Upcoming Bid Opportunity with Skanska

Calling all Small, Women and Minority Owned Business Enterprises!

An upcoming bid opportunity session is being held by Skanska on November 16th, from 3-5pm at Parable in Tacoma for the Bryant Montessori project. Come to learn more about the specifications, timetables, and bidding for the project. Demo will start in May 2023. Packages to be released for bid late November or early December of 2022. Representatives from both, Tacoma Public Schools and the Skanska project team will be present.

Click here for registration and additional details.

Port of Seattle Business Accelerator Program Update

Congratulations to the Port of Seattle Business Accelerator Cohort for making it halfway through this year’s program.  The Council looks forward to seeing the cohort continue to develop and grow through the remaining learning sessions, best practice sharing, and mentorship.

Weeks one through five included in-depth engagement sessions and workshops highlighting topics such as, financial health, strategic communications and even a Regional Contracting Forum where participants got to engage with Corporate and Public Agencies. Other sessions included a business plan builder and infrastructure design panels covering accounting, legal and banking relationships. After the first 5 weeks of programming, the majority of the cohort associates have reported the beneficial growth of their organization in some form. Some of the cohort associates have reported winning new contracts, building new relationships, and exploring partnerships with their cohort peers.

“My experience with the Port of Seattle Business Accelerator Program to date has been great, affording the opportunity to learn from others as well as make meaningful networking connections. We are already partnering with one of my fellow cohort members!”

-Edward Buyers, Partner and Lead Consulting, ONIT Management Consulting

“The Business Accelerator has been a wealth of information and incredible networking opportunity– I look forward to improving our sales/ marketing approach to scale our material/ equipment procurement logistics services.” 

 -David Molina, Founder & CEO at Molinas Construction Company

During the remaining weeks the associates can expect more learning opportunities and engaging sessions such as, the general contracting panel, marketing collateral design workshop and additional learning sessions. These challenging sessions are bolstered with the help and leadership of mentors plus the willingness of cohort associates to accept feedback. The Council in collaboration with the Port of Seattle thank the 50+ individuals and companies that have contributed to the success of the 2022 Port of Seattle Business Accelerator Program.

Join us on Wednesday, November 16th for the Business Accelerator Graduation Ceremony as the Council and Port of Seattle celebrate the completion of the 2022 Programming!


Seeking Growth For Your Business? Apply to the PortGen Accelerator Today

The Northwest Mountain MSDC in collaboration with the Port of Seattle has officially opened applications for the PortGen Accelerator, an extensive two-month business development program for minority-owned small businesses in Seattle!
The program launches September 7th and will seek businesses with 2+ years of experience in the construction, A&E, electrical, specialty services and general goods and services industries (Or demonstrate C level experience in similar business). The PortGen accelerator will aim to support businesses in Seattle, South King County, and surrounding areas.

Turner Construction Launches TCSM Program

Turner School of Construction Management Program

The Turner Construction Company is excited to launch the Turner School of Construction Management Program! The 5 week, 9-course program is set to begin September 6th, where attendees will meet every Tuesday and Thursday.

Click here, to view the full program details and see how you can apply today!

2022 Leadership & Advocacy Awards


The Northwest Mountain MSDC recognizes excellence in performance annually. On April 14th, we celebrated outstanding corporate and individual supplier diversity leadership and advocacy achievements in 2021, a year in which individuals and corporations exemplified Resurging Partnerships.

Congratulations to all our Award Winners!

Advocacy Awards:
Presented to individuals who exemplify an unselfish commitment to Minority Business Enterprise Development.

John A. Gilmore Award:
Shahzad Qadri, Wong Fleming Attorneys at Law
Robert L. Ryan Award:
Josh Canady, Microsoft Corporation
Phyllis Gutierrez Kenney Award:
Michael Verchot, University of Washington Foster School of Business
Leadership Awards: 
Presented to Minority Business Enterprises that deliver excellence in performance and value to private or public sector customers.
Class 1 Supplier of the Year – Annual Revenues up to $1M dollars:
Class 2 Supplier of the Year – Annual Revenues between $1M – $10M dollars:
Class 3 Supplier of the Year – Annual Revenues between $10M – $50M dollars:
Class 4 Supplier of the Year – Annual Revenues above $50M:
Leadership Awards: 
Presented to the Public Agency and Private Sector Corporations that commit and live the practice of Minority Business Enterprise inclusion.
Public Agency of the Year:
Regional Corporation of the Year:
National Corporation of the Year:
Partnership Award:
Presidents Award
Edelmira “Abby” Martinez
To view the presentation, click here: 2022 Leadership & Advocacy Awards Presentation




