The State of Minnesota, working with regional-and-local governments, has launched a one-stop web portal to make it easier for small businesses to apply with just one application for government-contracting status as a Disadvantaged Business Entity (DBE), or for Targeted Group Business (TGB) certification, and St. Paul Central Certification Program (CERT) programs.
Prior to implementation of the streamlined application process, an applicant wishing to apply for multiple certification programs had to apply individually to each program and either provide paper applications and documentation or enter the same information multiple times in different systems.
“Minimizing the hoops small business owners must jump through to become certified is essential to permanently reducing disparities in state contracting for minority and women owned businesses,” said Commissioner of Administration Matt Massman. “By streamlining the certification process, we expect more small businesses will pursue state contracts, promote innovative solutions to state needs, increase competition for contracts, and ultimately yield the best price and best value for public dollars.”
Vendors that achieve federal, state, or local certification receive a preference in public contracting, networking opportunities, access to business coaching, and greater visibility in the public marketplace. 
The Minnesota Small Business Certification Portal and applications can be found at
The initiative was led by the Minnesota Department of Administration in partnership with Minnesota IT Services, other agencies and local governments.
The partners include:
* The Minnesota Unified Certification Program (MnUCP) is a DBE program operated by a group of state and local agencies who work together to certify DBE’s. Currently the City of Minneapolis, Metropolitan Airport Commission, Metropolitan Council and the Minnesota Department of Transportation are responsible for certifying firms, promoting events that benefit DBE’s, and discuss issues affecting the DBE community.
* St. Paul Central Certification (CERT) Program is a small business certification program recognized by Hennepin County, Ramsey County, the City of Saint Paul and the City of Minneapolis Target Market program.  The CERT Program includes certification for Minority-Owned Business Enterprise (MBE), Women-Owned Business Enterprise (WBE), and Small Business Enterprise (SBE).  
* Department of Administration’s Office of Equity in Procurement (OEP) counsels small businesses, including small businesses owned by minorities, women, people with physical disabilities, and veterans attempting to sell goods and services to the State. OEP helps level the playing field for small businesses by ensuring they are aware of contract opportunities, have the information and technical assistance they need to respond to solicitations and have an equitable opportunity to achieve a successful business relationship with the state.

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