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The Small Business Advocacy Program begins in September, The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation will host the Small Business Certification Workshop on September 7, 2012 at the Department of General Services, 707 3rd Street, West Sacramento, CA 95605. It will be a half-day workshop from 8 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Here Albert Rivas, SB/DVBE for the Advocate, Training and Support Unit, talks about what small businesses will learn at the Workshop.

THE HUB: How will it help small businesses?
Rivas: The certification will allow them to compete for local government contracts.  It is a preference program similar to the Federal DBE (Disadvantaged Business Enterprise) and the State MBWE (Minority Business Women Enterprise) Program.  It will help nonprofits, small businesses earning under $14 million in 3 tax years, with 100 or fewer employees and manufacturers with 100 or fewer employees.

THE HUB:  How will you present outreach activities targeting small business owners?
Rivas:  We participate in annual matchmaking events, this allows us to get out and about;  this is the first time we have partnered with the Department of General Services.  We were in Los Angeles on May 14 and 15, 2012 for our annual Keep the Promise event and California Business Day at the Convention Center June 11, 2012.  Local government representatives from County and State levels will also have events in Oakland, Fresno, and South Los Angeles in 2012.

THE HUB:  Is this program for the entire state of California or mainly target areas?
Rivas:  It is for communities that otherwise do not hear about or have access to big opportunities like this in California; our role is to disseminate this information so businesses in these communities can also compete for these contracts.

THE HUB:  What will this mean for small business owners?
Rivas:  With this information they can become more competitive, learn how to market to specific departments, get the road map to State and County needs and be able to apply accordingly.  The workshop will help people complete the business certification process.

THE HUB:  How should small business owners prepare for doing business with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation?
Rivas:   First they need to get certified, after certification they should solicit to compete.  If they are picked up for awards, marketing commodities have the fastest turnaround time; RFP’s and IFP’s are a less timely process.

THE HUB:  What are some of the do’s and don’ts as a business owner when seeking or doing business with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation?
Rivas:  Since goods and services are purchased annually, over and over our teams rely on quality and timely service.  Once a team knows the company is dependable, they will have a better chance of being contracted with continually.

Click here for more information on the Small Business Certification Workshop.

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