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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.

Summer 2018 E-Newsletter

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Lisa van der Lugt, Director, OMWBE

Welcome from the Director

What an exciting beginning. I am into my second month at OMWBE and I am impressed by the caring professionals on the OMWBE team, the dedicated advisory committee members and many partners and stakeholders throughout the state that are committed to increasing equity in contracting and procurement.

Of course none of that is possible without the amazing small business owners. Your stories of courage, your proven expertise in your fields and how you support your family and community is fundamental to why we do our work. Strengthening diverse communities improves the quality of life for all Washingtonians.

Your stories are what make certification and our work to increase spending with diverse businesses relevant to everyone. We are pleased to release new videos sharing stories of certification and explaining how to use the new online system.

Also in this edition of our quarterly e-newsletter you will find updates on our available assistance, the Linked Deposit Loan Program, the Governor’s Business Diversity Subcabinet and tips for networking.

Lisa van der Lugt


What's New @ OMWBE?

New Videos Released

We have new short videos ready for viewing. We are grateful for the business owners who took time to share their certification story - why they got certified, what the experience was like and how they use OMWBE certification. We will be sharing these videos online and at events across the state. Click to watch!

More Videos Coming Soon

Within a few weeks, how-to videos for starting an online application and using the OMWBE directory to search for certified firms will also be available. Stay tuned.

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Did You Know?

State vs Federal Certification

Which is better for your business, state or federal certification? We are asked this all the time and the answer is both! It depends on your field and how you plan to use certification. If you plan to work on contracts with federal funds (for example, highway construction projects) your business definitely needs federal certification. Businesses paid with state funds (for example, building services or consulting) or that want to have a loan in the Linked Deposit Loan Program should have state certification. The best news is that you can apply for both at the same time. Start with the federal certification application and on the first question click yes to add the state.

Help with Applications and more is Always Available

We are here to be of service. We recently compiled all of the questions we receive in a month and there were 247 questions in addition to the regular assistance we give. We always look forward to helping you, even if it means connecting you with another agency to get the right answer. 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!

More Banks Explore Linked Deposit Loan Program

We actively promote the Linked Deposit Loan Program and this spring we saw an increase in bank questions regarding how to participate in the Linked Deposit Loan Program. This means more banks in the area are looking at how to help small business owners with this program. If you have wondered about how Linked Deposit might help you, visit the program page for more info.

Governor’s Business Diversity Subcabinet Update

The Subcabinet has an Action Plan to deliver real and sustainable results to increase use of small minority, women and veteran owned businesses in state government agencies. OMWBE plays a vital role in the progress of the disparity study, including the management and operation of a community of practice that crosses state agencies.

Community of Practice:
• Nine of 10 community of practice action teams identified by the Subcabinet have launched. They include, Master Contracts, Public Works and Outreach, among others.

• There are currently 10 recommended best practices to increase diverse spending that have been put before the Subcabinet Workgroup for approval.

• We will launch a Community of Practice website in the fall for state government contracts and procurement teams to have access to the Subcabinet approved best practices and tools.

Use the Event Calendar for Networking

We keep the calendar up to date with as many trainings and networking events as possible. A networking event hosted by a prime/general contractor or government agency can be a great place to learn about new opportunities, meet colleagues and promote what your business can do. Don’t forget to come to events with your capabilities statement showing your OMWBE certification.


OMWBE Resources


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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