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Mission: We promote equity and increase participation in public contracting and procurement for small businesses owned by minorities, women and disadvantaged persons through education and certification.

Fall 2018 E-Newsletter

Lisa Kathryn KACC 9.28.18

Lisa van der Lugt and Kathryn Akeah at the Korean American Chamber of Commerce Small Business Seminar

Welcome from the Director

We have a flurry of exciting updates to share with you. In my first five months at OMWBE, I have seen projects in development take major strides forward, including the release of two more videos and the new Small Business Assistance site. These projects and more are designed for the small, minority and women owned businesses we serve. It is our goal that your experience with our agency, and state government in general, be a positive one.

To serve our mission, promoting equity in contracting and procurement, and our customers, we have several changes to announce. Elisa Young is now the Assistant Director of Supplier Diversity to focus on her work with state agencies, colleges and primes and how they spend with diverse businesses and to support of the Governor’s Business Diversity Subcabinet’s move to OMWBE in 2019. Mynor Lopez will join the team as Assistant Director of Legislative Affairs and Outreach to support our expected robust legislative session and busy outreach schedule. Additionally, we have hired two new certification analysts, both bilingual; to assist small businesses get certified and renew.

OMWBE is full of dedicated professionals with a heart for equity and a vision for successful small businesses as keys to undoing lifetimes of inequities. It is my honor to work with this group.


Lisa van der Lugt


What's New @ OMWBE?

Two More Videos Released

Our new How To videos are on our website and our YouTube channel, ready for viewing.

Small business that qualifies for certification? Learn step-by-step how to use the online certification application system.


How to Apply for OMWBE Certification

Agency or prime contractor that wants to find certified small businesses? Learn how to use the OWMBE Directory of Certified Firms.


How to Search with the OWMBE Directory of Certified Firms

New Small Business Assistance Site Now Available

We are happy to host a new section on our site. The Governor’s Business Diversity Subcabinet members knew that small companies that want to do business with the state often ask agencies for business assistance resources. With that in mind, the new Small Business Assistance web pages were approved by the Subcabinet in October and are now available. New information includes,
• Small Business Guide information and links
• Tips for how to do business with governments – Federal, Tribal, State and Local
• Resources for Money & Loans
• Surety Bonds

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% of owners that did not received funding requested (2018 SBA Report, click image for details)

Did You Know?

Access to Capital - Access to Money - Why it Matters

Access to capital research studies how hard or easy it is for someone to get money or resources for their business. The United States has a wide range of funding sources available to businesses. However, getting money for business can be a challenge for any person, let alone a member of a community that has faced discrimination and bias over generations.

For example, many business owners use their homes, other real estate, or personal wealth to start up or grow their business. Communities of color have less wealth built up over generations due to systemic discrimination such as redlining (refusing to loan money to people living in certain areas). In addition, the evidence of bias and discrimination in the loan process still exist.

To build strong businesses and strong communities, diverse small business owners need fair access to capital. To learn more, visit our site for a list of studies on access to capital and minority owned businesses.

More Exciting Governor’s Business Diversity Subcabinet Updates

The Subcabinet is “road testing” several tools developed by action teams tasked with creating easy-to-understand tools, guidance and support to improve the state’s diversity culture and framework. The materials are based on the Attorney General opinion requested by the Subcabinet regarding RCW 49.60.400 (commonly known as I-200), which was received earlier this year. Once finalized, tools to help agencies spend more with certified businesses will be available for state agency contracting and procurement professionals.

In early 2019, the results from a statewide disparity study will be available. The study will include additional clarification and recommendations on what tools state agencies can employ to ensure that contracting practices are fair and nondiscriminatory.

Help with Applications and more is Always Available

We are here to be of service. If you have any questions about OMWBE certification or our website, please use our contact page or call us directly at 360-664-9750 or 866-208-1064. We also offer free telephone interpretation services available in 240 languages and dialects--just let us know. If you are in Olympia and would like assistance in person, visit us!

Once certified - Use the OMWBE Logo

Once your business is state or federally certified with us, use the OMWBE logo to help promote your business. Certified firms use the OMWBE logo on business cards, capabilities statements, websites and more. Visit the logo page to download a copy or email us to request a specific format.


OMWBE Resources

Elisa and panelists - TriCities Diversity Summit - 10.31.18

Elisa Young (far right) and distinguished panelists at the Tri Cities Diversity Summit

Pamela Tiffany-PTAC- Greater Pierce 10.11.18

OMWBE works with Tiffany Scroggs, Washington PTAC Program Director, to bring you the best assistance possible.


Wishing you the best,
Director Lisa van der Lugt and OMWBE Team Members

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OMWBE is committed to providing equal access to our services. If you need accommodation, please call 866-208-1064 or WA State Relay 711. We offer free telephone translation services.


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