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Register your veteran-owned business

WDVA provides a list

The State of Washington is conducting a Disparity Study for its utilization of minority-, women- and veteran-owned business enterprises. Photo credit: Washington State Department of Enterprise Services

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Small businesses are the backbone of the state economy -- about 99 percent of state businesses are small.

Washington small businesses employ 1.3 million workers, which is about 51 percent of Washington's total workforce. Many of these businesses are veteran-, women-, and minority-owned.

Ensuring these diverse businesses have contracting opportunities gives Washington state government access to a wider array of business solutions, helps drive innovation and strengthens our economic growth. Successful small businesses led by veterans, minorities, and women help make our economy and our families more resilient -- strengthening our communities and improving the quality of life for all Washingtonians.

Governor Inslee has directed agencies to do a certain amount of purchasing with diverse businesses, and even established a Business Diversity Subcabinet.

"We have set out to help agencies not only understand why doing business with diverse businesses is important, but also provide them with tools that will help facilitate real change," said Washington Department of Veterans Affairs Director, Alfie Alvarado-Ramos. "Part of this work includes improving data to better measure everything we purchase, whether through a contract or using a purchasing card."

In addition, a disparity study will be complete later this year that will provide information about how state government is doing when it comes to access for veteran-, minority-, and women-owned businesses in contracts and purchasing, as well as recommending strategies for ensuring diverse firms can participate.  Find out more about the Disparity Study by visiting

Whether you are a private citizen, or operate a business or nonprofit organization, chances are you make purchases from other businesses.

You can find a list of Washington state certified veteran-owned businesses on the WDVA website and a list of Certified Minority or Women Owned businesses at the Office of Minority and Women Business Enterprises website.

If you know of a veteran-owned business (VOB) that isn't certified, please contact your Washington Department of Veterans Affairs (WDVA) so they can reach out and connect directly to them.

Veteran or servicemember-owned business certification is free and the process is relatively easy to complete. In addition, certification makes a business eligible to apply for the Veterans Linked Deposit Program, which can improve access to capital for certified veteran and servicemember-owned business enterprises by decreasing interest rates on small business loans up to two percent!

To find the veteran-owned businesses in your community and to choose to shop veteran first, visit and make sure to click on the Washington Certified Veteran-Owned Business option.

If you know of, or you're a veteran and a business owner and want to become certified as a Washington State Veteran Owned Business, please contact the WDVA's VOB program at or call them at 360.725.2187.

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