information and when the because the business is certified we have that information to supply to the um purchasing agent or whoever is calling to request that is in that realm anytime we hear about um to hear about events or workshops webinars any sort of vendor classes uh any organization that's providing technical assistance or has any business to business networking everything is virtual now so we definitely let our certified business owners know about that and that's another benefit because sometimes um it's hard to reach folks or know who has a business out there within the state and if you're certified we have all of your information we send out an email blast or get a hold of you through other methods to let you know about those types of events that are going on and i think then the one of the biggest is that it's free of course it's a government program most of those are free in terms of the application there are other certifications out there through non-profits throughout the country and other organizations that do have a cost associated with them my experience has been that most government certification programs are free of charge um once the business is certified or acted certified the owner receives a certificate this is a blank one but um we've heard from our certified business owners some ways that they utilize this in promoting or marketing their business to purchasing agents for contracts or marketed on business cards that's one way if it's a brick and mortar i know i've visited some businesses that are certified and i'll see these the the certificate framed and in their office in their customer service area and here it's signed by uh the executive director uh mike preston who's also the secretary of commerce and he it's his signatures here and of course our director pat brown here in our division we give each certification or each business is given a certification number and that number follows them throughout the certification of that business we provide the issuing date issuance date the expiration date and any next codes that are described or associated with the business we have that on there and of course the business name and people use this a lot to market their business when they're marketing their business to any purchasing agent um i know that some of the private sector companies have diversity programs and have goals associated with meeting uh associated with those diversity programs and they're always looking for these kinds of marketing pieces that gives that validity with regard to whether the business is uh certified in what certification program it went through so now this is what is needed for the business to qualify the owner has to be or the majority owner in this case that at least 51 of the company has to be owned by the person that's applying has to be a us citizen or a lawful permanent resident the majority owner has to be a legal permanent resident of the state of arkansas so that that that's a big deal we get calls from company owners uh especially uh neighboring states they fit the criteria the business fits the criteria the business is eligible but the owner is not a permanent resident of this state we get a lot from tennessee we've gotten oklahoma um texas in a big way so um as you can see this is an arkansas business program now when we talk about the target audience or audiences the majority owner majority owner uh must be a member of one of the following groups so it has to be 51 owned the business does by an african-american an american indian hispanic american asian-american pacific islander american i mentioned the service disabled veteran person and of course female and that would be non-ethnic female we talked about the 51 ownership most of our business owners are 100 um owned by one of those groups and it's i'd say about 98 would be the 100 ownership the company has to be in existence and operating not just up in existence on paper has to be in existence and operated operating and owned by the current owner for at least two years and a few times we've received requests where um the business is in existence it's operated it's being operated by the person that's requesting it however the person may purchase that business a year ago from someone else well that part will not have make them eligible or allow them to to to move forward until they meet that two-year mark as the owner a way to check that and a check and balance and in a way is we look for proof of at least two years of federal um filings tax filings and state tax filings for the most recent two years so i had one yesterday i was reviewing that the lady submitted it um i guess wednesday yeah yesterday reviewing it and um she's a sole pro business as a sole proprietorship so of course she can get a transcript and what that means is she filed her taxes along with her personal taxes via schedule c so with in that case we would look for a transcript it would have all the information we're looking for one line on that transcript the business revenue the business filings now if it's not a sole proprietorship it's a corporation llc whatever corporation designation we would look we want to get the tax filings the actual tax filings uh there's no transcript offered for business taxes uh via the irs at this point in terms of the arkansas state business tax filings they don't have transcripts in the manner that we need or or we would like so you would just file or send upload your actual tax filings as you've sent them or filed them with the department of finance and administration here in arkansas the program is open to for-profit businesses we get that some i think the word has gotten out it was getting out even more that it's not open to to nonprofit businesses at this point but you know things can change but for now it's for-profit uh organizations only and although this is a good thing it's a good problem to have uh the business it cannot has to generate less than 10 million in revenue per year i had a lady called the other day so she's uh i think a distributor of some sort northwest arkansas so somebody told her about the certification program she was really gung-ho to to to certify her business and she'd heard about it from purchasing agents and a couple of other business owners in that area that are certified and so the first thing i do is talk about the eligibility requirements and after listening to for a little bit the first thing i asked her was how much what what her revenue was per year and um she said it was over 10 million i said well you know that's a good problem to have i i i wouldn't if that's all i did i wouldn't mind not have being able to certify the business if it was uh that kind of revenue going on i think what she really wanted to do is to do business or have the state procure with her and uh at that point i would just i just suggested that she talk to somebody at the office of state procurement and find out who um state or even in