Raleigh, NC Feb 16, 2018 The Department of Administration’s Office for Historically Underutilized Businesses (HUB) in conjunction with the North Carolina Department of Transportation’s (NCDOT) Office of Civil Rights has developed a new streamlined process for businesses that qualify or are currently certified as Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) companies. The new process was created in support of Governor Roy Cooper’s Executive Order 25 that emphasizes the importance of historically underutilized businesses for a more vibrant, sustainable and diverse business community. The new Statewide Unified Certification Reciprocity Program offers underutilized businesses across North Carolina greater exposure to business opportunities through its simplified HUB certification process. Effective February 9, business owners interested in certification through NCDOT as a DBE, can be certified as a HUB firm with little documentation. Businesses that are currently certified under NCDOT are automatically qualified for HUB certification and receive immediate access to bidding opportunities for state, local and municipal contracts. DOA Secretary, Machelle Sanders, calls the action beneficial to North Carolina businesses and the state overall. “This free and easy process will allow more businesses to reap the benefits that come along with HUB certification, such as guidance and tips on marketing strategies, without an abundance of paperwork,” she said. To participate in the reciprocity program and receive HUB certification, business owners must be HUB eligible in the states of North Carolina, Virginia, Georgia, Tennessee or South Carolina and be one of the following: A certified NCDOT DBE, And/ or a certified business through the US Small Business Administration, US Department of Veteran’s Affairs, National Minority Supplier Diversity Council or the Women Business Enterprise National Council. As part of the program, businesses must also meet all the requirements set forth in NC General Statute 143-128.4. Celebrating 10 years of success, the Statewide Uniform Certification Reciprocity Program is part of HUB’s continuous mission to promote economic opportunities for historically underutilized businesses. Initiated in 1999 by Executive Order 150, the HUB Office allows businesses owned by minorities, women, and persons with disabilities to obtain HUB certification in the state of North Carolina procurement system. Other organizations eligible for HUB certification include: disabled business enterprises, non-profit work centers for the blind and severely disabled, and businesses owned by socially and economically-disadvantaged individuals. For more information on the Statewide Uniform Certification Reciprocity Program, please visit https://ncadmin.nc.gov/businesses/hub or call the HUB Office at 919-807-2330.