The R.I. State Council on the Arts (RISCA) and the Division of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (DEDI) are hosting two free webinars on Friday, May 26, for Rhode Island arts businesses interested in being certified as Minority Business Enterprises (MBEs) and/or Women-Owned Business Enterprises (WBEs).
The English version of the MBE application workshop will be held from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., while the Spanish version will be hosted from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Business owners who are interested in participating in the webinars can register for English, and register for Spanish.
“RISCA’s partnership with the Division of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion is incredibly beneficial to artists and arts and culture businesses and nonprofits,” said RISCA’s Executive Director Lynne McCormack. “Educating these small business owners on the various business certifications offered by DEDI and how to get certified opens up opportunities for work, as well as diversifying and expanding businesses that the state looks to first for contract services, such as graphic design, videography, and more.”
“The workshops help Rhode Island expand the number of MBE and WBE certified businesses in the arts, and it provides the arts business community with increased opportunities to participate in state-funded projects,” said DEDI’s Associate Director Tomás Ávila.
Businesses that participate in DEDI’s MBE program receive training and technical assistance designed to support and strengthen their ability to compete in their industry, he said.
Rhode Island law requires that certified minority businesses on the MBE/WBE list shall be awarded a minimum of ten percent (10%) of all state contracts. Qualifications for MBE and WBE include the following:
• Firms must be for-profit.
• 51% of the firm must be owned by one or more socially and economically disadvantaged individuals.
• Ownership and control must be real, substantial, and continuing.
• For a license industry, firm must hold a valid business license.
• Firm must be a small business concern and must have been in operation for at least 6 months.
• Personal net worth of applicant cannot exceed $1.32 million.