Port of Seattle Seeking Proposals for Catering Services for the Sea-Tac Airport Conference Center

The Port of Seattle is seeking to engage a  Contractor who will have the exclusive rights to provide food and beverage services to The Conference Center at SeaTac Airport. The majority of catering services ordered will consist of coffee service, breakfast buffets, AM & PM breaks, and lunch buffets for business meetings. However, the Conference Center may also host dinners and special events throughout the year. The selected Contractor shall have the experience and capability to provide a variety of catering options, including, but not limited to, buffets and plated meals. Menus shall specifically include options for vegetarian, vegan, dairy-free, and gluten free diets.

The Contractor shall provide catering services with staffing seven days a week for meetings and events held between 6:00 AM and 10:00 PM; and occasionally other hours as scheduled. The Contractor shall have the capability to provide services for several concurrent meetings a day and provide for the occasional day-of or pop-up meetings; add on catering orders in a timely manner. Some days there are four or more meetings that require catering services at the same time, other days, there may be one or no meetings that require catering service/s.

PROPOSAL DUE DATE: 04/13/2022 2:00 p.m. Pacific Time

Click here for RFP Abstract and more info.

2020 NWMMSDC Economic Report

The NWMMSDC has released it’s 2020 Economic Impact Report! This report showcases in-depth statistics highlighting the growth, contribution and overall economical impact as it relates to MBE’s in the region. These unique statistics display how our MBE’s and Corporate Members add value to communities and increase economic opportunities for minority businesses.


Click here to view the full document.



3 Ways Your Business Plan Can Help You Make More Money (Without Going Crazy)

Ricardo Ibarra of Trio Group discusses how a well-crafted business plan can take your small business to new heights.

[embedyt] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dlmu6sKgmzM[/embedyt]


· “Without an effective business plan, your business is like a ship leaving the harbor without a map. It’s easy to get thrown off course by the currents of busy work or distracted by islands in the sea and their promise of riches.”

· Ready to grow your business? In this video, learn why it’s important to use your business plan instead of forgetting it on a shelf.

· “‘Shiny object syndrome’ affects business owners more than most. The key is to evaluate those business opportunities through the lens of your business plan and the strategic direction it sets.”

· Start now to refresh or write your business plan so you have a strategic guide to growing and scaling your business.

· Watch the video to get the full training. · Not sure how to fix your business? Download the FREE Small & Minority Business Checkup for the 10 questions you must ask to help you get your business back on track and thriving.

Video Transcript 

Many small business owners think of their business plan as something they only need when applying for a bank loan. Those same business owners are missing out on an incredible opportunity for growth. That’s because your business plan is the roadmap for your business success.

Without an effective business plan, your business is like a ship leaving the harbor without a map. It’s easy to get thrown off course by the currents of busy work or distracted by islands in the sea and their promise of riches. What the most successful small business operators know is that by sticking to their well-crafted business plan and executing only the mission-critical activities, they can grow and scale without all the headache and overwhelm that comes from winging it. Plus, if you’re like me and are a business leader who didn’t go to business school, chances are you’re learning as you’re leading. Take a moment to congratulate yourself for all the success you’ve enjoyed up to this point. Let’s agree that operating a business is tough work and the fact that you’re here demonstrates your commitment to being a great business operator for your clients, your employees, and of course the people who depend on you.

Even for the folks who do have business degrees or formal training, operating a business is always a learning experience because the real world is a lot messier and has far more twists and turns than any textbook or course. No matter where you are on your business journey or what your level of expertise, your business plan is the first step in taking your business to the next level. Now that you understand how important it is to have and reference your business plan, let’s dive into the three ways your business plan can help you make more money without going crazy.

Number one. Your business plan eliminates the guesswork of day-to-day operations. That’s because at its core a business plan is a strategic document that outlines the direction of your company. The very act of writing a business plan forces you to say yes to some things and no to others.

When my principals at Trio Group and I made the decision to focus on serving only two core audiences, public agencies and disadvantaged small businesses, our business took off! That’s because before, we weren’t really known for anything. We were Jacks and Jills of all trades, but because we were trying to be helpful to everyone, we never stood out. Now that we’ve narrowed the focus of who we serve to just public agencies and small disadvantaged businesses, we’re known for that. People immediately understand how we can help them solve their problems.

