With all due respect to the employees of D.C.’s Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs, wouldn’t it be nice to launch a business in the District without ever having to come in contact with them?

Now, city entrepreneurs, you can. At least some of you.

The District on Monday went live with its D.C. Business Center, a one-stop online portal through which most city businesses, existing and prospective, can apply for a basic business license, renew a license, and become certified as a certified business enterprise. The system also allows users to look up business and professional licenses, corporate registrations and certified business enterprises by license number or business name.

Two years and $4 million in the making, the portal was designed by D.C.-based Limbic Systems to be TurboTax-like. At its core is a licensing wizard: After answering the wizard’s series of questions, it tells the applicant what licenses are needed and what supporting documents are required by DCRA, the steps to follow and the order they must be completed.

Documents and payment can be submitted electronically.

“We want customers to have the best experience possible,” said DCRA spokesman Matt Orlins. “What we hear from businesses constantly is that they’d rather do it online.”

There are roughly 56,000 active registered businesses in the District, whose dealings with the city’s leading regulatory and licensing agency have not always been pleasant. The portal release comes on the heels of Mayor Muriel Bowser’s weeklong visit with DCRA, a department city leaders believe “can operate more efficiently.”

For now, the new system focuses on the basic business licenses most frequently issued by DCRA — contractors, restaurants, general businesses, single-family rentals, and so on. It is not yet designed to be used for occupational and professional licenses such as CPAs, lawyers and doctors, or for vending and special event licenses, or for highly specialized BBLs such as bowling alleys, candy manufacturing, driving schools and the horse drawn carriage trade.

And a visit to DCRA’s headquarters in Southwest, a call to its customer service center, or a stop by any number of other agencies may still be needed to obtain a certificate of occupancy, or a corporate registration, or tax registration, or a health-related license or a building permit. The ultimate goal for the portal is to “include all District agencies that issue licenses, permits, or certifications; or perform inspections,” per DCRA. It is unknown what the next phase will include, or when it will be released.

“We don’t want to over promise,” Orlins said, “but we do think it’s a very significant release.”

*Michael Neibauer covers economic development, chambers of commerce, transportation and politics for the Washington Business Journal*

As you may know, NUCA’s 2017 Convention (March 4-6) will co-locate with CONEXPO-CON/AGG 2017 (March 7-11), one of the biggest construction shows on earth, for a winning Las Vegas combination!  We are also pleased to announce that the dazzling and renovated Palms Casino Resort is our host hotel. 
Our 2017 Convention Committee is busy finalizing an outstanding NUCA Convention program, including keynote speakers, educational breakouts, policy meetings, general sessions, outrageous parties, a golf outing, and our always popular teambuilding shindig.  While registration for the NUCA Convention is not open quite yet, here are some things you need to know right away.
  1. For discounted show passes, be sure to register for CONEXPO-CON/AGG through unique NUCA code-embedded registration links available only at www.nuca.com/convention.  
  1. When you register for the 2017 NUCA Convention, you will be able to register for CONEXPO-CON/AGG at a 36% discount ($54 off the standard fee) through 2/3/17.  We will let you know when 2017 NUCA Convention registration opens online and this special link becomes available.  Don’t jump the gun and miss the discount by registering for the show elsewhere!   
  2. For NUCA members and employees who will not attend the 2017 Convention but will attend the CONEXPO-CON/AGG show only, you will be able to register for the show at a 20% discount ($30 off the standard fee) through 2/3/17.  This discount is available now at www.nuca.com/convention.
NUCA member discounts for CONEXPO-CON/AGG education tickets are also available.
  1. We are pleased to offer discounted room rates at the Palms Casino Resort.  The rates vary by day: $129 (3/3 and 3/4), $59 (3/5 and 3/6) and $200 (3/7 through 3/11).  In addition, NUCA guests will save $10 off the daily resort fee.  For those who would like to book rooms now, the special Palms link is live at www.nuca.com/convention.

We hope to see you in Vegas in March!  If you have questions or need assistance, please let us know.

OSHA to increase penalties as of August 1, 2016

OSHA says the increase was mandated by Congress to bring penalties in line with inflation, and fines will continue to increase each year. New penalty levels will go into effect August 1, and any citations issued after that date will be subject to the new fines if the related violation occurred after November 2, 2015.  \

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The Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission’s (WSSC), SLMBE Office will be hosting following trainings:

The Appendix A Training will be held on Thursday, August 18, 2016.    You may also contact the SLMBE Office for more information at 301-206-8800.

 Understanding the SLMBE Appendix A for MBE/SLBE/SLMBE Participation & Good Faith Efforts Guide
WSSC Headquarters, RGH Building – Room LK 120
14501 Sweitzer Lane, Laurel, Maryland 20707

August 18th 9 a.m.–12 p.m.
September 15th 1 p.m.-4p.m.

DESCRIPTION: Appendix A is the section in WSSC Solicitations, which details MBE, SLBE and SLMBE participation on WSSC-funded contracts. All Prime Vendors/Suppliers are required to address subcontract participation determined by the SLMBE Office for proposals to be deemed responsible and responsive. This training course will help Vendors/Suppliers understand the information presented.

The target audience for this training includes, but is not limited to the following:
• ALL Vendors interested in doing business with WSSC
• First-Time Prime Vendors/Suppliers and/or Subcontractors

To register, visit www.wsscwater.com/SLMBE  and select “Event Calendar” from the side navigation.

“Diversity…just the way we do business”

Preparing a jobsite for construction often requires the removal of vegetation, trees, boulders, and rubbish that are located in the work area. It seems simple enough. All you need to do is get a bulldozer, skid-steer or front-end loader, push everything out of the way and you are ready to go, right? Wrong. The pros know that there is more to land clearing than that. They also know there are hazards and that safety is a major concern.


Grubbing is another part of a site clearing operation which requires the removal of roots and stumps. In some clearing operations it is also necessary to strip away the sod and topsoil. Clearing, grubbing, and stripping are accomplished with the help of heavy equipment. Hand and power tree-felling equipment are also routinely used. When preparing to clear a jobsite and determining what method(s) will be used, contractors must consider the acreage to be cleared, the density of the forest and vegetation, the effect of the terrain on equipment operation, the availability of equipment and trained personnel, and the time available to complete the job.

Contractors often subcontract large site clearing operations to site clearing excavation contractors who have trained workers and special equipment. Such equipment might include hydrobunchers equipped with tree shears and saws capable of cutting trees up to 30 inches in diameter, tree skidders that can bundle and transport logs and tree material, whole tree chippers that can gobble up and spit out trees up to 30 inches in diameter, and hydrastumpers that can grind stumps of all sizes into pulp.



Safety is a team effort that greatly depends on a strong working relationship between safety professionals (safety directors, coordinators, managers, etc.) and other managers in the company, ranging from the CEO to the supervisor in the field. There is no doubt that if a company is going to maintain an effective safety program, managers at all levels of the company need to partner with the safety professional. One of the most important partnerships a safety professional should strive to create is with the field supervisor. Although this is not a new concept, it is one that needs to be repeated –the field supervisor is critical to a successful safety program. If supervisors don’t buy in to the safety program, accidents are going to happen. Safety professionals should get to know the field supervisors because they are in the field daily, and research has shown they are closer to the workers. Supervisors know what is goin