Certification in Maryland’s three socioeconomic procurement programs is a source of pride for small, minority, women, and veteran-owned businesses. The Governor’s Office of Small, Minority & Women Business Affairs recently launched program seals for vendors to display their certification status on print and digital materials.
What is a program seal?
Program seals help certified vendors clearly identify their participation in these programs. The seals represent all three of the state’s socioeconomic procurement programs: the Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) Program, the Small Business Reserve (SBR) Program, and the Veteran-Owned Small Business Enterprise (VSBE) Program.
How were they developed?
The Governor’s Office of Small, Minority & Women Business Affairs proposed the concept to Governor Wes Moore’s office. All three seals work together cohesively, yet have distinct colorations, giving each seal its own identity. The strong Maryland presence in the design conveys that these are state programs and helps distinguish them from similar programs at the federal and county levels.
Are the seals significant to this administration and why?
The seals are significant because they represent the Moore-Miller Administration’s commitment to building an economy that is more inclusive, more dynamic, more innovative, and more competitive.
Maryland is currently celebrating the 45th Anniversary of the MBE Program which went into effect July 1, 1978.
What prompted the recent rollout?
The Governor’s Office of Small, Minority & Women Business Affairs hosts events to engage the vendor community and celebrate Maryland’s diversity throughout the year. October is recognized as National Women’s Small Business Month. Governor Wes Moore issued a proclamation declaring October 2023 as Maryland Women’s Small Business Month. It was presented during the Maryland Women’s Small Business 2023 Celebration, hosted on October 10 in Crownsville, by the Governor’s Office of Small, Minority & Women Business Affairs. This was a perfect time to share the MBE and SBR program seals with over 125 entrepreneurs, many of whom are certified MBE vendors. The VSBE Program seal will launch in November.
Were the seals born out of a request?
Certified vendors have been asking for a way to visually represent their participation in the state’s socioeconomic programs for many years. The seals eliminate the need for vendors to create their own images.
Will there be guidelines governing use?
The seals are intended to be used by vendors who hold certification from one of Maryland’s socioeconomic procurement programs. Upon earning certification, vendors will be directed to the Governor’s Office of Small, Minority & Women Business Affairs website to download the appropriate seal(s).
How will businesses use the seals?
The seals are suitable for digital and print. We envision certified firms will use the seals on business cards, capability statements, signage, and websites.
What types of businesses will recognize the seal?
Public and private contractors seeking to build relationships with certified small, minority, and women-owned businesses.
Can the same business use multiple seals?
Yes. Vendors are encouraged to use the seals for each program in which they have certification.