Minority- and woman-owned businesses in Virginia have a special opportunity to receive a certification.
Established in 2006, the SWaM Program enhances opportunities for small businesses and minority- and woman-owned businesses in the Commonwealth of Virginia through contracting and procurement opportunities.
The SWaM Program is managed by the Virginia Department of Small Business & Supplier Diversity (SBSD).
The SBSD has completed its 2020 Disparity Study that assesses whether woman- and minority-owned businesses face any barriers as part of the Commonwealth’s contracting processes. To view the results of the study, click here.
Minority-owned businesses must be at least 51% owned by one or more individuals who identify as racial or ethnic minorities, who are United States citizens or legal residents, and whose management and control are by one or more minorities, according to James City County’s website.
All SWaM-certified businesses are featured in an online directory managed by SBSD. Becoming SWaM certified includes a listing in the SWaM Vendor Directory, which is the listing used by state procurement officials to locate SWaM-certified vendors.
If a business wants to become SWaM certified, the process is free through SBSD and is valid for five years from approval. Information is available on the SBSD website or by emailing email@example.com.
Interested businesses can also attend a free webinar hosted by SBSD about becoming SWaM certified on Tuesday, March 10 from 10 a.m. to noon. The webinar will include information on the SWaM Program and designations, the certification process and new online application portal, required documents needed to apply and how to use the certification to do business with the Commonwealth.
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