Saddling minority businesses with cumbersome, duplicative, and time-consuming red tape?

Biz Talk With Josh — Radio One/WOL 1450 AM
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Friday, June 19, 2009 @10:30 am EST
Topic – Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) Certification

Biz Talk With Josh has broadcast several shows focusing on minority owned businesses, and has shared with our audiences our own views, and those of our invited guests on the topic.  A recurring theme whenever we talk about minority owned businesses is the need for their owners to certify that they are indeed members of  the six general demographic groups classified as minorities by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).  Those groups are: Hispanic, Black, White, American Indian or Alaska Native, Asian, Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander (Islander).

There are differences of opinion about certification programs, but here on Biz Talk With Josh it is our belief that the time, energy, and resources required by entrepreneurs to certify with each city and each city department, each county, and each county department, each state, each federal agency, and each corporation where that entrepreneur would like to do business is not only onerous, but it actually takes away time from developing and growing the business – the very reason the entrepreneur went into business in the first place.

An observation from the Final Report of the U. S. Commission on Minority Business Development (published in 1992), of which Biz Talk Host, Joshua Smith, was Chairman, still rings true today: "…while originally intended to safeguard minority businesses from abuse, a myriad of certification processes have  evolved and have "backfired," saddling minority businesses with cumbersome, duplicative, and time-consuming red tape."  The Commission further recommended that the certification process be made uniform and standardized and that a "certified" business be recognized by every level of government and not forced into a series of re-applications.  In 2009, this remains but a wish…as entrepreneurs wishing to participate in limited competition business opportunities where they can compete against companies of like size still must jump through many hoops before they can even qualify to submit a proposal.

There are, however, some programs at the state level that have taken the lead on a uniform certification for MBEs, making the one-stop shop for these companies more of a reality and lessening the need to individually certify a company with each department within a state government. This week on Biz Talk With Josh, we are pleased to have with us representatives from two such states.

In Maryland, the state Department of Transportation (DOT) is responsible for certifying MBEs, and we are so very glad to feature Ms. Zenita Wickham Hurley, Director of the DOT MBE Office. In Virginia, fresh from a recently completed disparity study in that state, Mr. Samuel Hayes, Director, Department of MBE will share with us the results of that study.  Both guests will share with us how MBE certification is handled in their respective state, what kinds of programs are available to assist MBEs and the future of business opportunities for minority owned businesses.

Please encourage all your business associates, family and friends to listen in at WOL 1450 AM or on the Internet at t; at 10:30 am EST every Friday morning.  Call us toll free at 1-800-450-7876.

Biz Talk With Josh focuses on the issues, developments and concerns which impact entrepreneurs, small and minority/women-owned businesses.  The show broadcasts live on Radio One/WOL 1450 AM in the Washington, DC area and is always available following the live broadcast at biztalkwithjosh.

For additional information please visit our website, or email our Host, Joshua Smith (josh@biztalkwithjosh), or our producer, Andre Carrington (andre@biztalkwithjosh)

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