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A Guide to Business Inclusion Programs in Government Contracting

In Fiscal 2022, the U.S. federal government spent $1.1 trillion of its approximately $6 trillion expenditure on contractual services and supplies alone. With state and local government contracted services considered, government contracting overall is a multi-trillion dollar sector. Navigating government contracting can seem like a daunting process; it is even more challenging for small and diverse businesses that may not have the capacity to dedicate an employee to understanding and navigating the system. Across the United States, programs and laws focused on including small businesses and diverse businesses in government contracting opportunities are available. This book is intended as a high-level guide to aid in understanding and navigating business inclusion programs and laws in government contracting at the federal, state, and local levels of government.

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Tisidra Jones

Why I Wrote the Book

Tisidra is a sought-after speaker, award-winning artist and lawyer who works at the intersection of access and equal opportunity. She is passionate about creating systems that may lead to more people thriving economically. Throughout her career, and in her current role as CEO of Strong & Starlike, Consulting, Inc. Tisidra was worked with government entities, hospitals, nonprofits, and businesses to design sustainable programs and policies related to economic development, economic opportunity, and business inclusion.

In Her Words-Why She Wrote the Book: After years of working with business owners and public sector employees I repeatedly heard people mention how it would be useful for them to have access to information on what is happening in business inclusion across the country in one place. I wanted to find a way to share as much information as I could to (1) help public sector employees learn from others doing the work and (2) to help business owners in navigating certification and business inclusion contracting programs.

Who Should Read It

This book is for the following:

  • Public Sector Employees

  • Hospital Supply Chain Professionals

  • Lawyers

  • Law Students

  • Business Owners, Chambers of Commerce, & Business Associations

Open Book

What to Expect

  • Summary of Certification Programs and Requirements: Highlights of the business inclusion certification programs, certification types available, and eligibility requirements for each.

  • Procurement Laws Intersecting with Business Inclusion: This section touches on laws that pertain to things such as bidding preferences, sheltered market programs, goals, good faith efforts, contracting awarding processes, prompt payment and various solicitation laws that are particular to small and diverse businesses.

  • Additional Related Laws, Policies, and Programs: This section may include laws, programs and policies related to access to capital, technical assistance, and finding contracting opportunities.

  • Major City Snapshot: Each state chapter highlights a major city’s business inclusion efforts


WHEN: Friday, January 26, 2024, 10:00 AM CST / 11:00 AM EST

WHERE: Virtual (Host-University of Minnesota)


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