North Carolina Celebrates 10-Year Anniversary of Historically Underutilized Businesses’ Statewide Uniform Certification Program Cabinet agency spending with minority- and women-owned businesses at highest in a decade

Raleigh, NC

July 2019 marks the 10th anniversary of the North Carolina Department of Administration’s (NC DOA) Office for Historically Underutilized Businesses’ (HUB) Statewide Uniform Certification (SWUC) program and kicks off a celebration of several key milestones for minority- and women-owned businesses within North Carolina state government.

HUB launched the certification program on July 1, 2009 to streamline the certification process, reduce the redundancy in certifying minority- and women-owned businesses and create a centralized HUB and minority/women business database. Many of these efficiency gains benefit residents of North Carolina and public entities alike – resulting in more than 4,000 HUB-certified businesses.

“The Governor’s Cabinet is proud to boast that on construction projects 23 percent utilization rate of minority- and women-owned businesses resulting in $1.7M higher spend than previous year—much of which represent rural communities across our state and generate thousands of jobs and contribute billions in sales each year to our state’s economy,” said NC Department of Administration Secretary Machelle Sanders. “Streamlining processes that support the development of diverse business relationships with local, state and municipal government ensures that we have the best and brightest talent tackling our state’s biggest challenges.”

Certification as a HUB supplier provides greater exposure for business opportunities in state procurement and contracting. HUB firms are listed in the SWUC Search for Vendors which is widely used by state agencies, universities, community colleges, local schools, local governments and institutions and the public to locate historically underutilized businesses for goods, services and construction.

Originally established 1999, HUB was formed under Governor James B. Hunt Jr.’s Executive Order No. 150, issued to encourage and promote opportunities for all suppliers and contractors who participate in state government procurement and construction processes, without regard to race, color, national origin, gender, or disability. Governor Roy Cooper later signed Executive Order No. 25 which established the Advisory Council on Historically Underutilized Businesses and further directs state government to implement good faith efforts toward purchasing at least 10 percent of products and services from HUB suppliers and to obtain at least a 10 percent HUB participation in the total value of construction.

The order also identified the need for a comprehensive disparity study to determine any gaps between the availability of firms in a market area and the utilization of those firms, as current goals were set based on an earlier study more than a decade old.

“The new study findings will equip state leaders with better data to help us modernize the way North Carolina conducts business,” said HUB Director Tammie Hall. “Understanding contracting patterns and gaps within the state procurement process helps us establish a roadmap for increased awareness and education about opportunities available to underutilized businesses in communities across the state. We’ll also continue evaluating ways to simplify processes for certification and identifying opportunities conducive for small businesses which are truly the engines driving our communities in North Carolina.”

The study includes a review of North Carolina’s 10 cabinet agencies, 9 Council of State agencies, 9 support agencies (or 28 state agencies), its 17 state-funded universities, and more than 50 community colleges, and will cover Construction, Professional Services and Goods and Services.

Key HUB Program Highlights:

  • 10th Anniversary of HUB Statewide Uniform Certification program;
  • Implementation of Statewide Unified Certification Reciprocity Program in partnership with NC Department of Transportation (DOT) that provides another free and easy avenue for certification and contract opportunities;
  • Addition of more than 1,000 new, HUB-certified businesses since 2017;
  • Launch of first comprehensive, statewide disparity study in decades to better understand potential gaps in market availability and state government use; and
  • During 2017-18, HUB focused on increased community partnerships, certifications in rural counties and awareness and training workshops, contributing to the highest amount of spending with HUB-certified vendors in the last 10 years.

Please visit the HUB website for more information about HUB and the HUB Statewide Uniform Certification program.

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About HUB:­

Housed within the North Carolina Department of Administration, the Office for Historically Underutilized Businesses (HUB) serves to promote the economic opportunities for historically underutilized businesses in State Government contracting and procurement that will foster their growth and profitability. HUB was established on April 20, 1999 through the signing of Executive Order 150.

 

About NC DOA:

Established in 1957, the North Carolina Department of Administration acts as the business manager for North Carolina state government. Under the leadership of Secretary Machelle Sanders since appointed by Governor Roy Cooper in 2017, the department oversees Government Operations and advocacy programs. The department's advocacy programs provide advocacy, assistance and services to diverse segments of the state's population that have been traditionally underserved.

 

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