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SDO Certification

What is SDO's Mission?
The Commonwealth Supplier Diversity Office is an agency within the Massachusetts Department of Economic Development which promotes the development of certified minority business enterprises, women-owned business enterprises, and minority non-profit and women non-profit organizations. It does this by facilitating their participation in Massachusetts business and economic development opportunities. Specifically, SDO offers services in certification, enforcement, business assistance and advocacy.

What is SDO certification?
Certification is the process by which SDO verifies that a company is minority or woman-owned and controlled in accordance with state and federal regulations. SDO performs two types of certifications: 1) Commonwealth of Massachusetts funded projects and contracts; and 2) US Department of Transportation funded projects and contracts. SDO requires all applicants to attend one precertification workshop. Certification is good with all state agencies, Massachusetts quasi-public authorities, general and prime contractors who hold major state contracts with affirmative purchasing benchmarks, and with many cities and towns.

Why does SDO ask me for so much information to become certified?
The Commonwealth targets a portion of public contracting dollars to minority and women businesses, to help them grow and gain economic parity in public bidding and contracting. Massachusetts wants to know that your tax dollars are going to economically benefit bona fide minority and female business owners. It is SDOs job, as the state's certification agent, to ensure that the businesses participating in these public affirmative purchasing programs are indeed legitimate businesses that meet the regulatory requirements to be certified. The information we request mostly consists of standard business documents - tax returns, financial statements, corporate documents - that any business should have on hand.

What services does SDO offer?
SDO promotes the participation of certified businesses in public and private purchasing and contracting programs. SDO also assists with new legislative and policy proposals that facilitate the involvement of minorities and women in the mainstream of the economy.

What are some of SDO's services?
SDO provides a resource and referral service for certified firms with information about federal, state, municipal and private sector procurement opportunities, bidding and contracting, financial resources, business assistance agencies and organizations, business membership and networking organizations. The agency also posts directories of its certified firms.

*The above information was culled from the SDO web site.