Who is Eligible For Certification?
An on-going independent business owned, operated, and controlled by minority group members and/or women is eligible. The ownership interest must be real, substantial, and continuing. The ownership interest must have and exercise the authority to independently control the business decisions of the enterprise. Generally, the business should have been in operation for at least one year. A vendor/supplier is eligible for certification as a Minority or Women-Owned Business Enterprise by Nassau County as defined below.
Minority Business Enterprise (MBE)
Minimum of fifty-one percent (51%) owned by one or more minority group members; and an enterprise in which such ownership is real, substantial, and continuing; and an enterprise in which such minority ownership has and exercises the authority to control independently the day-to-day business decisions of the enterprise; and an enterprise authorized to do business in this state and is independently owned and operated. Minority Group Member shall mean a United States citizen or permanent resident alien who is and can demonstrate membership in one of the following groups:
- Black persons having origins in any of the Black African racial groups
- Hispanic persons of Mexican, Puerto Rican, Dominican, Cuban, Central or South American descent of either Indian or Hispanic origin, regardless of race
- Native American or Alaskan Native persons having origins in any of the original peoples of North America
- Asian and Pacific Islander persons having origin in any of the Far East countries, South East Asia, the Indian subcontinent, or the Pacific Islands
Women-Owned Business Enterprises (WBE)
Minimum of fifty-one percent (51%) owned by one or more United States citizens or permanent resident aliens who are women; and an enterprise in which the ownership interest of such women is real, substantial, and continuing; and an enterprise in which such women ownership has and exercises the authority to control independently the day-to-day business decisions of the enterprise; and an enterprise authorized to do business in this state and is independently owned and operated.
Why Get Certified in Nassau County?
The Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprise program is designed to assist the growth and development of businesses owned and controlled by women and minority groups. An important activity of the program is to increase the participation of those businesses in the procurement activities within Nassau County government.
Nassau County Certification affords your business the opportunity to be listed in a Countywide Government Directory of Certified Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprises used by County agencies and contractors. Because County government has been mandated by the Nassau County Executive and the Legislature to provide greater opportunity for participation by Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprises (M/WBEs) in County contracting, certification gives business owners an advantage when marketing goods and/or services to County agencies and authorities. The agencies and most of the prime contractors who do business with the County as well as many other corporations use the di-rectory. Certification also allows a business the advantage of accessing a variety of loan and bonding programs as well as programs that provide technical assistance. These programs were specifically developed for historically under-utilized businesses that participate in the M/WBE program. Certification is your first link from "Disparity to Parity."
Nassau County MWBE Certification
Vendors/suppliers that are not currently certified as a Minority or Women Owned Business Enterprise by one or more of the Nassau County designated comparable jurisdictions must complete the Nassau County Long Form Certification Application.
Nassau County Office of Minority Affairs – Long Form Link*
Nassau County Designated Comparable Jurisdictions
- Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA)
- New York City School Construction Authority (SCA)
- New York City Department of Small Business Services
- New York/New Jersey Port Authority
Nassau County Fast Track MWBE Certification
Vendors/suppliers that are currently certified as a Minority or Women Owned Business Enterprise by one or more of the Nassau County designated comparable jurisdictions must complete the Nassau County Short Form Certification Application.
Nassau County Office of Minority Affairs – Short Form Link* All completed certification short and long forms must be returned to:
Office of Minority Affairs
One West Street (Suite 136) Mineola, New York 11501
Upon receipt of the completed application the process of verification of the information on the application begins. The Office of Minority Affairs may ask you for clarification or for additional information. If your firm is rejected it generally means we are unable to process your application due to missing information.
An interview is conducted by a member of our certification staff at your place of business or by phone. An analysis of your application and certification documentation is made and a determination to grant or withhold MBE or WBE status is made. Your firm is notified of the decision: Approved or Denied.
Who Performs Certification?
The Office of Minority Affairs is responsible for certification according to the Nassau County Local Law - 14 that calls for a Countywide Certification program. In October 2002, the County Executive took the lead and signed Local Law – 14. This Local- Law encourages meaningful participation of Minority/Women-Owned Businesses in contracts with Nassau County.
Out of State Businesses
Out-of state businesses may apply for Nassau County certification by writing for an application to the Office of Minority Affairs. Additional information required to complete the application may vary depending upon your state of residence. You should be certified in your home state, if a similar process exists, before applying to Nassau County.
Out-of-state corporations must have authority to do business in New York State from the Department of State, Division of Corporations (518) 473-2492.
All certified companies are listed in the Nassau County's official Directory of Certified Minority and Women-Owned Business Enter-prises. All County agencies and authorities use the directory as the primary source for identifying bona fide MBEs & WBEs for par-ticipation in Nassau County procurement. Most of the County's prime contractors and many corporations also use it. The directory is available to the public and is accessible via the Office of Minority Affairs website. Upon certification, you will also receive further information about doing business with Nassau County to assist you in marketing your business to agencies.
What if Your Application is Denied?
You may appeal the denial decision by notifying the Office of Minority Affairs in writing within thirty - (30) days of receipt of the denial letter. When your notice of appeal is received, an Independent Hearing Officer will schedule and conduct a hearing. After the hearing he/she will make a recommendation to the Executive Director. The Executive Director will issue a final order as the last step of the appeal process.
Definitions for Certification
Applicant. A business enterprise that has applied for certification as a minority and/or women-owned business enterprise.
Business Enterprise. Any entity, including a sole proprietorship, partnership, or corporation which is authorized to and is engaged in lawful business transactions in accordance with New York State Law.
Certified Business. A business enterprise that has been approved by this Department for minority-owned business enterprise or women-owned business enterprise status subsequent to verification that the business is owned, operated, and controlled by minorities and/or women.
Directory. The directory of certified businesses prepared by the Program Coordinator.