Women- and Minority-Owned Businesses

The City actively supports utilization of WMBE (women- and minority-owned businesses) on City contracts as both primes and subcontractors, and each City department establishes plans and annual voluntary goals for WMBE inclusion in consulting and purchasing contracts.

The City of Seattle defines WMBE firms as state-certified or self-identified firms at least 51% owned by women and/or minorities.

COVID-19 business resources

Many businesses are experiencing short and long-term impacts from COVID-19. Visit the Office of Economic Development resources page to find a list of initiatives supporting businesses impacted by COVID-19. 

King County's Office of Equity and Social Justice has also developed a COVID-19 Resource Guide that includes information for small businesses.

Check out www.SafeStartKingCounty.com to receive a Safe Start Kit of masks and hand sanitizer for your small business. 

Disparity study 

The City of Seattle is conducting a disparity study on the availability and utilization of WMBEs. The City held a competitive procurement and selected Colette Holt & Associates to perform the study. The scope of the study will includes an evaluation of the City's current procurement policies, procedures, spend analysis, and engagement with the contractors, vendors, and consultants. The City also added a scope element to address the impacts of COVID-19 and other market disequilibria. 

For more information, visit the City of Seattle Disparity Study Website at: http://seattle.disparity-study.com/

If you have any questions, please contact Edson Zavala at edson.zavala@seattle.gov

Disparity study info webinars

The public information webinars will introduce the City of Seattle disparity study team, present the study elements and methodology, describe the study process, and outline how stakeholders and business owners can participate.

The City welcomes the participation of all business owners, those who are currently doing business with the City, as well as those interested in contracting opportunities. The dates of the public informational webinars are:

Tuesday November 9, 2021 at 7:00pm
Tuesday November 16, 2021 at 5:00pm

Please join us to learn about this important project and how you can participate. For more information, and access to register for the public informational webinars, please visit: http://seattle.disparity-study.com/participate/

Printable Flyer

2019 Annual WMBE Report

The 2019 Annual WMBE Report is developed by FAS in collaboration with other City departments. The report details the work the City performs to ensure WMBEs have equitable opportunities to pursue City contracts. 

Doing business with the City

Does your firm want to do business with the City, but you aren't sure where to start? The City has contracted with Northwest Mountain Minority Supplier Development Council to provide technical assistance to firms on how to work with the City. The Council will support all businesses with a special focus on women- and minority-owned firms. Visit their website, call (253) 243-6964 or e-mail TAS@nwmmsdc.org to get started. You can also contact Miguel Beltran at miguel.beltran@seattle.gov with questions.

Get recognized as a WMBE

There are two ways to be recognized as a WMBE by the City.

OMWBE certifies small businesses owned and controlled by a minority, woman or a socially and economically disadvantaged (DBE) person for the state and federal level. Most City projects with federal funds require a DBE or state WMBE certification to count toward the corresponding DBE or WMBE requirements. If you are a business owner who fits these criteria, we encourage you to visit OMWBE's site to learn about certification and its benefits.

Learn more