Achieving a Diversity Designation Through the Alliance

May 30, 2023 9:29 am

The North Shore Alliance for Economic Development has created a Diversity Directory with the goal of improving equity and diversity in both the public and private sectors across the North Shore of Massachusetts. 

In order to participate in the North Shore Alliance’s Diversity Directory, businesses must meet two criteria that include business location on the North Shore of Massachusetts and having at least 51% ownership by a list of potential minority categories. 

Let’s look at these criteria a little closer and go through the steps for your business to achieve a diversity designation through the North Shore Alliance. 

Business Location Criteria 

In order to be listed on the Alliance’s Diversity Directory, businesses must be located within the North Shore region which includes the following towns: 

  • Amesbury
  • Beverly
  • Boxford
  • Danvers
  • Essex
  • Georgetown
  • Gloucester
  • Groveland
  • Hamilton
  • Ipswich
  • Lynn
  • Lynnfield
  • Manchester-by-the-Sea
  • Marblehead
  • Middleton
  • Nahant
  • Newbury
  • Newburyport
  • Peabody
  • Revere
  • Rockport
  • Rowley
  • Salem
  • Salisbury
  • Saugus
  • Swampscott
  • Topsfield
  • Wenham
  • West Newbury
  • Winthrop


Ownership Criteria 

Businesses located in at least one of the 30 communities on the North Shore that ALSO have at least 51% of the ownership team in at least one of the following categories will qualify.

  • Immigrant
  • Lesbian
  • Gay
  • Bisexual and Transgender persons/people (LGBTQIA)
  • Black/African American
  • Hispanic or Latino (Central/South American or Caribbean)
  • American Indian/Alaskan Native
  • Asian
  • Native Hawaiian/ Other Pacific Islander
  • Person/people with a (dis)ability
  • Service-Disabled Veteran, Veteran, and/or 
  • Woman/Women

Businesses who believe they qualify under these two criteria and would like to be considered for this Diversity Directory must submit a completed registration form.

State of Massachusetts Diversity Designation 

If you are interested in achieving a Diversity Certification as a Massachusetts-based business, here’s some more information on how to apply. 

The Supplier Diversity Office certifies companies as Massachusetts Minority Business Enterprises (MBE), Women Business Enterprises (WBE), Veteran Business Enterprises (VBE), and Portuguese Business Enterprises (PBE).

To begin the process of applying for this state certification, businesses must show a principal place of business in Massachusetts and must attend a mandatory, two-hour pre-certification workshop before applying for certification. 

According to, the Supplier Diversity Office will investigate each business to ensure that they meet applicable legal requirements. Under state regulations as defined in 425 CMR 2.00, the applicant firm must prove it is at least 51% owned and dominantly controlled by adult minority, women, Portuguese, or veteran principals who are U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents. 

National Diversity Certifications 

In addition to the State of Massachusetts certification program, many organizations nationwide offer certification. Some of these include: 


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