Senate District 28
Vernon Sykes
Senate Passes Business Certification Reciprocity Bill
Legislation streamlines certification process for minority-, women-, and veteran-owned businesses across Ohio
June 2, 2021
Today, state Senators Vernon Sykes (D-Akron) and Kirk Schuring (R-Canton) announced the Senate’s unanimous passage of Senate Bill 105, which allows Minority Business Enterprises (MBE) and women- and veteran-owned businesses certified by the state to have that certification recognized statewide.

“A statewide certification process will save minority, women and veteran business owners time, paperwork and fees,” said Sykes. “It will help entrepreneurs in Ohio focus on what they do best, which is growing their business, rather than filling out duplicative forms. This bill is an example of how we can support small businesses and create opportunities in our state by eliminating unnecessary hurdles.” 

Currently, MBEs competing for public contracts or participating in MBE programs in Ohio could be required to receive MBE certifications from the state and every local government in which they operate. S. B. 105 allows reciprocity, meaning that MBEs that have been certified by the state through the current process in the Department of Administrative Services (DAS) will have that certification recognized by all local governments across Ohio. The bill also requires local governments to recognize the Department’s certification for veteran- and women-owned businesses.

“I want to commend my longtime friend and colleague for the leadership role he played in moving this bill forward,” said Schuring. “It is a good government bill that cuts bureaucratic red tape. Accordingly, it will improve the opportunities for minority owned businesses, including those owned by women and veterans.”

MBE programs are designed to assist minority-owned and other historically economically disadvantaged businesses compete for and obtain public contracts. The MBE Reciprocity legislation was proposed by the Greater Akron Chamber and promoted by the Secretary of State’s office.

The bill now goes to the Ohio House of Representatives for consideration. 
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