State of Maryland Hosts 5th Annual Business Opportunities & Entrepreneurial Training Summit for Small, Minority, Women, & Veteran-Owned Businesses
BALTIMORE, MD – The Maryland Department of General Services (General Services), the Maryland Department of Transportation (Transportation), and the University System of Maryland (University System) today hosted the sold-out 5th Annual Business Opportunities and Entrepreneurial Training Summit. The summit, held at the Turf Valley Conference Center in Ellicott City, is a premier event for small, local, and minority-, women-, and veteran-owned businesses, attracting over 500 businesses from across the state. The theme of this year’s event, “Get Connected,” highlights the Hogan-Rutherford administration’s commitment to increasing the number of these businesses contracting with the state.
“Our administration is committed to connecting small, local, minority, women, and veteran-owned businesses to resources that will help them grow, succeed, and create even more jobs for Marylanders,” said Governor Larry Hogan. “These businesses are the backbone of our economy and their continued growth is vital to the economic future of our state.”
Lt. Governor Boyd K. Rutherford opened the conference to address more than 500 small business owners. The lieutenant governor highlighted the administration’s focus on making Maryland more “Open for Business” through the efforts of the Office of State Procurement and the eMaryland Marketplace Advantage, the state’s new e-procurement platform.
“This summit will help ensure that small, local, women-owned, minority-owned, and veteran-owned business get their fair share of the billions of dollars in contracts that the state has to offer,” said Lt. Governor Boyd K. Rutherford. “This is the perfect opportunity for those businesses to “Get Connected” with state project managers.”
Maryland is committed to expanding opportunities for businesses to connect with state decision makers and project managers to learn about upcoming contracting opportunities. Together, the Departments of Transportation, General Services, and the University System offer over $3 billion in contracting opportunities. The summit also offered a variety of training workshops and panel discussions for registered attendees.
“This summit is a valuable resource to address the needs of Maryland’s business community by identifying available opportunities,” said General Services Secretary Ellington Churchill. “Our department is committed to building on the success of past summits and further proving that Maryland is open for business.”
General Services’ Office of State Procurement held a special session about the benefits of the new eMaryland Marketplace Advantage (eMMA) and how businesses can use the system to participate in contracting opportunities. eMMA experts will be available to provide an overview of system functions including vendor registration, profile maintenance, and how to respond to solicitations.
“The Maryland Department of Transportation has an unprecedented number of projects across Maryland,” said Transportation Secretary Pete Rahn. “Our project directors and procurement managers from all of our transportation business units are here to provide firsthand information on these projects.”
Transportation invited eligible businesses to participate in the innovative Opportunity MDOT workshop, which will create job access and Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) participation, via partnerships between contractors, consultants, and the Public-Private Partnership (P3) industry. In the I-495 & I-270 P3 Program, Transportation will partner with P3 developers to provide smaill, women, minority and disadvantaged business inclusion and on-the-job training opportunities.
“The University System of Maryland is proud to once again partner with our state agency partners to support our ongoing efforts to ensure Maryland’s small and minority-owned businesses have the knowledge and support they need to effectively compete for procurement opportunities,” said Chancellor Robert Caret.
About DGS: The Department of General Services is responsible for essential services and programs administered on behalf of the state, including procuring goods and services; designing, building, leasing, managing and maintaining facilities; leading energy conservation efforts; and providing essential services such as fuel management, disposition of surplus property and records management. The Department of General Services Maryland Capitol Police maintains safety and security at state buildings.