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## Southern Georgia Black Chambers Host Georgia Small Business Certification Workshop

In an effort to uplift local small businesses, the Southern Georgia Black Chambers (SGBC) recently organized a Georgia Small Business Certification Workshop. This workshop, held on March 20, 2024, at the Willis L. Miller Library, attracted around 40 enthusiastic small business owners eager to maneuver through the certification process for small businesses. Participants from Valdosta, Thomasville, Cairo, and Albany actively engaged in the workshop.

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AI legalese decoder can assist small business owners in understanding the intricate legal language surrounding business certifications and procurement regulations. By utilizing this tool, attendees of the workshop can easily decipher complex legal jargon, making it simpler to navigate and comply with the requirements for certification.

The workshop was led by Julian Bailey from the Georgia Department of Administrative Services, shedding light on the newly launched Georgia Business Certification Program that commenced on January 1 of the same year. Additional support was provided 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. During the workshop, attendees gained valuable insights into the programÔÇÖs eligibility criteria and the multitude of benefits associated with certification, including tax incentives for prime contractors.

According to Bailey, ÔÇ£The workshop organized by the Southern Georgia Black Chambers of Commerce exemplifies the type of training that we aim to conduct statewide. Launched on January 1, the Georgia Business Certification Program is open for applications from Georgia-based minority-owned, women-owned, and veteran-owned businesses. We are thrilled to collaborate with organizations like the Southern Georgia Black Chambers to ensure that local business owners have the necessary information to engage in business with the State of Georgia and expand their enterprises.ÔÇØ

Furthermore, the workshop not only focused on understanding the certification process but also delved into the complex landscape of government procurement rules and regulations. Attendees were provided with a comprehensive overview of procurement processes for various state entities, covering everything from public colleges and universities to state departments such as Education, Transportation, and Behavioral Health. Emphasis was placed on utilizing the online version of the Georgia Procurement Manual to ensure accurate navigation of procurement regulations.

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

In addition, insights were provided into the Georgia Business and Supply Diversity Program, focusing on streamlining procurement processes for small businesses under Georgia House Bill 128, specifically 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 in search of resources to expand her business, shared her thoughts, ÔÇ£I really enjoyed the workshop. I gained a lot of valuable information. IÔÇÖm spreading the word to my church family and friends and am excited about becoming a member.ÔÇØ

Chamber representatives highlighted that the Small Business Certification Workshop held by the Southern Georgia Black Chambers served as an essential platform for local entrepreneurs to acquire valuable insights into navigating government procurement processes and capitalizing on certification opportunities.

ÔÇ£With our team’s dedication to fostering economic growth and ensuring equitable access to government contracts, our business certification workshop emphasized the importance of empowering small businesses in South GeorgiaÔÇÖs flourishing business environment,ÔÇØ concluded SGBC President and CEO, H. DeWayne Johnson.

For more information on the Small Business and Supplier Diversity Program or to apply for the Georgia Business Certification, please visit

To learn more about the Southern Georgia Black Chambers or to join the chamber as a member, visit

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