Here’s how this looks in action. Take some time to review your business plan and create a “yes and no list.” Does your business plan clearly outline the people, opportunities, markets, and products or services you are saying “YES” to? Does it also outline who and what you are saying “NO” to?

For those of you who may not have a business plan right now, or your plan is too old to be helpful, don’t worry. I’ve created a free business checkup tool to help you evaluate the strength and effectiveness of your business. You can download it free by clicking the link below.

Number two. Your business plan helps you identify partnerships and supporters to boost your business growth. As your business grows and you meet new people, you’ll be presented with lots of opportunities. This can be a blessing or a curse. Have you ever said yes to an opportunity only to realize it wasn’t as lucrative as you had hoped? Or, did you chase the new opportunity at the expense of becoming masterful at your own core offering? “Shiny object syndrome” affects business owners more than most. The key is to evaluate those business opportunities through the lens of your business plan and the strategic direction it sets. I recently had the pleasure of working with a small business owner who was in the IT staffing space. His company’s expertise is in Microsoft Azure and related cloud computing. Because of his network and success, he was approached by another firm who asked if he could provide staffing services for administrative support. After careful consideration, this small business owner chose to turn down the opportunity because he wants his company to be known as the Pacific Northwest’s best IT staffing firm. Without the clarity of who his business serves, he would have said yes to the opportunity and simultaneously taken his attention away from his core value proposition.

On the other hand, well-formed partnerships can dramatically grow your business by exposing your offering to new customers, a new geographic area, or greatly reduce the costs of doing business. Here are three ways to evaluate potential partnership opportunities:

The first is internal alignment. Why are you pursuing this opportunity? What is the need or desire behind seeking the partnership? The second is strategic alignment. What are the goals, objectives, and ideal outcomes for the partnership? The final is the partnership structure. Who manages, what does each partner contribute, and how do the partners benefit? The third way your business plan can help you make more money is understanding your business finances and what to watch. I know that money isn’t most peoples’ favorite topic but it’s a key component of your business plan. By going through the exercise of identifying your financial goals and writing your budget, you’ll be better prepared to run a successful business than most other small business owners. That’s because many operators would rather avoid the sticky subject of money than approach it with a calm, rational plan. Plus, a business plan can help you prepare for your business growth and point out hidden areas where your business may be costing you.

So there you have it. Three ways your business plan can help your business grow without feeling overwhelmed. Your business plan should be a living, breathing document that guides your day to day operations, help you identify partnerships and supporters, and paint a clear and compelling financial future for your business. If you’ve recognized that you need to boost your business with a more effective plan, be sure to check out the free Small & Minority Business Checkup tool, available at the link.

About the TAS Program

The City of Seattle and Northwest Mountain Minority Supplier Development Council (Northwest Mountain MSDC) have partnered in the development and launch of the City of Seattle’s Technical Assistance Services program. This program is designed to support small businesses in the development of their capabilities thereby making them more competitive.

This program is sponsored by the City of Seattle and hosted by the Northwest Mountain MSDC. For more information, visit the TAS webpage.

About the Presenter

Ricardo Ibarra combines over 15 years of marketing and business experience to help small and minority-owned businesses thrive in today’s digital economy. Combining his signature energetic style with the latest marketing strategies, Ricardo has helped dozens of small and disadvantaged business enterprises reach new clients, launch new products, and gain a sense of confidence as they grow their business.

Small Business Flex Fund for Washington Businesses

On June 30th the Small Business Flex Fund was launched as a joint project between the Washington State Department of Commerce, Heritage Bank, and WaFd Bank. The Fund helps small businesses and nonprofits access the financial support they need to thrive by providing flexible working capital loans

Small businesses and nonprofits can borrow up to $150,000 and the money can be spent flexibly, including on payroll, utilities & rent, supplies, marketing & advertising, building improvements or repairs, and other business expenses. Interest rates are 3% – 4.5%, with no fees & interest-only payments for the first year. Loan terms of 60 month and 72 months available.

The qualifications to apply are:
  • Business headquartered in Washington
  • Fewer than 50 employees
  • Annual revenues of less than $3 million
  • Experienced direct economic hardship due to COVID-19
To learn more and apply today, visit smallbusinessflexfund.org and review the program brochure here.