Washington State introduces Public Works Small Business Enterprise cert

WA News - Published Mar 11, 2024

The State of Washington is introducing a new business certification, the Public Works Small Business Enterprise (or PWSBE) certification. The State's Office of Minority and Women's Business Enterprises (OMWBE) will be responsible for operating the PWSBE certification program.

The new PWSBE certification was created as a result of State Legislation passed in 2023 (the Second Substitute Senate Bill 5268), which updated the laws around the small works roster, which is used to contract on small works (defined as projects of $350,000 or less). The roster lists licensed contractors which can be used by public agencies to solicit bids on small works. The PWSBE will be race- and gender-neutral.

Businesses interested in becoming PWSBE-certified are advised to apply for certification now with the OMWBE, if they are a minority- or woman-owned business enterprise and are not currently certified. All application fees are being waived through July 1, 2024. Businesses which are OMWBE-certified will be able to opt in to become PWSBEs once the certification launches.

Read the overview of the changes from the State, complete with preparedness steps businesses can take, at https://des.wa.gov/services/facilities-and-leasing-management/public-works-design-construction/changes-small-works-roster. Read the "Fact sheet for contractors" (linked from the overview) at https://des.wa.gov/sites/default/files/2023-10/joint-implementation-fact-sheet-contractors.pdf.

Read the Second Substitute Senate Bill 5268 at https://lawfilesext.leg.wa.gov/biennium/2023-24/Pdf/Bills/Session%20Laws/Senate/5268-S2.SL.pdf.