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Mayor Sarno and Officials Announce Partnership with State Supplier Diversity Office to Certify Diverse and Small Businesses

|   Business

Mayor Domenic J. Sarno, Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer Judi Crowell and Patrice ‘Chae’ Swan, Director of the Department of Technical Assistance and Compliance, joined with Commonwealth Supplier Diversity Office (SDO) Executive Director Bill McAvoy and Kristen Elechko, Governor Maura Healey’s Western Massachusetts Director for a special announcement that the City of Springfield will now offer state certification for local diverse and small businesses.

SDO is the state agency responsible for bringing diversity, equity and inclusion into the state’s bidding process.

Nani Assefa, Director of SDO Systems and Data Analytics, Wanda Colon-D’Angelo, Director of Diverse and Small Business Certification, and local small and diverse business owners were also in attendance.

The announcement, made today at City Hall, detailed how the City of Springfield will now certify local diverse and small businesses using the SDO’s systems and technology.  Springfield is only the second municipality, outside of Boston to offer this certification.  Certification is a free process which enables businesses to bid on state contracts (such as road maintenance and construction projects) and can help grow businesses that have been traditionally underserved.

“We are very excited to announce the SDO’s partnership with the City of Springfield,” said Bill McAvoy, Executive Director for the SDO. “This will give businesses in Springfield and Western Massachusetts more opportunities to receive the services and benefits that the SDO offers.”

In addition to being eligible to bid on state contracts, certification enables businesses to receive updates on upcoming projects of interest, free trainings, and invitations to networking events. Certified businesses are also added to the SDO’s Directory of Certified Businesses, which is used by state agencies and businesses to seek out vendors and partners for state contracts.

Mayor Domenic J. Sarno states, “I want to thank my Chief Development Officer Tim Sheehan and especially Patrice ‘Chae’ Swan, Director of the Department of Technical Assistance and Compliance, for their efforts working with the State Supplier Diversity Office to establish this unique and innovative partnership to provide our local small businesses with this certification initiative.  Upon completion of the requirements, those small businesses that become SDO certified will be eligible to bid on state contracts.  Besides Boston, Springfield is now the second municipality, and the only one in Western Massachusetts, to offer this program.  My administration is committed to providing as much opportunity as possible for our local businesses so that they can tap into potential new contracts and work, which will create and enhance more of that good four-letter word, JOBS!”

Under the partnership, employees of Springfield’s Department of Technical Assistance and Compliance will certify businesses in Western Massachusetts using the SDO’s registration system. They will follow the SDO’s certification policies and procedures and become a certifier of diverse businesses, which are classified as businesses owned by minorities, women, and veterans. They will also certify small businesses located in Massachusetts.

Under the agreement, both the SDO and the City of Springfield agree to accept each other’s diverse and small business certifications. The SDO has spent the last four months modifying their certification tracking system to enable outside employees to use the system when conducting certifications.

Interested businesses can apply through the Department of Technical Assistance and Compliance webpage under Administrative and Finance by visiting the City of Springfield website at:

Page last updated:  Tuesday, March 1, 2022 01:32 pm