What is SWaM Certified?
SWaM stands for Small, Women, and Minority owned businesses. SWaM certification is like a thumbs-up for small, women-owned, and minority-owned businesses. It’s a way for these businesses to get some extra support and opportunities. With this certification, they might have an edge in getting government contracts or access to helpful resources and programs. It’s all about promoting diversity and giving a boost to folks who haven’t always had a level playing field in the business world.
Virginia actually has one of the most aggressive goals in the country for awarding state contracts to SWaM businesses. Once you’re SWaM certified you can begin navigating eVA which is Virginia’s procurement system that displays RFP’s, quick quote requests, and other contract opportunities for any business to bid on. Businesses of any size and in any location can bid on and win these contracts but being SWaM certified means you get preferential treatment on those projects. Some contracts even offer a coop where multiple SWaM businesses can team up to win and fulfill the work for a larger contract.
How do I get SWaM Certified?
To get certified, start by checking your eligibility, which involves being a small business, a woman owned business, or minority owned business. Gather the necessary documentation, including licenses, financial records, and ownership proof, and then register with the relevant certifying agency or organization in your area. Complete the certification application, pay any required fees, and attend orientation or training if necessary. Your application will undergo a review process, which may include site visits or interviews for verification. Once approved, you’ll receive SWaM certification, allowing you to benefit from opportunities like preferential treatment in government contracts and access to support programs. Remember that the specific requirements and steps can vary, so consult your local certifying agency for detailed guidance.
Can my SWaM Certification lapse?
Yep, your SWaM certification can lapse. Just like a driver’s license or a gym membership, it has an expiration date. The duration varies depending on where you got certified, but it’s usually every year or every few years. To keep it active, you’ll need to show that you still meet the eligibility criteria and follow any renewal rules they have. That might mean updating your financial info, proving you’re still the owner, and paying renewal fees. If you don’t renew on time or no longer qualify, your SWaM certification could go away. So, stay on top of those renewal deadlines to keep enjoying those perks!
Do I need to be a woman or a minority to SWaM certified?
SWaM actually stands for small or micro, woman owned, or minority owned business. If the majority business owner qualifies as woman or minority owned then you’re in luck. But what if you’re not either of those? As long as your business is considered small or a micro sized business according to Virginia regulations then you’re also able to get certified.