State offers help to women, minority-owned businesses; Kent workshop set

The Washington State Office of Minority and Women’s Business Enterprises has started a statewide Get Certified campaign, including a stop in Kent, intended to help more women- and minority-owned businesses win contracts with state and local governments.

The campaign is in partnership with the Office of the Governor, the state Department of Transportation and Sound Transit. The campaign will make over 30 stops throughout the state and hold educational workshops for small diverse businesses on the benefits of certification.

A workshop is planned for 10 a.m. Friday, Jan. 24 at the Kent Library Small Conference Room – 212 Second Ave. N.

"While business growth begins to climb, it is important to acknowledge that nationally small businesses represent 99.7 percent of all employers," said Alexis Oliver, director of the state Office of Minority and Women's Business Enterprises. "This is providing socially and economically disadvantaged businesses an opportunity to grow their businesses and create jobs for Washingtonians."

The campaign will launch on Jan. 20 and run through Jan. 24. A reception is set for Jan. 24 in Tacoma to connect small minority and women-owned businesses with contractors, procurement officers and State officials.

"“With our economy recovering, our investments in minority and women-owned and operated firms will help create jobs and build ladders of opportunity for thousands of small business owners,” Gov. Jay Inslee said. “This is a great opportunity for OMWBE to continue to expand their reach to businesses and communities across the state and help them connect to contracting opportunities."

Oliver added, "There are small businesses across the state who will benefit from a program like this but just don’t know about it yet. Once a business becomes certified they can more easily connect to government contracts and procurement opportunities which can significantly grow their business."

For more information on the Get Certified campaign, visit

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