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OMWBE Summer Newsletter

This is our last quarterly newsletter. We're going monthly! We look forward to delivering news, helpful information, and updates to you on a more frequent and time-sensitive basis.

OMWBE Director Lisa van der Lugt
September 1st, 2020

Director's Message

What a whirlwind the last few months have been. While we grapple with COVID-19 uncertainties, the struggle for racial justice continues to sweep across the nation. July also marked the passing of two civil rights leaders, Congressman John Lewis and Reverend C.T. Vivian. These men were tireless advocates for social change and spent their lives pushing for equality for Black Americans. Their legacy inspires us to do everything in our power to serve communities of color here in Washington State.

While our physical office will remain closed for the rest of the year, our staff is doing a tremendous job working remotely. We are guiding business owners through applications, conducting virtual onsite interviews, and helping state agencies locate certified firms. We even welcomed two new team members to support DBE certification in both Eastern and Western Washington. If you haven’t already, follow us on Facebook to see regular news updates or visit our website to find free business resources.

We look forward to staying connected, and are here to answer any questions.


Lisa van der Lugt

Upcoming Workshops & Events
Bids & Contracting Opportunities
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Are you registered in WEBS?
Register Now

Get notified about bidding opportunities. When you register with Washington's Electronic Business Solution (WEBS), you can turn on alerts for the products and services your business provides.

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COVID-19 Recovery to Sustainable Growth Playbook

The University of Washington Foster School of Business at has developed insights and recommendations to help small businesses recover from COVID-19 stronger. The playbook contains info on many different industries.

Ascend Playbook
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The Milgard School of Business wants to help you!

Free Consultations for Small Businesses

Under the supervision of experienced faculty at University of Washington Tacoma, the best and brightest students are offering free assistance to help companies solve their business problems.

    Free Consultations
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    South King County Fund

    The South King County Fund has entered its first funding cycle. $1 million is available to fund projects up to $100,000 per award. The Port of Seattle is accepting proposals this month through Wednesday, September 30.

    How to apply
    Black-owned business badge from Google My Business
    Proudly show that your business is Black-owned on Google

    August was Black-business month, and Google released a new attribute to meet the surge in online searches for Black-owned businesses. You can also tag your business as Women-led or Veteran-led on Google Maps.

    Census 2020 deadline September 30th
    Your Response Matters!

    The Washington State Commission on Hispanic Affairs (CHA) has been working tirelessly to raise awareness of the 2020 Census. This demographic information will inform the next decade of federal spending for vital community programs.

    Fact Check:

    • The Census does not ask about citizenship status.
    • Non-citizens are counted in the census.
    • The Census Bureau cannot release identifiable information about individuals, households, or businesses to law enforcement.
    Complete the Census
    Welcome to the Team!

    We recently brought on two talented certification analysts. Julie and Resie will assist businesses with DBE certification in both Eastern and Western, WA.

    Julie Ann Campos, Certification Analyst
    Julie Ann Campos

    Julie joins us to serve Eastern Washington as our new Certification Analyst. She previously worked for the Department of Children, Youth, and Families and has a background in education policy. Julie is excited to be at OMWBE and was drawn to the agency because of our mission, vision, and values aligning with her professional and personal goals.

    Julie is a University of Washington alumna and was born in raised in the Tri-Cities. Outside of work, Julie is passionate about supporting the immigrant/refugee community and being civically engaged. In her free time she enjoys spending time with her nieces.

    Resie Rogers, Certification Analyst
    Resie Rogers

    Resie joins OMWBE to serve Western Washington and King County as our new Certification Analyst. He just completed his EMPA (Executive Master in Public Administration) from the Evans School of Public Policy & Governance at UW. Prior to joining us, Resie helped oversee AmeriCorps projects for the Washington Service Corps.

    Resie is passionate about community and social service, and excited to help disadvantaged business achieve their goals. His hobbies includes gardening, cooking, watching and playing sports, comedy, current events, reading, writing, and cultural anthropology.

    New Certifications

    Between June and July, OMWBE issued 60 new business certifications! We share these monthly lists of newly certified firms with our contract and procurement contacts at State Agencies and Institutions of Higher Education.

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    26 Certified Firms
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    34 Certified Firms
    Technical Assistance

    The Certification unit at OMWBE has 10 full-time certification analysts working to process State and Federal certification applications. Since March 2020, the analysts have been managing full caseloads from home and helping our applicant firms adapt to working through questions in a virtual setting.

    Remote Onsite "Visits"

    Our state was among the first in the nation to adopt virtual onsite visits for our DBE application, allowing staff to certify firms while protecting everyone's health and well-being.

    Additional Needs

    We may reach out to firms at a later date to request updated, notarized forms, or to request an in-person onsite interview – but only when it’s safe for all parties to do so.

    Increased Flexibility

    We are accepting certain forms without notarization in order to provide as much flexibility as possible to our firm owners.

    We're Here to Help!

    The Certification unit is available to answer your questions about certification requirements, benefits and available resources every day. Monday through Friday
    8:00 am - 5:00 pm

    Give us a call! (360) 664-9750

    Office of Minority and Women's Business Enterprises

    1110 Capitol Way S #150, Olympia
    WA 98501 United States

    Our physical office remains closed due to COVID-19. We are available by phone and email during regular business hours.

    Visit Website

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