June 7, 2019
Scott Peterson, Director of Communications, Office of Public Information, 202-277-9412
58 Howard County companies were represented at the certification event, aimed at increasing the amount of County dollars going to local businesses
ELLICOTT CITY – On June 4th, Howard County Executive Calvin Ball hosted Howard County’s first Local Business Certification Workshop, in partnership with the Office of Purchasing. The free event provided local business owners with assistance in the Howard County Procurement Process, the Local Business Initiative, and the Equal Business Opportunity (EBO) Program. The workshop aimed to increase the number of certified local businesses, to allow for more County project funds and grants to go to community businesses.
“The more than 9,900 businesses in Howard County serve as a pivotal driver in our local economy. That is why we are promoting our programs that keep as much money as possible right here in our community,” said Ball. “Programs like the Local Business Initiative and Equal Business Opportunity Program help us create a better, more innovative government, supported by local ideas and local work. Moving forward, Howard County government will put Howard County businesses first.”
The event drew 65 people representing 58 companies in Howard County. The Office of Purchasing reports 131 registered businesses in the Local Business Initiative and 749 certified businesses in the Equal Business Opportunity Program. The workshop also featured representatives from the Howard County Chamber of Commerce, Economic Development Authority, Meridian Management Group, Inc.
County Executive Ball held the workshop as a piece of his broader strategy to support small businesses and grow Howard County’s local economy. Earlier this year, Ball signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Howard County Economic Development Authority (HCEDA), for the Gateway Innovation Center in Columbia. The Center will provide programmatic platforms to support entrepreneurs and grow new and existing businesses. The sectors of focus will be cybersecurity technologies, healthcare IT and medical technologies, agricultural technologies, and government solutions providers. The Center is being launched to serve as a nexus of resources for innovation and small, minority, woman, and veteran-owned business creation and support.
In addition, Ball and his team of ambassadors celebrated Business Appreciation Week in April by visiting more than 150 local businesses to thank business owners and, most importantly, listen to their perspectives on how to strengthen the business climate in Howard County. That week also saw the announcement of Howard County’s AAA bond rating, reflecting stellar credit, low unemployment, and a strong, diverse workforce.
Photos from the workshop can be found below: