Central (CERT) Certification Program

About the CERT Program

CERT Logo 2016

The Central Certification (CERT) Program is a small business certification program recognized by Hennepin County, Ramsey County and The City of Saint Paul. The CERT Program includes certification for Minority-Owned Business Enterprise (MBE), Women-Owned Business Enterprise (WBE), and Small Business Enterprise (SBE).

We are committed to helping small businesses grow and thrive and, as a result of our commitment, this central system exists to assist small businesses, including those owned and operated by women and minorities.

The CERT Program seeks to promote market growth, increase competitiveness, and create jobs among participating businesses, as well as to improve the quality of life for area residents.

The City of Saint Paul currently serves as the contact point for the CERT Program. (The previous website govcontracts.org now redirects to this website.)

To find out if your business is eligible for CERT certification, view the Eligibility Criteria and the Small Business Size Standards website.

Get Certified – Apply Online

Apply for CERT Certification for your small business.

CERT Business List

Please click HERE to see a list the most current businesses that are certified as either Small, Woman-owned, Minority-owned Business Enterprise (S/W/MBE) or a combination of these certifications where applicable.

Access CERT Directory

Registration Required. Login, click “Search”>> then click “Certified Vendors” to search directory of CERT certified small businesses.  Accessing the directory allows for searches, but does not have importing functionality.

New Registration

Register to create a new login for access to the CERT system. Need assistance logging in and accessing the CERT system? Visit CERT system help .

Certification Application Forms

Paper applications are no longer accepted. To apply, please register and submit an online application.  For further assistance or additional questions, contact the CERT Certification Specialist.

Monthly CERT Workshop at the Rondo Community Library

These monthly workshops are aimed at assisting the owners of established small businesses with Applying and/or Re-apply for CERT Certifications through a hassle-free, expedited process. The workshops are primarily for obtaining one-on-one assistance with your application.

As an added resource to small business owners, the CERT workshop will also have representatives from the City of St. Paul's Procurement Department and Ramsey County Procurement Department on hand to assist with registration for their online vendor portals and information about the bidding process for each respective organization.  The Small Business Administration's SCORE Program (Service Corp Of Retired Executives) and LegalCORPS, will also be present to provide free legal service for non-litigation matters to assist business owners with any general business question, need, or request for assistance.

These events happen on the 4th Wednesday of each month at the Rondo Community Library, located at 461 Dale St. North, St. Paul, MN 55104.  Times are 1:30 to 4:15 PM.  For any questions regarding these events please see FLYER or contact CERT at 651-266-8968.  To register for the workshop, please go here.

New CERT Extended Term Program

The Extended Term Program extends the certification period for a recently graduated business that was previously CERT certified as a small (SBE), small woman-owned (WBE), and/or small minority-owned (MBE) business enterprise.  The Extended Term Program is only available to Sector 23 “Construction” businesses.  For detailed information about the Extended Term Program, please click on the following links:

  1. The Extended Term Program Overview & Guidelines
  2. The Extended Term Program Status Application
  3. Extended Term Program Mentor-Mentee Application & Sample Forms-Spring 2016