Chesterfield Business Assistance

Resources for Women-Owned and Minority-Owned Businesses

Statewide, minorities account 14.9% of Virginia’s business firms and women own 27.5% of Virginia’s business firms. Minority and Women-owned businesses are fast-growing segments and a vital part of the successful economy in Virginia and throughout our nation. Chesterfield County is committed to working with minority and women-owned businesses to help make them a prosperous part of the business community.

Numerous resources for minority-owned and women-owned businesses are available on the Internet. In response to an increasingly diverse marketplace, both corporate and government procurement practices have an increased emphasis on supplier diversity. To accurately identify women-owned and minority-owned firms, and maximize fairness in their procurement practices, government and private sector buyers often look for an official designation that a particular company is, in fact, a minority-owned or woman-owned business. There are a number of federal and state certification programs.

The County has been working to increase opportunities among Minority Business Enterprises (MBEs), Woman-Owned Businesses (WOBs), and Chesterfield Businesses (CBs) in its procurement and contracting activities. Through its Diversity Initiative, the purchasing department will take a proactive effort to increase opportunities for participation by a more diverse group of contractors and vendors. As part of this initiative, staff will insert information targeting these businesses in print publications, bid applications and on the purchasing department’s website. The county also plans to strongly encourage each contractor and/or supplier with which the County contracts to actively solicit Minority Business Enterprises, Woman-Owned Businesses, and Chesterfield Businesses as subcontractors/suppliers for his or her projects. The purchasing department will be utilizing many of these certification programs to identify Minority Business Enterprises and Women-owned Businesses.

The SBA administers three business assistance programs for small disadvantaged businesses (SDBs). These programs are the 8(a) Business Development Program, the Small Disadvantaged Business (SDB) Certification Program, and the 8(a) Business Development Mentor-Protégé Program. While the 8(a) Program offers a broad scope of assistance to socially and economically disadvantaged firms, SDB certification strictly pertains to benefits in Federal procurement. Companies, which are 8(a) firms automatically, qualify for SDB certification.

The Virginia Department of Business Assistance (DBA) –Women’s Business Enterprise (WBE) Certification Program is a self-certification program for women-owned businesses. For a $75.00 fee, members receive a quarterly newsletter, with articles relevant to women entrepreneurs, helpful procurement links, information on other small business resources and the business is listed in the WBE Directory, a searchable database maintained by DBA. Procurement agents looking for a Virginia supplier may search the database using several parameters, including SIC code, type of service provided, company name, etc. DBA’s website also provides links to other valuable resources for minority and women-owned businesses.

The Virginia Department of Minority Business Enterprise (VDMBE) provides for the Certification of those businesses that wish to achieve the benefits of participation in the Commonwealth's minority business programs. The most important of these programs are designed to open doors to state and local government contracting opportunities by assuring that a contractor is a bona fide minority-owned business. Other programs include management and technical assistance on an individual or group basis, access to financing through the P.A.C.E. Program, and a variety of educational, training, marketing, and outreach opportunities.

The Virginia Minority Supplier Development Council also has a certification program. Benefits include referrals to corporate members of minority-owned businesses, emergency loans up to $10,000, and contracting opportunities such as trade fairs and other networking functions.


The grass is greener.