Lesson 2 of 4
In Progress

Types of Certifications

Collin Gabriel April 1, 2022

Daucey Brewington (00:00):

Now I’m not gonna go into extensive details on each one. And unless we, uh, have a lot of time at the end and there’s specific questions, I’ll tell you some of the highlights of what you need for some of these. And then if you have questions, put ’em into the chat, and if it’s pertinent, the moment I’ll go into it right there in, or we may send it to the end. The hub zone program, uh, is strictly economics. The federal government set aside 10% of all procurements for hubs zone certified companies. And they can, the contracting officer can set aside a procurement if they and quote reasonably expect at least two companies to respond. Meaning if you have a unique capability and there’s a con uh, contract coming up, and if you know someone else that is hubs on certified, you may want to talk to your competition and tell ’em the put in a letter of interest.

Daucey Brewington (01:03):

Cause if the contracted officer agrees and sets it aside, and it’s just you and your one competitor, then you’re only competing against one other tribe and not nationwide specific example. The ya, uh, the department of veteran affairs set aside a hub zone contract to do outreach on the Yakima reservation. And there happened to be a service disabled hubs on certified company on the reservation. And his only competition was a company in Texas. So he was able to get that contract and, uh, beat the other one by a mile because of just a travel two requirements for hub zone certification.

Daucey Brewington (01:52):

Uh, the hub zones are declared by the 10th, the 10 year annual census. They look at economic data, uh, percent of poverty below, uh, uh, national average and income. They look at the economic factors and designate census tracks. You may be in a hub zone on one side of the street and a non hub zone. On the other side of the street, all reservations are designated as hub zone and the way the language is now written reservations and surrounding areas. For example, at squa sitting right there at, uh, Lacey and, uh, YM some of the surrounding areas adjacent to the squa reservation, didn’t qualify under, uh, economic reasons, but they qualified because they were surrounding a qualified reservation. So it’s, you can go onto the hubs on website type in your address. And it’ll tell you immediately whether you’re in a hub zone or not.

Daucey Brewington (03:03):

So the two requirements, the headquarters must be in the hub zone. And 35% of the employees must reside in a hub zone. Does not necessarily have to be the same. You could have a hub zone and say up on the hill in Tacoma and half of your, and hire some of the Puyallup that live on the reservation. It still qualifies. Uh, in the old days, when the program first came up, you could apply and hub zone was granted really quickly, but then at most of Alaska is hub zone. So there was a lot of cases of creating a, putting a headquarters in Alaska, but all the operations, uh, somewhere outside and saying, well, it’s a two person company. My sister lives up in, uh, and when the Ken a peninsula. So, uh, we’re hubs zone, well now, uh, about 30% of all the applications require an insight onsite visit by the SBA.

Daucey Brewington (04:14):

So that stretches out the approval process. And they wanna make sure that you have a legitimate office, that it is in a hub zone. And they look for things like one company attempted to, uh, this was in the last few years attempted to certify their company on their hub zone, listing the job shack, the construction trailer that was located on, uh, joint base, Louis McCord. They tried to certify of that as their headquarters that didn’t fly. Uh, the eight a business development program is kind of usually the, the crown jewel of certifications for the feds because the eight a program allows federal agencies to set aside 10% of all procurements for or direct award non-competitive, uh, contracts. The limit for an individual is 4 million, four and a half for construction on the single contract award. On the initial estimate, if the contracting officer estimate is 4 billion, that award the contract, and then there’s, uh, unknown things that come up that requires a change order.

Daucey Brewington (05:33):

That’s gonna push that contract up to five and a half or 6 billion. It’s still allowed to go forward because the original estimate was under the limit for other than individuals, meaning tribes, a CS N hos. Uh, there is no limit, uh, with D O D you can go up to a hundred million, uh, without any additional, uh, comment for other agencies. You can go up to 20 million, but with a JNA justification and approval, the limit, uh, there is none. So, uh, back so 15, 20 years ago when there was a big controversy in con about a CS and tribes getting three, four, $500 million contracts, uh, that’s why they went to the JNA for contracts above 20 million. But even with those large scale, 300, a million dollar plus contracts, the federal government is still ticking along at about 5% of their federal budget going into the eight.

