Minority owned businesses are classified using several different abbreviations: MBE – Minority Business Enterprise, SBE – Small Business Enterprise, SDB- Small Disadvantaged Business, DBE – Disadvantaged Business Enterprise, HUB – Historically Underutilized Business, and WBE – Women’s Business Enterprise (which can be minority owned as well or MWBE). To receive an official classification, a minority owned business must register and receive certification with their respective city, county, or state. For example, Remi’s home-state of North Carolina has a dedicated webpage for the Office of Historically Underutilized Businesses on the Department of Administration’s (DOA) website. According to the NC DOA, the greatest advantage of being a certified minority owned business is that they are registered with the Division of Purchase and Contract’s web-based vendor directory. State agencies and prime contractors use this vendor directory to solicit bids from minority owned businesses for state purchasing and public works contracts. Ultimately, it showcases minority owned businesses to target audiences and the best part is that it’s free. Most states have similar certification procedures, but may be run out of different government agencies.
What does this mean to the average consumer like you, particularly in the service vendor sector?
Below are 3 reasons to use a minority owned vendor:
Because the minority owned service vendor is most likely a small business with little overhead, their prices are generally less expensive compared to national or big name vendors. Their goal is to build relationships with customers in an effort to retain business and win new referral business. So, their competitive rates help when up against the large marketing budgets and brand recognition of their larger competitors.
It’s common for many minority owned vendors to have worked with the national chain providers at some point in their career. There, they gained a great deal of industry knowledge and exposure, which was then used to start their own company. They have real world working experience in a specific field, just the same as the larger competitor, but at a reduced price.
By utilizing a minority owned vendor, you not only get a great deal on an experienced service provider, but you are supporting the local economy. Locally owned and operated businesses generate great local economic activity than their chain counterparts. So, money spent in your city, county, and state will remain there and in turn, feed the local economy’s circle of life.
If you need help finding a minority owned business, it’s best to start with your state’s website and search minority owned businesses in the search field. Once you find what you are looking for, I bet you’ll become a customer for life. Do you have a favorite minority owned business you’d like to give a shout out to? Leave us a comment with the business name, a brief description of their services, and their web address!