state has those um contracts that she's looking to um to bid on and and and get involved with um she would go to the office of state procurement and and work and find get her findings there but um most times uh 99.9 of the times uh of course our businesses are uh generate less than the 10 million even um the ones that contact us and uh and i just haven't run across that a lot but i will tell you over the years that i've been managing this program we've had three businesses that have um for lack of or a different phrase um graduated from the program because their revenue has exceeded the 10 million while they've been in the program so it's it's it's been a few of them three that i can think of off the top of my head over the past maybe six years or so so if you can answer yes to all of those qualifying elements then your business is eligible to um certify with the state of arkansas or be a part of the nwbe certification program so this is what we would need if you decided to pursue this we have an online digital online application and i have at the end of the presentation and you guys will receive this as mentioned um there are links to the our website and the uh mwbe page webpage where you'll be able to access all of this information so um we would need a completed online certification app um we would need your articles of incorporation that is a document that you receive from the arkansas secretary of state's office it really just shows that the business is in good standing through that office um we need for the business to have an active business checking account from um a traditional financial institution or credit union um whatever the case may be and we that's a signature authorization card which is bank jargon or financial institution jargon but we'll also take a letter um on the bank's letterhead and um the manager's signature or the manager's representative these things and i'll say this i meant to say this earlier but a lot of this information is information that you should have if you're running a viable legitimate business in the state of arkansas so this isn't anything that is out of the way different than any other certification type program in fact most of the federal programs require much more than some of the state requirements uh some of the state requirements so um a federal tax id number and a dun and bradstreet number maybe not so much that i see a lot of folks um they don't have that a lot of the times but the federal tax id number the ein number is some one of the first things you should really get from the irs when you're thinking about or opening your business the dun and brad street number is something is a number that you acquire from done in brad street and um it's free of charge for this purpose now they have a very aggressive sales and marketing team with that outfit they may try and upsell you to um get some of their product or additional product for this purpose you really just need a free dun and brad street number we definitely would like to have the proof of arkansas residency that can be a state issue driver's license let me rephrase that a current state issued drivers arkansas driver's license or an identity arkansas id card we'll accept either of those evidence of u.s citizen citizenship that would be a birth certificate u.s birth certificate uh we get a lot of passports that's that's good um current passports birth certificates are good as well naturalization papers legal permanent residence a photo id status and if a business owner is presenting as american indian we would like a tribal card from that tribe and and most times uh that's never a problem with the folks that are applying and if it's a service disabled veteran and i don't think i have that here we would like we would ask for one of those others and of course a copy of the adjudication letter from the um the veterans office of veterans u.s veterans affairs the copy of the resume for the owners if the business is structured it has board of directors or other senior management um we can talk about this but we would like a copy of their resume as well um we're just trying to see the likenesses we're trying to see who's sharing what they're bringing to the table what they're offering in addition to the owner's information and that's really based on how the company is structured as to whether we'll see a lot of that most times it's business and owner and maybe one other person that's been our experience with uh business owners that have applied for this certification and of course a a company overview is always helpful we get calls a lot of the times i mentioned earlier from purchasing agents we don't give any information we don't you know we give all the only information we give is information that is available in the directory we'll refer them there or if it's something simple we'll go ahead and give the information and we get information for everyone or any bid all businesses that have uh provides a particular product or service commodity or service but a company interview overview is always helpful because it gives us an idea and we need to know what the business offers how it's performing and we can definitely or is it operational and make sure it is and then um we can give that information and and help you promote your business from that standpoint just based on the information we have and we will always refer them to the owner um if need be and then sometimes they're just calling to to see what's out there getting a feel of what type of businesses are out there from a minority women-owned standpoint ownership standpoint and it's really good and easy to send them to the directory and if they have specific questions that we can answer we'll do that um you know within reason now we bet the business with regard to uh the owners and and all the other criteria that i mentioned earlier if you're talking to a purchasing agent um they're gonna be that in the business for other reasons they're gonna look at um how much revenue past performance in terms of uh uh uh this what they supplied who their customers were and they may even call some of those uh customers to find out so we don't get in into it in a big way from the procurement standpoint but sometimes we get calls from them just to talk about uh the by the legitimacy of the business if they don't see it in the directory and even if they do if they have other questions um did that one this is what a transcript looks like for those who will profile as a sole proprietorship now these things we need and would like if they are definitely needed to run your business day-to-day so some i've run across some consulting businesses that do carry insurance on their business liability and typically we definitely want the insurance from janitorial businesses um other cleaning services construction companies those kinds of uh businesses bonding information definitely from those type of businesses as well we want to know that