Daucey Brewington (06:44):

A even though they’re authorized up to, to, uh, 10%, the five categories for presumptive eligibility for eight, a native American, black, Hispanic, Asian, Pacific, and women, and the women were added, uh, that category was added about two years ago. Anyone else can apply, but they have to prove through a preponderance of evidence that they are socially at economically, uh, disadvantaged. And that does happen. I know a white gentleman, Caucasian that was certified eight a in the construction business because he, uh, was a, had an amputated leg. And he was disadvantaged when it comes to site visits and working some of the job sites. And there were things that he was physically not able to do that had an impact on his business. So he was, uh, deemed to be eligible. So the woman owned and emerging small businesses, both of those are similar. The emerging is for startup with gross revenues under $50,000.

Daucey Brewington (08:07):

So you can start looking at certification, uh, as soon as you start your business, but again, the AA, they want two years of tax records to show that you are generating business, because as you can see, it’s called the business development program, not business startup, the hub zone, you can apply for hub zone as soon as the in is dry on your, uh, and corporation papers. The difference being is when hubs on you’re still competing. And if the contracting officer deems you qualified, even though you’re brand new, you get the contract, but yay day, that allows direct award. They wanna know that you’ve been in business for a while. There are waivers for the two years. If you can demonstrate a particular skill, particular niche, you have something unique that the government buys, uh, that can be waived, uh, tribes, a CS and organizations generally can start a company one day and apply the next, because they can demonstrate a long history of management, a long history of financial stability, a long history of doing governmental operations.

Daucey Brewington (09:28):

So a waiver for a tribal business is about as close to a slam duck. As you can get service disabled veterans business. Uh, the VA is the only agency right now that can go direct award to a certified S D V O B, uh, up to 4 million. And there used to be a center for veterans CBE. Uh, but that is all now being moved over to the SBA. It’s all done online with service disability. Uh, you’ll still have to prove ownership, et cetera. And you also have to have a letter, uh, from the VA that designates your level of disability. Even if that letter of disability states zero, and you can be, uh, you can’t have a certified disability with a rating of zero, and that has to do with, uh, what your job description was while you’re in the military. There are some, uh, special is that the VA knows that you may not have a problem now, but in 20 years, you’re gonna develop leukemia.

Daucey Brewington (10:44):

You’re gonna develop some other problem. So they’ll give you a letter, a certified letter of disability with a zero rating. So that later on, all you have to do is come back in for your exam. And they will put a, a percentage of disability now, department of transportation, the DBE SDB program. And I think this is most germane for our discussion today because of the amount of construction and infrastructure work that is currently going on in Washington and all Oregon and all the infrastructure projects that are coming down the road. I mentioned earlier that Washington passed an, uh, initiative prohibiting the use of ethnicity in contracting and with most things, there’s always a caveat. How ever if there are, are any federal dollars involved in a program, then the contract and officer has to federal federal guidelines. And so for most, uh, projects, highway projects, bridge projects, there are federal dollars involved.

Daucey Brewington (11:58):

So the DBE disadvantaged business enterprise and SBE small business, uh, enterprise, they are overseen by department of transportation, but, uh, worked under the, in Washington. It’s the office of minority and women business enterprises. And in Oregon, I don’t remember which agency, but you go through the same certification process. And if you are interested in being certified in Washington and Oregon, there are reciprocal programs within the, the application. You have to be certified in your home state first, before you can apply to be certified in a different state. And all of the documents had, uh, required the resume tax records, the, uh, past performance, all of those in some cases are done online now, but if you’re going for a reciprocal, the other state often ask for a hard copies of the same information that is already, uh, online, the DBE program on the contracts here in Washington, whether it’s sound transit, FAA was dot the prime contractor, such as Kiwi Scansca Hoffman. Uh, they really push the DBE certification because they want to meet their goals. And they cannot count you if you are not certified either in the home state or in, uh, the state of which you’re doing the work.

Joni McSpadden (13:52):

I see, there’s a couple of questions in the chat I’d like to read forward. If you don’t mind

Daucey Brewington (13:58):

You betcha.

Joni McSpadden (14:00):

One is if a company sales have been down due to the pandemic, but were strong pre pandemic, will this impact their ability to get COVID certified?

Daucey Brewington (14:11):

No, uh, you can, on all cases, you’re gonna have, have to write up a brief history of the company and that’s where you can highlight pre pandemic and COVID. And so, because you may not have had the level of income that they wanna see within the most recent period, you can demonstrate that you’ve had it before, and now that we’re emerging out of the pandemic, uh, you should be able to, to pick up and go. So that should not be a big deterrent.

