Supplier Diversity (Set-Aside) - FAQ
How do I become a certified small or minority business enterprise with the Department of Administrative Services?
Answer: Go to Applications in the Office of Supplier Diversity main menu and access the On-line Application form. Fill out the form and provide any necessary supporting documentation. If all of the requirements of the program are met, you may become certified as a Small or Minority Owned Business Enterprise.
Is there a cost to be part of the program?
Answer: No. The program is free.
What qualifies a company as a small business enterprise?
Answer: A small business enterprise (SBE) is defined as a company that has:
Its principal place of business is in Connecticut.
Gross revenues not exceeding $15,000,000 during its most recently completed fiscal year; and
To be “independent,” the viability of the SBE must not depend upon another person, as determined by an analysis of the small contractor’s relationship with any other person in regards to the provision of personnel, facilities, equipment, other resources and financial support, including bonding.
A small business enterprise (SBE) is defined as a company that has:
What qualifies a company as a minority business enterprise?
Answer: A minority owned business (MBE) is defined as:
A small contractor (must meet the above-stated SBE criteria) with at least 51% ownership by one or more persons who: 1) exercises operational authority over daily affairs of the business; 2) has the power to direct the management and policies and receive the beneficial interests of the business; 3) possess managerial and technical competence and experience directly related to the principal business activities of the enterprise and 4) is a member of a “minority,” as that term is defined in C.G.S. 32-9n(a), or who is an individual with a disability.
Connecticut law states that “minority” means:
Black Americans, including all persons having origins in any of the Black African racial groups not of Hispanic origin;
Hispanic Americans, including all persons of Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban, Central or South American, or other Spanish culture or origin, regardless of race;
all persons having origins in the Iberian Peninsula, including Portugal, regardless of race;
Asian Pacific Americans and Pacific islanders; or
American Indians and persons having origins in any of the original peoples of North America and maintaining identifiable tribal affiliations through membership and participation or community identification.
A minority owned business (MBE) is defined as:
Who is considered a minority?
Answer: For the purposes of this program, a minority is a(n):
· Black American, including all persons having origins in any of the Black African racial groups not of Hispanic origin;
· Hispanic American, including all persons of Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban, Central or South American, or other Spanish culture or origin, regardless of race;
· Person having origins in the Iberian Peninsula, including Portugal, regardless of race;
· Asian Pacific American and Pacific islander;
· American Indian and persons having origins in any of the original peoples of North America and maintaining identifiable tribal affiliations through membership and participation or community identification; or
· An individual with a disability. "Individual with a disability" means an individual (A) having a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of the major life activities of the individual or (B) having a record of such an impairment.
Must a business be certified as a small or minority business enterprise to do business with the State of Connecticut?
Answer: No, Connecticut does not have any registration requirements in order for a company to participate in the competitive procurement process. However, in the case of competitive procurements issues with set-aside requirements, a company must have the required certification at the time of the solicitation due date. (Refer to the Supplier Diversity Program and Contractor Pre-Qualification for eligibility requirements.)
What is the difference between registering and becoming certified?
Answer: The State of Connecticut does not have a vendor registration. All bidding opportunities are open to the public. Certifying your company in the Supplier Diversity Program provides opportunities specifically for small/minority owned businesses.
How long is the certification period?
Answer: Companies are issued a two year certification.
How does a company recertify?
Answer: As a courtesy, the Department of Administrative Services notifies certified companies approximately one hundred and eighty (180), ninety (90), sixty (60), and thirty (30) days prior to the expiration date found on the certificate. The companies are notified via email to the email address we have on record as the contact for the Supplier Diversity Program.
What happens if I don’t recertify my company ?
Answer: When your certification expires, the “Stoplight” icon on our website will turn from “Green” to “Red” to indicate expired status. Your company’s current and historical data will continue to appear on the website. If the company allows the certification to lapse longer than one year from the expiration date and wishes to reapply with the program, it must begin the process as a new company and submit all required documentation associated with an original certification. It is ultimately the company’s responsibility to stay current.
Why is the expiration date on my certificate different than the date shown on the web?
Answer: All certifications that were issued before April 11, 2007 were given a 90-day grace period beyond the expiration date shown on the certificate to allow time to acquire tax returns or accountant’s statements for the most recently completed fiscal year. A clause indicating this grace period appeared on each certificate issued. On April 11, 2007 a change was made to the certification process that eliminates this grace period. However, for those certificates issued prior to April 11, 2007, we have added 90 days to the expiration date shown on our website.
What State agencies participate in the Supplier Diversity Program?
Answer: All State agencies with a budget of more than $10,000 are required to set aside contracts for certified small or minority business enterprises.
Is there a directory of companies certified through the Office of Supplier Diversity?
Answer: Yes. A complete electronic listing is available by visiting our website at:
What is an affiliate company?
Answer: For the purposes of the Supplier Diversity Program, if an individual owns 20% or more of the applying company and 20% or more of another company, the companies are considered affiliates. The combined gross receipts for all companies cannot exceed $15,000,000.
How may I find out about bidding opportunities for companies certified in the program?
Answer: Visit our website at:
http://www.biznet.ct.gov/SCP_Search/Default.aspx?AccLast=2 and click the SBE/MBE checkbox
If my company is certified with the Connecticut Department of Transportation’s Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Program, will it automatically be eligible with the Department of Administrative Services’ Supplier Diversity Program?
Answer: Connecticut companies certified by the Department of Transportation and also meet Supplier Diversity Program’s certification requirements are automatically eligible for certification by the Department of Administrative Services. Some additional information may be required depending on the company’s business structure. However, company will be required to submit current documentation for DAS files.
What are the benefits of the on-line Certification Application process?
Answer: There are many benefits to the on-line Certification Application process, including:
Ease of Use – The program will guide you through the application process.
Data Savings – The information you provide will be available when it is time to become recertified in the program. You will be able to quickly navigate through the recertification process, editing only the fields that have changed since the previous certification.
Accessibility – Once certified, you may access your application data at anytime to make any necessary updates or adjustments.
Cost Savings – Electronic processes save time and money for your company and the State of Connecticut as a whole.
Environmental Benefits – By submitting your application on-line, you are saving paper, which helps to preserve our valuable natural resources.
Are there separate applications for initial Certification and Recertification as there have been in the past?
Answer: No, there is only one application for both types of certification. The on-line application will save your company information from year to year, and will automatically keep track of your certification history as well as required documentation for the current certification.
Will my company information be saved for the next time I am applying for recertification?
Answer: Yes, the on-line application will save your company information from year to year, and will automatically keep track of your certification history as well as required documentation for the current certification.
How can I print a hardcopy of the on-line application?
Answer: Access your application, and you will see an option to print your application in the menu to the left of the application.
Once the certification process is complete how do I obtain my SBE/MBE Certificate?
Answer: When the certification process is complete, you will receive an e-mail that will provide you a link to print the SBE/MBE Certificate from your own personal computer.