the business is bondable it's kind of if they get a job or are awarded a contract and they may need to have that bonding or the capability to have get the bonding insurance any professional license that you think would be helpful just to speak to your business and maybe you have a professional uh a license and it'll help to show um that you are definitely run know what you're running and know about the business that you are taking that that you're running any financial statements at this time this is above and beyond the uh the tax filings if you have any kind of financial statements that you want to give us that shows the business performance year to date for example if a businesses if a business is requesting certification today next week we would ask for um any activity that shows the strength of the business and it strengthens strengths of its revenue from uh january through today uh or through this month and that'll be that year-to-date financial statement piece any service agreements if your business is provides a service and you have any kind of agreement a standard kind of a written document that all of your potential clients or clients have to sign an edge to do work with you or to for you to give perform that work it would be helpful to just have a um a generic or copy of that without any information of course in it so just a blank copy karen yes um we do have one question that's kind of to that previous slide so could i go ahead with it okay um i have insurance but not bonding insurance is that something i should research or add to my business what type of business is it um sheila can you tell us in the chat box what type of business you have i can't see the chat yeah i don't think we have a response to that okay well if it's uh if it's oh i'm sorry here we go it's it consulting i don't think so i would research it if i were you but uh i don't think we would require anything like that but you want to just check on it generally speaking uh on the bonding part but i haven't run across any any uh any need for for that type of bonding needs for that type of business does that answer the question well if it does i believe it does thank you you're welcome so if there are two or more owners even if the let's just say if they're two more owners of this business then we definitely want to see a partnership or operating agreement that should be in place normal business activity um met we want to have that as a part of the packet that you send and again i mentioned earlier if if a business owner is presenting as a service disabled veteran then that veteran the va uh issues an adjudication letter and that person knows what that is and they should supply a copy of that along with the rest of their information now this here we have business references but we asked for that as a part of the application process it's in the app in in other words so no worries there we get this a lot and we recently went from paper the paper processor format of getting all of this information to a digital platform so we can safely say or comfortably say that we can certify a business if everything is there the first time in less than 30 business days excluding holidays of course weekend so uh my experience since we've been on this digital uh platform uh spend 10 to 20 business days or less again it goes back to whether it's paper or uh when we're doing the paper or whether it's the digital it depends on the volume at the time because these requests are first come first serve right so and we do them in that and we review them and and and and process them based on that first come first served but the likelihood of it your business being certified under 30 days is is predicated on whether you send everything because once we review it if everything isn't there we'll let you know what's not there and we're on to the next one or two or three because a lot of times these are worked simultaneously so when when the when the information is reviewed um we pretty much go through them with the fine-tooth calm based uh best we can um based on the information that the legislation says needs to be there again that's act 1080 and that legislation dictates everything that's needed all of the supporting documents and of course who's eligible so um in that way they're audited to make sure that it fits and it's in compliance with the legislation most times i will speak with the owner when i get an application we call it a phone interview it could be a chat it may not even be there may not even be anything wrong with the submission we just want to know more about your business more about you as an owner or owners and that could look like a phone interview or phone chat uh pre-pandemic we were really doing uh site visits as well that's currently that could still be a possibility so it could it would it could be and or phone interview and or a site visit and again the site visit is to visit your place uh to meet some of your employees find out more on a personal level uh how we can help what you expect from the certification um for your business and things that um gives us a chance to see the facility and just chat on on your on your in your area karen i'm going to stop you with another question if you're good with that yes uh you may have touched on this a little bit but just for for clarification if an applicant is both woman owned and american indian owned do they have to apply twice no but they need to decide which if they want to apply as a minority or a woman-owned business it's one certification two different uh minority or women-owned so it's the same certification two different kinds of designation is that clear enough for you uh or the owner kathy does that uh does that answer your question karen let's go ahead and assume it does and then kathy if you have further questions about that contact us and we'll clarify for you if the certification is approved it's valid for two years when it's time to re-certify the two two-year mark the only thing that is required is this affidavit a completed recertification affidavit real simple this um i guess in the center there it says if the uh this the sony is stating that um the revenue for that business for the previous year the latest tax filings does not exceed 10 million and then it's asking for the dollar amount or the revenue that was um that was uh provided or that from the last tax filing so exact for example if a company is recertifying um today for recertification in august the latest tax balance which we hope is 2019 if it's not then we need to have a conversation but they would put that revenue amount that they filed on their federal taxes the most recent federal taxes that's the number that would go or the dollar amount that would go on this recertification affidavit right above there um they the the business owner needs to check which um they're presenting as or how they were certified initially so if you if you certified or you were certified