Joni McSpadden (14:45):

Okay. The other question was for a women own small business, was it 60 to 70,000 in the last couple of months for the small business to be certified

Daucey Brewington (14:58):

There, it’s not written anywhere on a specific number, but just from knowing the folks that have been reviewing the certification process. And again, that was federal. But if you are looking at a, a small business that you want to get certified with the state as a DBE, and we’ll make it even more, uh, exact say you are in the landscaping business, and there are landscaping opportunities with D O T because there’s so many roundabouts going in now that if you are the ones to come in there and, and do the dirt work and plant the shrubs and the roundabouts, you may only be doing 10 or $12,000 a month or even less. But if you’re going after state certification or hubs on those, uh, those guidelines I gave you do not really apply the 50 to 60,000 was for the, the goal standard, the 88. So if you are showing steady revenues over the past, uh, 90 days at any level, I would still encourage you to apply.

Joni McSpadden (16:11):

Thank you, that’s it.

Daucey Brewington (16:14):

Okay. Indian economic enterprise, uh, that, that comes on play. For example, if ONAC were to create a company or want to go after contracts, they could be determined an Indian economic enterprise to is designated in Indian economic enterprise because our bylaws require that 51% or greater of our board of directors must be enrolled tribal members, which as an Indian economic enterprise, we are able to go after particular grants or tracks that are set aside for native American, under federal acquisition regulation. I think it’s, uh, five 18 Indian economic enterprises can still be designated as small business, even if their revenue exceeds the size standard of small businesses. And that came into play with a company here in Washington, uh, because they were huge. They were 35, 40 million a year, but they still wanted the designation of SDB under the Indian economic enterprise. But when you look into the regulations, it talks about, does the profits generated benefit the Indian community?

Daucey Brewington (17:50):

And the answer on that case is, well, it was an individual owner. The profits went to him for Indian economic enterprise. They wanna make sure that any profits or the benefits of such designation apply to a wide range of recipients per tribal employment rights organizations, uh, vary by tribe. They set their individual standards. Uh, it goes back to essentially the same certification greater than 51% owned, managed by a native. And they require quite a bit of personal data. They’re gonna want a, a tribal enrollment card. Uh, and so all of the information that you put together for any certification, you should start a file, just call it a certification file so that you can put a PDF copy of everything that you’ve gathered. So no matter which certification you’re going to, you have a central location resumes, past performance, uh, tax records, et cetera. Uh, now state and local minority and women businesses here in Washington, under office of minority and women business enterprises, you can apply for, uh, minority owned woman own or DBE or CBE, which is combined.

Daucey Brewington (19:21):

And the programs are self-funded meaning they have to generate their own revenues to stay in business. And so for the state, if I recall it was like $150 for each certification you send in, if you did MBE and DBE at the same time, you got ’em both for like 175, because most of the documents you sent in are, uh, I mentioned a small fee for the, uh, state. There’s a small fee for tariffs as well. The ones that I’ve applied for are like 50 bucks, but that’s been 10 or 12 years. There are no fees associated with any of the federal regulations.

Joni McSpadden (20:14):

Do we have one more question? And that is, can you still mention veteran owned even if they were not injured while serving in active duty?

Daucey Brewington (20:22):

Yes. Uh, notice this right here. Veteran owned small business. That is a self certification. Yes. I’m a veteran. If anybody brings it up, as long as you have a, uh, DD two 14, you can put veteran owned, small business on your, your brochures, your flyers, your business card. You cannot put SD builder unless you are certified. This is a third party certification, but you can claim veteran status. Uh, if you are a veteran

Daucey Brewington (21:02):

Disadvantage business enterprise, uh, cause I mentioned, uh, comes under department of transportation, AC D B E. I don’t know if anybody online is interested in airport concessionaires, uh, because the, the, uh, FAA does seek 10% of their concessionaires to qualify under the a C D B E. And I have 75 page, uh, presentation on this that came from the, uh, FAA. If anybody wants that, I’ll be happy to forward that to ’em essentially it goes through the same rationale of ownership control, and you do not have to have op as an airport concession error. When you start your application process, all they’re gonna look for initially is if you have the capability to provide that service. So that is one of the misconceptions. Geez, I, I make the best fried bread in the world. I think I’d like to sell it to, to travelers. Uh, as long as you can meet all of their standards, uh, you can go ahead and apply. Okay. I think I’ve covered a lot of this 10% of federal funds, uh, state has to follow the federal rules, uh, disadvantaged, owned, and controlled by socially, socially economic. I could go on and on about some of the things I’ve seen about the folks that claim to be something that were, they were not. And I, when I get to the disadvantages, I will go into a little more detail on that.