Washington State Launches PWSBE Certification

Washington State is working to promote small businesses.

Source : Contractor News

March 19, 2024

Author : Alex Bustillos

Washington State is launching a new certification for Public Works Small Business Enterprises (PWSBE) as part of changes to the Small Works Roster laws. The changes, outlined in Second Substitute Senate Bill 5268 passed during the 2023 Legislative Session, aim to make it easier for small businesses and public agencies to contract small public works projects. This would be applicable for projects less than $350,000.

Key updates include:

  • Updating existing small works roster requirements and definitions.
  • Creating a statewide small works roster.
  • Establishing a new PWSBE certification.
  • Aligning financial thresholds throughout the state.
  • Adding a direct contracting option for projects under $150,000.
  • Allowing agencies to waive or reduce retainage bonds for projects $5,000 or more.

For construction firms interested in public works contracts with Washington State, these changes will take effect on July 1, 2024. To prepare, firms can subscribe to DES’ Public Works Business Diversity Updates, register in WEBS, and apply for the statewide roster. Additionally, minority- or women-owned businesses are encouraged to get certified with the Office of Minority and Women’s Business Enterprises (OMWBE) to qualify for the PWSBE certification when it launches.

Public agencies, including ports and irrigation districts, are also affected by these changes. Agencies can join the statewide roster or prepare their independent rosters to integrate OMWBE certification data and follow DES rules on rotation, outreach, and data collection.

Overall, the changes aim to streamline the small works roster process, promote diversity in public contracting, and create more opportunities for small businesses in Washington State.

Category : Small Business Enterprises Disparity Studies

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