Federal, State, and local government agencies and large corporations buy the same types of products and services most businesses do including professional services, supplies, landscaping services and so on. Selling to government agencies can be tricky though, and that’s where the Government Contracting Assistance Program (“GCAP”) comes in to play. GCAP provides small businesses throughout the region with assistance submitting and understanding government bidding opportunities and contracts. Often, they also support businesses in gaining state and federal certifications administered through the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and the Certification Office for Business Inclusion and Diversity (COBID).
Certification programs can help you market your business to both large businesses and governments. Many large corporations and governmental entities seek to contract with certified firms owned by minorities, women, and service-disabled veterans as well as emerging small businesses. Becoming “certified” provides business owners with marketing tools, networking events, and may assist you in gaining contracting opportunities. The SBA can provide information about Federal Certifications and Business Oregon’s COBID can help with the Federal Airport Concessionaire Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (ACDBE) and Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) certification as well as State Certifications. Check the Resource Navigator to find local organizations who can help you decide if getting certified and contracting with the government makes sense for your business!
Both the SBA and COBID require entities to submit an application for certification.Plan ahead as certification applications can take from 30-90 days to process.