as a woman owned business two years prior then that's what you should check on that box if you're a minority if you certified originally as a minority owned business then obviously the next box would be it it can't it's not it can't be both or it shouldn't be both even though it could be both it shouldn't be both it's one or the other based on what you were how that business was certified at the at the start and this document of course has to be signed and dated by the owner and of course notarized and within that notary section there's uh a place where the notary could put that but that's where the owner's information goes as well it needs to be notarized in front of that notary we're doing it virtually here um fast track i mentioned that earlier so the business is currently certified with any one of these agents or organizations that we have determined qualifying organizations these these organizations offer certifications as a part of their day-to-day we will guarantee uh pretty much instant certification for that business all that only would have to do is provide us our completed online application and proof from one of these organizations that that business is currently certified uh with the organization those are only two things so you complete the application online submitted and um upload the one sheeter most times that's all it is from uh that qualifying organization and we can instantly certify your business maybe not instantly but let me check a couple of references or so but that's it it's not a 30-day it's nothing like that so that's a benefit of being certified with one of those organizations um the us department of veterans affairs that's one we see we've gotten a few of uh from those folks the a day somewhat over the years arkansas dlt the department of transportation we have quite a number of dbes that meaning their disadvantage business enterprises with the arkansas dlt they're certified with them um and uh so we can certify your business and process that rate real quickly i've gotten quite a number of those and realized in i guess in 2018 when we started certifying a lot of women quite a number of women in arkansas women business owners have taken advantage of uh the certification through the women's business council it's a national organization uh arkansas is in their southwest uh region they're based in texas and a lot of uh females were able to take advantage of our but the arkansas mwbe certification because they had already gone through that one that's a paid certification uh i think it's based the amount per year is based on the amount of revenue that a company makes and they only certify women owned businesses so a couple of things in maintaining the certification if anything changes with your business and here's the affidavit something as simple as an email address for the owner business name change even a telephone number uh we need to know that preferably within 10 business days of that activity it just makes we want to make sure that everything is accurate on our end and also accurate for your business is being certified we don't want anything to happen where we're not aware of something and um and you've made changes we don't know about it and now it's not in void your business certification a business name change is big it's not a matter of you you're just spilling this and sending it to us we need to have uh all of the supporting documents that were involved in uh having that business name change done changing ownership the same thing had a few a couple times over uh i guess the past few years couple few years um where businesses were sold to uh other owners and uh we needed the business ownership change and then they weren't eligible at that point like uh when the previous owner was was involved or certified the business it qualified well when you sold the business then it no longer did i mean that's a social a person or a group from a group that isn't a part of the certification target audience so and and we do have check and balances on that as well and we do periodically check uh to make sure that uh to ensure that these businesses are still um legitimate and owned by the person or persons that they were when they were originally certified or recertified because these are all legal bonding documents so you know that's what we can go by and speaking with the owner and and that's that's what we do so these are some good sites to visit and the first one is the division of minority women on business web page the aedc website if you want to go that route you can still get to the webpage the office of state procurement is another good website to visit especially if you're looking to register as a vendor if you're not even if you're not going to certify you can still register as a vendor there and the registration is basically a profile about you and your business and they want to know what kind of products or services you're interested in receiving uh bid opportunities for and you would just go in and select those um services or products and i think we're here at the end um here's the information contact information for our division we have pat brown number she gave it earlier i think this is the office number and email address my information the direct number and email address and connicia liberty is our research project analyst that's her information email address and direct phone number as well and i think that's it if we have any questions i'm really willing to take those now or you can always call yeah karen thank you and you know i think you you um certainly are in command of this material one thing i would be curious if you could speak to and i know you touched on this a little bit is you know getting the certification is one thing correct but actually leveraging it and using it to get contracts what are some ways that um a certified business could make sure that they are aware of opportunities across the board with all state agencies so i would i listed in on one of the former trainers presentation with you guys i think it was last monthly costly and i remember him speaking to the office of state procurement's website and i remember i decided to add it to this presentation i think that's a good resource to um to check for um purchasing agents listings and staff there also bids that are currently out there right and contracts that are out there you can look in to see when those contracts started when they're going to end and if it's something that your business provides maybe you can start marketing your business to those purchasing agents through the office of state procurement um i think that the key is to market the business i think that it's good for state gut to market to state government agencies and agents but also private sector and and local government uh in your area i think the schools school systems uh have purchasing agents there that do everything and and purchase everything from construction uh need they