Tips for Small, Diverse and Veteran-Owned Businesses
What qualifies as a small, diverse, or veteran-owned business?
Small businesses means the primary location is in Washington state and the business has 50 or fewer employees or a gross annual revenue of less than $7 million.
Diverse businesses are owned by: Women; People in a racial minority; Socially and economically disadvantaged people.
Veteran-owned businesses must be at least 51% owned by a veteran to qualify for certification.
Tips to get you started
- Register in WEBS: You can view and bid on contracts once you register for bid opportunities in Washington’s Electronic Business Solutions (WEBS).
- Certify your small business: Increase your visibility with government purchasers by certifying your business with the Office of Minority and Women’s Business Enterprises (OMWBE).
- Be visible to purchasers: Certified businesses that are on statewide contracts are featured in our Diverse Business Contracts search tool. Purchasers can sort by small businesses or businesses owned by a veteran, minority, woman, or minority woman.
- Find training and assistance: Consider tapping into the State Contracts Assistance Network as you get started on working with the state. Connect with our robust list of partners for support and find training opportunities to help you be more successful at winning bids.
- Don’t miss an opportunity: Keep your contact information and commodity codes updated in WEBS and regularly check out our new and upcoming contract opportunities.
- Attend pre-bid and proposal meetings: You are encouraged to attend any pre-bid or proposal meetings to learn the ins and outs of an upcoming contract, ask questions, and prepare for the bidding process.
- Show your interest ahead of time: Our contract specialists work on contracts and develop new contracts a year ahead of their effective date. If you are interested in a contract with a term end date approaching in the next 12 months or you see a contract on our Current and Future Bid Opportunities page, reach out to the contract specialist listed on the contract summary to ask questions or show you are interested.
State Contracting Opportunities & Open House
Join us on the third Thursday of each month, from 3 - 4 p.m., for a virtual event where we will discuss a variety of topics, including: an introduction to state contracting; how to find upcoming contracting opportunities; where to get technical assistance; where to find additional training; and, of course, provide time and opportunity for questions and answers.'
Regional Contracting Forum
The 2023 Regional Contracting Forum is a free, in-person event. It will provide a meet and greet opportunity to connect with government and regional representatives in architecture, contracts & procurement, and engineering.
We host events, provide training, and work with small and diverse business communities to connect them with tools, resources and statewide contracting opportunities.
- Sign up for training opportunities for small and diverse businesses
- Sign up for Contracts Connection
- Sign up for IT Contracts Focus
- Events and training from the Washington State Office of Minority & Women’s Business Enterprises (OMWBE)
- Events and training from Washington Procurement and Technical Assistance Center (PTAC)
- Business Diversity Advisory Group
- Contracting equity
- How to work with the state
- Washington State Office of Minority & Women’s Business Enterprises (OMWBE)
- Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs (WDVA)
- Small Business Assistance in Washington state (business.wa.gov)
The purpose of this policy is to ensure that all procurement professionals and those with acquisition responsibilities use approved, legally compliant strategies that encourage and facilitate the purchase of goods and services from small, diverse, and veteran-owned businesses to the maximum extent possible. Agencies must take action to remove barriers that prevent small, diverse, and veteran-owned businesses from receiving equitable access to state goods and services procurements.