COVID-19 Silver Lining for Veteran, Women, and Minority Business CertificationsAugust 4, 2020
At Lewis Rice, we regularly assist business owners in assessing whether they qualify for—and would benefit from—certification as a veteran-owned, woman-owned, or minority-owned business. One COVID-19 silver lining we have learned about is a reduction in the lag from application completion to approval while on-site visits are being conducted virtually.
Obtaining certification could help a business compete for corporate and government contracts, expand networks, gain brand recognition, and support diversity in the business community. Certifications are granted by cities, states, the federal government, and third-party private organizations. There are many steps to obtaining certification, and the depth of the process depends on the certifying organization you choose.
For example, for a woman-owned business, the Women Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) is one of the most thorough certifiers in our experience. Through documentation and an on-site visit, it will look closely at the owner’s involvement in day-to-day activities, to determine whether the business is truly woman owned and operated. The National Veteran-Owned Business Association (NaVOBA) similarly offers a well-known and widely accepted certification that will delve into ownership and business operations, to determine whether the enterprise is run by a veteran of the U.S. military.
During the continuing COVID-19-related uncertainties, many of these organizations are conducting their reviews virtually rather than the traditional on-site, in-person visits, among relaxing other requirements for notarized or physical documents. This reduces the time to arrange for travel and is inherently more efficient. At Lewis Rice, we can assist you not only in being fully prepared to decide if a certification is right for your business, but in bringing together the best individuals and documentation to maximize your chances of approval. Whether your site visit is scheduled virtually or in person as the COVID-19 situation evolves, Lewis Rice attorneys are ready to assist.