Minority Business Registration

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  • shellie

    Have any of you ever done this? Good God it's so much paperwork and it's taking a billion years, but I just completed my on site visit on Monday (to verify I am truly black). But, I'm wondering after all this work, if any of you have seen an influx of awarded contracts because of their minority status. I've never worked for or owned a company that was registered before. It seems like a rare few vendors that would qualify in our industry but I'd be curious to know if there are broadcast or interactive vendors out there might be competitors in this small space.

  • orrinward0

    Where is this scheme? Is this not encouraging racial discrimination?

    Surely this is to drive business towards a company based on the colour of it's employees skin, rather than on the merit of their work?

    • I don't mean this as an attack. i'm just curious of the benefits of this scheme and how it works.orrinward
  • detritus0

    “..to verify I am truly black”.

  • dMullins0

    Orrin, it's pretty much discrimination candy-coated with fairness.

    Most of the 8a business regulations are for government-based contracts/work. GSA Schedule, etc. etc. Minority-owned businesses, small business businesses, etc. etc. It's kind of fucked up leftovers from Affirmative Action, IMO.

    Doesn't seem to make sense to me anymore, but hey, use the system if the system will let you, IMO.

    • < true and why not? There's something out there for anyone if you look.shellie
    • but unspoken & unregulated discrimination still exists in advertising. It does -- period.shellie
  • shellie0

    @orrinward - I don't know if you've noticed, but there's a shortage of minority owned businesses in general -- but in the design and production business there are even less. But in an agency space there are very few (client or vendor side) that make it far enough for one reason or another to have their voice heard. Women also face setbacks like these across many industries still. Some people will probably never understand what kind of currents you swim against based on age, sex, background, income. So, I can understand why you think these kind of programs feel like a hand out.

    But, trust me -- you still need a portfolio that wins agency level work. I never would have been invited to register in the first place and that was after already making it on the vendor list without it. The government requires these programs to encourage other parts of our economy and less represented groups of people to be put forward for agencies to keep their contracts with them (contracts like the census, army, navy, post office, etc). All omnicom companies have to meet a certain quota and that covers a lot of agency space. I'm sure other shareholding companies have similar programs tied to the government if they care to qualify for their contracts ever. I can break it down for you if you really want to know but it goes a whole lot deeper -- being a single black woman and business owner swimming in the same pool as many of my past employers. So many of these competitor's backgrounds and support have a very common thread and I'm not sure that's fair either.

    Your argument I suppose would apply to scholarships based on race or background. Is that wrong? I don't know. But, whenever the government is involved there are programs in place to promote equality and growth over as many communities as possible. I'll take it considering the very long term effects of oppression on women and specifically blacks in the united states surely has made a mark on my family and has a whole lot to do with progress for many people that can't be erased in just a few generations. Just take a walk through the halls of many major corporations and you can see many issues are still in play and the programs in place to counteract that and imposed by any HR department.

    @detritus yeah its weird. I thought it was kind of funny but I suppose some people could try and scam their way through this by lying. But I'm surprised my passport + state ID and/or birth certificate wasn't enough.

  • formed0

    Any gov't contract will require a percentage of DBO's (Disadvantaged Business Owners - which, to my knowledge, can be anything but a white male, including white females).

    Basically someone will set one up, then find companies to do the actual work, go get the jobs as a DBO, then give the work to other firms. Obviously this is not always the case, but it is far from uncommon.

    It all does seem rather odd in today's world, but it is there and it is a very large percentage that is required (I am referring to massive infrastructure type projects - bridges, roads, transit, etc.).

    • < I bet that can happen a lot (grabbing contracts for just a % and subbing it)shellie
    • Yes, it is very, very common. Nothing wrong with that, imho, just working the system as it is set up.formed
    • ya well at least one person who's supposed to is still getting the benefit even if they sub.shellie
  • antagonista0

    It's discrimination.

    I won some gov't contracts 5-6 years ago. But to be eligible I had to form a different LLC with a friend who is half black/hispanic. That's fucked up.

    This country is sinking because it's it's not about the quality. There is no craft anymore. Just a bunch of whining victims. I've got some lady sueing my condo building because she fell down in one of our perfectly clear and clean hallways. Pathetic. Trial lawyers and race-baters have destroyed this country.

    • this country rises and falls its leadership and its percentage of corruption.
  • registe0

    you being a woman and of african descent, your business set up is no different than mine (being white and male), however, there are more options and benefits to you if you plan to seek funding for anything you do, grant money can more easily flow your direction because of your sex and heritage

    • if there are all these options to help minorities then way don't we see more equality in the business sector.tredesigns
  • Honesty0

    Wow what an impressive portfolio full of banner ads, Shellie.

    Truly deserving of tax payer's money.

    • LOL... jeez. Sorry, this made me lulz.d_rek
    • lol @ thinking that's all she does. and fuck off for the shallow jabregiste
  • shellie0

    @Honesty im not taking any tax payer's money. That's not even how it works. It's just an extra certification like many other certification (via diversity, technical or clean energy certs, etc) that can get you priority on an agency vendor list. I may never actually work on a government project ever -- just more of the automotive, luxury goods, entertainment and insurance based projects I always have. You can argue whether or not that's a fair advantage, but I'm doing it and I figured there may be other's that had some experience with it on this board. It's a relevant topic, but surely one that people like you would turn into some shitfest of a thread and ruin any potential of exchanging real information.

    Btw Honestly, my portfolio is seriously outdated. That tends to happen when you're busy and I'm sure a lot of people here know what thats all about. Peep my work as a director -- my first music video and on MTV. http://on.mtv.com/ciPw0f < see the credits? Directed by The Graphic Foundation. What have you done lately?

