//SGBC hosts GA Business Certification Workshop

SGBC hosts GA Business Certification Workshop

Share with friends

VALDOSTA – The Southern Georgia Black Chambers recently hosted a Georgia Business Certification Workshop to help small business owners.


In a bid to bolster local small businesses, the Southern Georgia Black Chambers (SGBC) recently hosted a Georgia Small Business Certification Workshop. Held on March 20, 2024, at the Willis L. Miller Library, the workshop drew approximately 40 eager small business owners keen on navigating the certification process for small businesses. Individuals from Valdosta, Thomasville, Cairo, and Albany participated in the workshop. 

Conducted by Julian Bailey from the Georgia Department of Administrative Services, the workshop shed light on the recently launched Georgia Business Certification Program, initiated by the state on January 1 of the same year. The event was supported by Small Business Liaison Heather Craft, from Valdosta State University Office of Accounting & Procurement, and CPA Antolina Pilgrim, from Valdosta State University Office of Financial Services. Attendees gained insights into the program’s eligibility criteria and the myriad benefits that come with certification, including tax incentives for prime contractors.

According to Bailey, “The workshop hosted by the Southern Georgia Black Chambers of Commerce is a perfect example of the kind of training that we are looking forward to conducting across the state. Implemented on January 1, the Georgia Business Certification Program is accepting applications from Georgia-based minority-owned, women-owned, and veteran-owned businesses. We are excited about partnering with organizations such as the Southern Georgia Black Chambers to ensure that local business owners get information to do business with the State of Georgia to grow their businesses.”

The workshop wasn’t just about understanding the certification process; it also delved into the intricate landscape of government procurement rules and regulations. Attendees received a comprehensive overview of the procurement processes for various state entities, ranging from public colleges and universities to state departments like Education, Transportation, and Behavioral Health. Emphasis was placed on the significance of accessing the online version of the Georgia Procurement Manual, ensuring accuracy in navigating procurement regulations.

The workshop highlighted the procurement process for goods and products, with a focus on the utilization of statewide contracts and the tiers within the procurement system. Attendees were enlightened on the bidding process, including the use of RFQs, RFPs, and RFIs, and the importance of the Georgia Procurement Registry for accessing bid opportunities.

The session also covered platforms like the Georgia procurement marketplace, an essential tool for bidding and procurement activities. Attendees were encouraged to register on the platform to effectively respond to bid opportunities. The workshop also stressed the importance of attending pre-bid conferences to ensure compliance with bid requirements and enhance bid success.

In addition, the workshop provided insights into the Georgia Business and Supply Diversity Program, focusing on streamlining procurement processes for small businesses, under Georgia House Bill 128, especially those owned by women, minorities, and veterans. Attendees gained an understanding of other resources available to support underrepresented businesses.

Subrina Wilson, who traveled from Thomasville seeking resources to grow her business commented, “I really enjoyed the workshop. I learned a lot of information. I’m telling my church family and friends and look forward to becoming a member.” 

According to chamber representatives, the Small Business Certification Workshop organized by the Southern Georgia Black Chambers served as a pivotal platform for local entrepreneurs to gain valuable insights into navigating government procurement processes and leveraging certification opportunities. 

“With our team’s commitment to fostering economic growth and equitable access to government contracts, our business certification workshop underscored the importance of empowering small businesses in South Georgia’s thriving business landscape,” concluded SGBC President and CEO, H. DeWayne Johnson. 

For information on the Small Business and Supplier Diversity Program or to apply for the Georgia Business Certification, visit www.doas.ga.gov.

For information on the Southern Georgia Black Chambers or to become a member of the chamber, visit www.sgablackchambers.org.