have construction needs to uh you know pencils or whatever i just think that they you need to really diversify and and look to speak to all of those different entities and and don't hold me to this but my understanding is that the city of little rock will honor the i mean the city of little rock does not have a formal minority business set aside but i do believe that they will recognize the state certification if i'm correct they do in fact they rely on the directory and also the uh certification um a lot they do follow the state's guidelines so that means that they recognize that they also um they do have goals in place with regard to spend goals how much they are to spend with um women-owned businesses uh ethnic minority-owned businesses i'm not sure about the veterans side and uh and and just speaking of goals uh one thing an hour in the in act 1080 the legislation that governs or mandates what we do there is a part in there that our division is responsible for and and there's there are goals that that uh that we're to meet so when we certify business if we really do try and help them to to decide where they need to go in state government because 15 of state funds are to be spent with the audience that we certify they don't they don't have to be certified to to spend with them but they need to spend with the business that fits the certification criteria and then the onus is on that purchasing agent to prove that that business is owned operated and managed by one of those groups or a person and owner from one of those groups um so we know uh you know people are busy every all of us are busy they rely on the certification to to vet and to do that for them there are sometimes when they spend with um organizations or businesses that are owned by one of those groups and they can they can speak to it and prove it without the certification thank you um let's see it looks like we do have another couple of questions um i'll go in order um you might be able to shed some light on this karen how would or could a child care program utilize this program i always say that the certification can't hurt um i think it's uh it's just another uh arsenal for a business owner to have in the event that or a piece to have in their office arsenal because if you want to do business if you want to grow your business you want to have everything possible um when you're out there trying to speak to your business and speak to purchasing folks it can't hurt i think that would take a little um research off the top of my head i can think from a state perspective state agency maybe an organ an agency like dhs department of human services uh department of health any of those kinds of organizations that sometimes have federal money that speaks to some of those um kinds of activities i'd also say that um private sector could be helpful um and just do your research but you know that you'll have the power of the certification behind you great um next question um let's see i have one other question about certification options um so from my understanding i can certify through a third party company and pay a fee or follow the steps outlined in this presentation to complete my certification is that correct i have to make sure i understand so if you decide you want to certify with any government entity most times those are free if you sort of buy with a private one of the ones that i listed there right then um some of those there's a cost the women business council i think the uh southern regional development council there's a cost for it if it's not a government entity that's offering a certification more than likely there's a cost and those are two separate things however if you go go use one of those qualifying agencies and you certify your business with them the tie for us is that it's a lesser time that you would have in terms of getting your business certified with the state and i would just interject here that that those questions um that's one of the things that we're here for at p-tech um is to kind of help you with that decision tree right on the certifications um you know what what are the best resources to use um what order should i go in so sheila if you want to do a little deeper dive in that um just drop a note in the chat box or contact us at 671-2390 and we can take a deeper dive and one question for sheila so sheila was that and of course everything that liz said about they'll help you with that deeper dive but on the surface uh was that response clear did it make a little clearer for you she says that answers your question thank you all right new topic um what real advantage is certification if a purchaser can do its own determination of whether a provider meets the certification standards so in other words i think i'm understanding the question um in order to um comply with the diversity spend goal right um can you go outside of the program outside of the certification program to which can a buyer go outside the certification program to achieve that yeah if if the buyer can improve and they're comfortable that that business fits the certification for lack of a better way to let's see if they have if they fit the certification program most times what buyers do they'll if they think they do they'll send them to us to confirm basically now it's on the onus is on that purchaser if that business turns out not to be uh uh does not fit the criteria then that spending comes out of what they they may they may have counted that spend with that vendor well to come out of their percentage of gold that they that they used that they may have used that vendors uh spend for so um they're really familiar with the program they're familiar with their uh you know what their duties are what their requirements are and uh they're gonna try and use a certified company but they they can use a company that isn't certified as long as they can show and justify that that company is legitimate and all the things that go with certification okay in the um let's see she did have a follow-up question that i think is pretty much encompassed in what you just said but um robin your follow-up question how much does the certification program widen the market for a minority or woman-owned small business or do you feel that karen has adequately addressed that or do you have further questions on that well that is you're right and thank you very much the whole thing has been wonderful the part i've been able to see um yes it is a follow-up question i was just wondering if you have any hard data on the difference that your program makes i think from a spin perspective we do track that um we track um that based on the state we have data for the state what who what um from a spend standpoint who's spending it many which state agencies and how much they're spending and um that's all on our web page the mwbe web page thank you you're welcome karen thank you so much as always

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