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Guilford County helping minority businesses get bids for contracts

GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Sometimes we take for granted the work that goes into making a place like the J. Douglas Galyon Depot in Greensboro clean.

"Not just cleaned any kind of way, but there’s a method, there’s a technique to cleaning," President of Century Janitorial Services Plus Stephanie Oliver said.

Oliver says the road to getting where she is as a minority business owner employing 12 people wasn't squeaky clean.

"After a few challenges, I closed the business down and I restarted it last year," Oliver said.

She says she didn't have the right connections, but that turned around when she applied for Historically Underutilized Business certification last year.

"Helps them gain exposure for their business and gives them opportunity to do business with the state," Guilford County Diversity Coordinator Shelia Reaves-Willett said.

The county is offering workshops at the Nussbaum Center for Entrepreneurship in Greensboro on Tuesday, with sessions starting at 9 a.m., noon and 6 p.m. It will teach minority businesses how to apply for the certification.

"We’ll go over the benefits, we’ll go over how to fill out the application," Reaves-Willett said.

The certification gives businesses, like Oliver's, notifications when bids for any county or state project come up across North Carolina.

"If you don’t take advantage of what’s out there, how are you gonna be successful?" Oliver said.