Visual Connections Certified as a Maryland Minority & Disadvantaged Business Enterprise
Visual Connections has been certified as a Maryland Minority Business Enterprise and also as a Disadvantaged Business Enterprise.
The Minority Business Enterprise Program was enacted in 1978 by the General Assembly. Current MBE law requires agencies to structure their procurements to try to achieve an overall minimum goal of 25% of the total dollar value of their procurement contracts directly or indirectly from certified MBE firms.
It further requires that agencies attempt to achieve a minimum goal of 7% of the total dollar value of their procurement contracts directly or indirectly from certified African American-owned businesses and a minimum goal of 10% of the total dollar value of their procurement contracts directly or indirectly from certified women-owned businesses. In furtherance of the State’s MBE initiative, each State agency reviews and assesses its procurements for supplies, services, maintenance, construction, and architectural / engineering contracts to determine an MBE participation goal appropriate for each contract.
To be eligible for certification as an MBE firm, a business must be at least 51% owned and controlled by one or more socially and economically disadvantaged individuals. Additionally, non-profit firms that are organized to promote the interests of the physically or mentally disabled also are eligible for MBE certification. Under current State law, an individual is presumed to be socially and economically disadvantaged if that individual belongs to one of the following groups: African American; Hispanic American; Asian American; Native American; Women; or Disabled Persons. Those who are not members of one of the above groups also may be eligible if they own and control their business and establish their social and economic disadvantage. A determination of whether an individual meets MBE eligibility criteria is made on a case-by-case basis.
Visual Connections was also certified as a Disadvantaged Business Enterprise. The U.S. Department of Transportation’s (USDOT) Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Program provides a vehicle for increasing the participation by certified DBE firms in State and local procurements that are funded with assistance from USDOT. USDOT DBE regulations require State and local transportation agencies to establish goals for the participation of DBE firms on USDOT-assisted procurements. Each state and local transportation agency that receives financial assistance from the USDOT is required to establish tri-annual DBE goals and review the scope of anticipated contracts throughout the year. In Maryland, only three administrations participate in the DBE program: State Highway Administration, Maryland Aviation Administration and Maryland Transit Administration.
The eligibility criteria for DBE certification are very similar to that for MBE certification.
Thursday, September 16th, 2010