    I shouldn't have to defend my work, but you were wrong to attack my credibility as a vendor or a person. And, you're dead wrong about taking money from tax payers. You're an idiot.

    • Extra certification? Certification that you're taking advantage of discrimination? Nice one.antagonista
  • Honesty0

    Shellie I was just trolling you, jeesh. No one here takes me seriously, I'm a fucking obvious bastard of a troll.

    The music video was interesting, not my style though.

  • scarabin0

    wait, so what's the point of it? so people looking to hire black designers can find you?

    i cannot imagine a client saying "man, i need a business card. better find me a certified black person"

    • < you didnt read what I wrote directly above. That's not how it works at all.shellie
  • GeorgesII0

    This is D I S C R I M I N A T I O N

    i don't even see why this has to be discussed,
    I would fuckn hate it if there was an organization that would employ me just because I'm a certain colour/sex/etc

    • it happens to you everyday if you are white. you just don't see it.tredesigns
    • @tredesigns nail on the head. There are other unspoken advantages & thats supposed to be ok I guess.shellie
  • ThePublics0


    "I don't know if you've noticed, but there's a shortage of minority owned businesses in general"

    No, not in general. Perhaps certain "minorities" own less businesses, but some minorities, ex - Koreans, probably own more than average. So I'd say it's anything but general.

    • Dumb point. The truth is simple, succeed on merit and you have nothing to worry about.antagonista
    • You got me on Koreans then. I've but NEVER worked for a minority owned design firm. I've worked or contracted with over 40 maybe.shellie
    • 40 maybe. Every single one was owned by white males. Maybe one female partner (maybe)shellie
  • Continuity0

    @shellie (and I'm not trolling you, just giving an honest outsider's opinion):

    'It's just an extra certification like many other certification (via diversity, technical or clean energy certs, etc) that can get you priority on an agency vendor list.'

    Well ... no. It's not like any other certification, for the very simple fact that it's based entirely on your skin colour, not capabilities. You cite technical and clean energy certification, which are based on a need to fulfill very specific requirements that are based on the product need itself. In other words, no company who doesn't offer clean energy products will get that certification, and can - therefore - not supply the government with the products they are looking to buy.

    That is certification based on merit, effectively.

    You work in advertising, like a lot of us here on the Qoob. Doesn't it make you feel a bit weird that you're on this vendors list solely on the basis of you skin colour, and not your portfolio?

    Scarabin nailed it with, 'i cannot imagine a client saying "man, i need a business card. better find me a certified black person"'; frankly, I can't either, it just floors me that this sort of thinking is so prevalent in the US.

    There _are_ cases where hiring a person of minority status is absolutely justified: for example, if you're doing work intended for a foreign market that needs to be in another language, chances are you'll want to at least try to find someone from that country to make sure the work is top quality, from the language perspective.

    Otherwise, I just can't see any other justification for singling out minorities like this.

    • *can - therefore - supply ...

      Fucking early mornings.
    • My point is that this whole notion seems so alien to me. I've never heard of anything else like this in any country I've lived in, and it was never an issue at all.Continuity
    • ... was never an issue at all.Continuity
    • @Continuity I was on the vendor list before getting my certification so no -- I don't feel weird.shellie
    • But thanks for not being a total dick about your response. I disagree w/you.shellie
  • antagonista0

    I would be embarrassed to use my ethnic status as a way to block out competitors from potential jobs. The idea is insane in any rational analysis, but the absurd way politicians pander in the US is pathetic and predictable.

    If a white candidate running against Obama got 90%+ of the white vote, the media would declare the nation racist. But when Obama gets 90%+ of the black vote it's....?

    Rome is burning. Shit like this is why. When are people going to unite and forget about all this shallow crap.

    • So you think its wrong to take a scholarship based on race? Happens all the time.shellie
  • antagonista0

    So here is my question: should the NBA begin an affirmative action program for white basketball players?

  • ukit0

    Rome is burning and the reason are a handful of government programs to help minorities?

    This is the same government that 50 years ago told black people they had to attend different schools, drink from different drinking fountains and basically live as second class citizens. So they tried to make up for past evils with a handful of programs like this. Maybe they've outlived their usefulness but you have to understand it in context. And let's face it, there are bigger problems in the world than this, lol.

  • formed0

    The big point is this is how the gov't does things (I'd put money on that even if Shellie isn't being directly paid by tax payers money, her clients are and require a percentage of the team to be DOB, this is probably a lot more common than people realize).

    It is a bureaucratic system to get tax payer money, lotsa waiting, lotsa hoops to jump through. But it is what it is, if you work it, you can take advantage of things and get business, if you don't, well, then you don't.

    Certainly not "fair", imho, but whatever....

    • @formed. Ur totally right. It's more for the agencies to keep their gov contracts and almost EVERY major agency does this.shellie
    • which was news to me. I just discovered this 8 months ago.shellie
  • vaxorcist0

    My GF works for an architecture firm that's minority (african-american) owned, and she herself is from south india.... her co-workers are or have been african-american as well as people from middle eastern countries, china and yes, there are a few anglo-americans working there on contract, but the firm is serious about not being a "front" organisation for a non-minority back-end, as often happens and violates the whole idea....

    The do a certain amount of govt work for things like schools and libraries that comes their way after filling out insanely detailed RFP's.... the hoops they go through sometimes seem to make them wonder if the MBE status is really worth it, but they did do somewhat better than other firms during the 2008-2009 downturn in the architecture world....

    So, it can sometimes be worth it, but the hoops you have to jump through are sometimes insane....

    • << thanks. I was actually talking about process and you're actually on topic. *phew*shellie
    • so they won't hire you if you are white?