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October 17, 2011

Improved Certification and Business Opportunities for Minority and Women-Owned Firms

The Mayor's Office of Business Opportunity (OBO) announces major improvements in the certification process for Minority and Women-Owned firms.

The changes underway include:

  • Revamped certification application that is easier to complete
  • New certification hotline (832.393.0600), which companies can call to learn about the certification process and check on the status of their applications
  • Standard operating procedures with internal and external controls to ensure timely processing of all applications
  • Expansion of the certification from one to three years

OBO is finalizing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with other certifying entities - the Houston Minority Supplier Development Council and Women Business Enterprise Alliance - to fast track City certification for companies that are already certified with these organizations. Under the MOU, the City will focus only on validating the criteria that was not included in the certification process conducted by the other organizations. This will include geographic requirements, size standards and functional mission.

The OBO is also pursuing partnerships with private and educational institutions for technical assistance, counseling and training that could help businesses grow to compete for opportunities at every level of City procurement.

For more information about the Mayor's Office of Business Opportunity, email or visit

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