Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) Certification
Recently there have been several cases of technical issues that several Ohio Minority Supplier Development Council (Ohio MSDC) stakeholders have reported while accessing and navigating the new Minority Supplier Management Information database (PRISM).
While these issues are being addressed, it is essential that the certification/recertification process continue to move forward with the certification process despite the challenges that we have with PRISM. All MBEs that have completed the certification/recertification process and have been voted for approval in the months of November 2014 and December 2014 should receive an electronic copy of their certificate via e-mail by Wednesday, January 28, 2015.
Those MBEs who have certifications set to expire in January 2015 and have submitted a recent recertification application will be up for review in February. Certificates with a January 2015 expiration date will be valid until February 28, 2015. If your company has not done so already, please be sure to submit an application and required documents as soon as possible.
The OMSDC Certification department has created a “Know Before You Go” how-to guide that has some helpful tips to utilize while filling out the Certification/Recertification application. Please be sure to review this sheet before contacting the council as some of the answers to your questions could be found there.
As one of the 24 regional affiliates of the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC), OMSDC is required to have a Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) certification process. MBE certification is an intensive, qualifying process that assures corporate member purchasing agents and buyers that a business is a viable minority-owned, managed and controlled enterprise. Corporate membership is voluntary and demonstrates the initiative of the private sector concerning minority business opportunities. Certification as an MBE is also voluntary and demonstrates the initiative of minority owned firms concerning growth and development of their businesses. There are over 150 corporate members and over 500 certified MBEs in the OMSDC network.
An increasing number of corporations recognize the value of minority supplier certification, and often require it, because they want to insure that procurement opportunities are truly focused and targeted to bona-fide MBEs. Certification is one of the validating tools that they use to support their reported MBE expenditures. Certification as an MBE is not mandatory, but it makes good business sense to be qualified as a part of the pool of MBE suppliers.
Online Application – Complete the online application (link above) and submit electronically to OMSDC with all of the required documentation and application fee.
Step 2: Initial Review – to determine if file is complete. The initial review process will be completed within 15 days of receipt at the council. If complete, application proceeds to the next step. If anything is missing from the application, a letter is sent requesting missing material. Once the application is found to be complete, the 90 day completion window begins.
Application held until information received (no longer than 90 days)
Step 3: Desk Audit – Review of entire application and all supporting documentation plus reference checks for potential “Red Flags”. If no “Red Flags” are identified, then application proceeds to the next step. If “Red Flags” are identified, it is noted and forwarded to next step
Step 4: Site Visit Preparation - file reviewed in preparation of site visit. If “Red Flags” were identified, it is determined whether or not they would cause a denial regardless of what was found during the site visit. If so, a denial letter is prepared for signature.
Step 5: Site Visit – Personal visit to business to meet with principals and review certain documents to verify ownership, management and control functions. A report of the site visit is prepared and added to the file.
Step 6: Certification Committee – committee meets to review file and make its determination. Recommendations are reported to the Board of Directors for action. Approval, tabled or denial letters are prepared for signature.
Step 7: Board of Directors – vote on final approval to upheld or overturn the certification committee recommendations
Step 8: Notification – applicants will receive a written notification of their status within one week. Applicants can contact the OMSDC office the next business day after the committee meets in to receive a verbal indication of their status.
Note: The above process will take up to 90 days. The 90 day window begins on the day that the application has been deemed to be complete.
Under the national standardized guidelines for MBE certification, as established by the NMSDC, the following criteria are used to determine minority ownership and control:
- The entity must be a profit enterprise, physically located in the United States or its trust territories.
- The organization must be able to demonstrate that the majority (51%) of the ownership, operational control and managerial control is held by minority group members (Minority group members are U.S. citizens who are African-American, Hispanic American, Native American, Asian Pacific American and Asian Indian American.)
- The organization must be legally formed as a sole proprietorship, partnership or corporation.
- The organization must be independent of any non-minority firm.
Once certified as an MBE, your company will begin to receive assistance in marketing efforts as you attempt to make contact with majority corporate purchasing agents and buyers. Certification also protects an MBE from accusations, such as being a "front" for a non-minority owned business thereby eliminating non-minority organizations from participating in programs established for MBEs. In addition, MBE certification affords the minority company the opportunity to join the network of our premier corporate members.
2015 Certification Fee Schedule
What is a subscription? A subscription is an agreement to receive or be given access to affiliate products or services.
OMSDC’s subscription package includes:
- Access to top corporate purchasing agents;
- Premium business connection outings and networking events;
- Region or industry-specific newsletters
- Vital introductions to nationally known corporations
- Specialized procurement conferences & Trade Fairs
- Supplier Diversity summits and roundtables
- Professional development fellowships
- Mentor-Protégé pairings and other educational or development programs
- Technical and/or financial assistance and support
- Access to conference and meeting space
Subscription Fee - $350
The OMSDC annual subscription fee applies to all MBEs certified by NMSDC affiliate councils located outside of the State of Ohio, regardless of MBE revenue classification.
Certified MBEs in good standing will not be required to provide supporting or “required documents,” due to the fact that ALL certified MBEs will be in the national database and will be available for each NMSDC member to source. The affiliate council staff will confirm that the certified MBE is in good standing. Then, affiliate council staff will present the services made available to the certified MBE.
There will be no affiliate council Board or Executive Committee review of final reciprocal applications approval, since there will be no more reciprocal services, and all subscriptions will be available to be marketed to any certified MBE, including home-certified MBEs.
The subscription service period for the certified MBE will be equivalent to the certification period it has with its home affiliate council. For example, if Company X is certified in Georgia with GMSDC from January 30, 2015 until January 30, 2016, then the subscription expiration date in Houston with HMSDC should also expire on the same date as the GMSDC certificate -- January 30, 2016.
Any certified MBE requesting subscription services acceptance within 60 days of their certification expiring at their home affiliate councils will be asked to withhold their request until recertification is completed.
If you have additional questions or concerns, please contact your regional Ohio MSDC Certification Staff member via e-mail:
Any arrangement between an ethnic-minority business and other parties which involves apparent ethnic-minority “fronts”, or other circumstances which would tend to circumvent the certification process by placing any substantial control of the ethnic-minority business concern with a non-ethnic-minority individual(s) will be closely investigated, examined and will result in a denial or revocation of their certification. In addition, reapplication for certification under such circumstances will be denied. Submitting false information on the MBE Application is a Class II felony in most jurisdictions. The NMSDC and its Affiliate Councils shall maintain the “rights” to file charges.