Equal Business Opportunity Program

Howard County is committed to creating a more diverse and inclusive business environment.  Recognizing an active program of research, technical assistance, and procurement from Minority Business Enterprises (MBEs), Women Business Enterprises (WBEs) and Disabled Business Enterprises (DBEs) is essential to the realization of progressive social and economic development goals, Howard County encourages and promotes participation by MBEs, WBEs and DBEs in its procurement process through the Equal Business Opportunity (EBO) Program.

The EBO program regulates that 20% of the County's total dollar amount of all contracts be awarded directly to Minority, Woman-owned and Disabled-owned Business Enterprises (MBE/WBE/DBE) firms during each fiscal year. This includes consulting services, construction, professional services, and other procurements for goods and services. The Program also sets a subcontracting goal of 15% when a contract value is $50,000 or more annually. Certified MBE/WBE/DBE prime contractors can count 100% of the work they self-perform on contracts with EBO subcontracting goals.

Requests for assistance with this program should be directed to Mahesh Sabnani, EBO Coordinator, by phone at (410) 313-3694, or by email at msabnani@howardcountymd.gov.


Equal Business Opportunity (EBO) Certification

We strongly encourage minority-owned, women-owned, and disabled-owned businesses to complete the Equal Business Opportunity (EBO) Self-Certification Application.  In order to fill out an EBO Certification Application online click here.

Equal Business Opportunity (EBO) Directory

To search our database of certified vendors,  click here and select these certification types: Minority Business Enterprise (MBE), Women Business Enterprise (WBE) and Disabled Business Enterprise (DBE)


15% Subcontracting Goal on Contracts Valued at $50,000 or More

Howard County Code Section 4.122 established an Equal Business Opportunity program to foster overall equity and fairness to all citizens in relation to business enterprises conducting business with the County.

If a total contract award is $50,000 or more annually, the Prime Contractor shall make a genuine good faith effort to comply with the Howard County Equal Business Opportunity (EBO) program’s 15% subcontracting goal. The Prime Contractor shall make a good faith effort to obtain minority subcontractor participation even if the Prime Contractor has the capability to complete the work with its own workforce. Certified MBE/WBE/DBE prime contractors can count 100% of the work they self-perform on contracts with EBO subcontracting goals. The subcontracting goal percentage may vary if the contract is funded by a federal or state agency. 

Possible areas of obtaining subcontracting participation include, but are not limited to, flagging services, hauling, copying and printing, and the purchase of materials used in performing the contract. Contractors may use minority, women or disabled business enterprises certified by Howard County, Maryland; Maryland Department of Transportation; City of Baltimore, Maryland; or another certifying entity in order to satisfy the 15% subcontracting goal.

Directories of certified minority, women or disabled b