Background

In September 2010 the Tri-County Council for Southern MD was awarded a 2nd round of funding from U.S. Department of Agriculture, Rural Development’s Rural Business Enterprise Grant program to further establish the efforts (phase II) of its regional small, Minority & Woman owned Business Opportunities Task Force (MBOT).

Ongoing data collection on the profile of our region’s small minority and women owned businesses is needed in order to provide services that will:

Increase Capacity – While small, minority/women owned firms in Southern MD are ideally positioned geographically to benefit from the development changes in the region, these businesses must possess the operational and financial capacity to meet the demands of these new business opportunities.  Thus, these firms require capability technical assistance.

Accelerate Access To Opportunity – To better position small, minority/women owned firms for the upcoming opportunities, improvements are needed in the general information flow for contracting opportunities.  Increased opportunities to develop procurement officer relationships and to gain exposure to prime contractors are a way to enhance the contracting information flow.  Thus, MBOT’s initiative will also focus on assisting businesses with pairing/matching with other firms to pursue contracting engagements. 

Leverage Technology – Given that Southern MD is a rural area, technology is an efficient means to create an online community of businesses able to access technical assistance resources, provide a centralized procurement listing and capture ongoing insight from web site viewers.