MBECO promotes the development of certified Minority Business Enterprises (MBE), Women Business Enterprises (WBE), and Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBE). It does this by facilitating their participation in Rhode Island's business and economic development opportunities. Specifically, MBECO services in certification, enforcement, business assistance and advocacy. Certification is a marketing tool, used specifically to enhance your ability to do business in public markets. Where an agency has affirmative purchasing goals, certification increases your chances of receiving a contract. Certification does not guarantee that you will be successful each and every time you bid; but it may add a competitive edge to your bid. MBECO works extensively with state and local agencies to help them fulfill their business purchasing goals. MBECO actively promotes the participation of certified businesses in public and private purchasing and contracting programs. For more information on Rhode Island's procurement system, contact www.purchasing.ri.gov. MBECO offers the following services designed to meet the needs of the Minority (MBE) and Woman-Owned (WBE) business communities. MBECO also assists with new legislative and policy proposals that facilitate the involvement of minorities and women in the mainstream of the economy.
Procurement and Marketing
  MBECO publishes directories of certified MBE, WBE, and DBE firms. It provides a resource and referral service for certified firms with information about federal, state, municipal and private sector and procurement opportunities, bidding and contracting, financial resources, business assistance agencies and organizations, business membership and networking organizations.
  A small business concern which is at least fifty-one percent (51%) owned and controlled by one or more socially and economically disadvantaged individuals or in the case of a publicly owned business, at least fifty-one (51%) of the stock of which is owned by one or more socially and economically disadvantaged individuals; and whose management and daily business operations are controlled by one or more such individuals.
Application Process

Firms seeking certification as an MBE, WBE, or DBE must complete and submit the following certification documents. Please note that we require that you provide us with five (5) separate and completed sets of the application form and all required supporting documentation. In addition, please note that out of state firms must first seek certification from their home state Unified Certification Program (UCP) prior to seeking certification in the State of Rhode Island. Please note that the average processing time for a complete application is approximately eight (8) to ten (10) weeks.

Interstate DBE / ACDBE Certification
Out of state firms that are currently certified as a DBE and/or ACDBE by their home state UCP may seek certification as a DBE and/or ACDBE only by completing the Interstate DBE / ACDBE Certification Request Form and attachments, below. Please note that this shortened application process is applicable only for firms seeking certification as a DBE or ACDBE under the U.S. DOT's DBE Interstate Certification program. U.S. DOT DBE certification is valid for projects and contracts with the Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT), the Rhode Island Public Transit Authority (RIPTA), and the Rhode Island Airport Corporation (RIAC). Firms seeking certification as an MBE, WBE, or DBE under the U.S. EPA's DBE program must submit a full application for certification as outlined under the paragraph entitled "Application Process", above.

State Procurement Opportunities
  As of April 1, 1997 State law requires that State Bids must be solicited from vendors by computer, rather than by mail and/or print advertisements. The address on the Internet is www.purchasing.ri.gov. It is therefore essential that you take a few minutes to register your company on line in order to access purchasing opportunities with the State of Rhode Island and its quasi-state agencies. It is important to note that your firm does not need to be certified as a Minority Business Enterprise, Women Business Enterprise, or Disadvantaged Business Enterprise to access the Rhode Island Vendor Information program.
Rules, Regulations, Procedures And Criteria Governing Certification And Decertification Of MBE Enterprises
Phone: 401-574-8670
FAX: 401-574-8387
One Capitol Hill | Providence, RI 02908 | (401) 574-8670

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