The Imperial Valley Association of Governments is sponsoring a seminar to help small, minority-owned businesses become certified as disadvantaged business enterprises.
The certification gives small businesses an advantage when competing for government contracts, association administrator Rosa Lopez said.
Said county Public Works Director Tim Jones: "When we receive money from the federal government, one requirement we have to meet is to have a disadvantaged business plan. If we don't have this plan in place, the federal government says, ‘You won't get money from us.'"
Certification gives everyone a chance to participate, Jones said.
Lopez said trucking businesses have been asking for years how to be certified. Local city and county officials see there is a demand and would like to give local small firms a chance to compete.
"We don't have too many certified small, minority businesses down here. We usually have to go to San Diego or Riverside County," she said.