The Office of Veterans and Military Families recognizes the growing needs of the more than 20,000 veterans and active duty members who call Howard County home. With the various programs and services offered within our government, nonprofit and business community, we assist in the navigation of available resources.

The Department of Community Resources and Services “No Wrong Door” policy can help identify scams targeting military members, assist a disabled veteran or veteran caregiver with services, help a homeless veteran find housing, and assist a relocating military family with childcare options.


Commission for Veterans and Military Families

Established in 2011 by County legislation, the Commission is comprised of 13 members, and created to support veterans and military families by strengthening Howard County’s capacity to care for them. By connecting them to available resources, promoting educational and employment opportunities, and continuing community outreach efforts, we are committed to honoring our veteran and military families.

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Additional Resources


Veterans Resource Directory


The Veterans and Military Families Resource Directory provides a comprehensive list of services providing specialized support for veterans in education, healthcare, recreation, housing, behavioral health, job training, VA benefits, and more.  


Veteran Employment Resources for Spouses and Transitioning Service Members


If you are a transitioning member of the military, a veteran or a military spouse or caregiver, and are looking for employment, OVMF has compiled  has complied a comprehensive list of employment resources. Click below for details. 


Veteran Small Business Support


Veteran-Owned Small Business Registration (VetBiz) - Every year, the U.S. Federal Government allocates $500 billion for contracts. They also have the goal of spending 3% of this sum on service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses (SDVOSB). When opportunities designated to these set-asides are posted, you will get moved to the front of the line for bidding. Although not a set-aside, the veteran-owned small business (VOSB) certification has its own array of benefits. This includes access to resources offered by the Office of Veterans Business Development (OVBD). This includes exclusive funding opportunities and entrepreneurship training programs.

If you are a veteran business owner, registering in the Vendor Information Pages (VIP) is one of the best investments you can make. 

Simple steps for achieving your VA Veteran Owned Business Verification (Assoc of Procurement Technical Assistance)

The National Center for Veteran Institute for Procurement (VIP) trains veteran service-disabled and veteran-owned small businesses to succeed in the federal contracting market. VIP provides comprehensive training to owners, principals, and c-level executives of veteran-owned businesses nationwide over a 27-hour, 3-day period, residential program at no cost to veterans. The program takes place at the Bolger Center in Potomac Maryland. Enrollment is open for VIP START (designed for companies wanting to enter the federal market and become procurementready) and VIP GROW (designed for veteran owned businesses who are already in the federal space to increase their ability to win government contracts). 

Maryland Department of Commerce, the state's primary economic development agency, stimulates private investment and creates jobs by attracting new businesses, encouraging the expansion and retention of existing companies, and providing workforce training and financial assistance to Maryland companies. Commerce also promotes the state's many commercial advantages and its outstanding quality of life to spur economic development, international investment, trade and tourism. https://commerce.maryland.gov/

Maryland Business Resources

Military Personnel and Veteran-owned Small Business Loan Program (MPVSBLP) provides no interest loans of up to $50,000, from one to eight years, for businesses owned by military reservists, veterans, National Guard personnel and for small businesses that employ or are owned by such persons.

The Maryland Procurement Technical Assistance Center (MDPTAC) provides counseling to MD businesses, a state with over 580,000 businesses of all sizes, in the government contracting area.

The State's Veteran Owned Small Business Enterprise (VSBE)  provides contracting opportunities on state-funded procurements for qualified veteran-owned small businesses. Sixty-five agencies/departments are directed to spend at least 1% of the total dollar value of their procurement contracts either directly (prime contractors) or indirectly (subcontractors) with certified VSBE firms. Only the work of a certified VSBE firm can be counted toward meeting an established VSBE contract goal. All solicitations over $200,000 are reviewed to consider placing a VSBE goal on them. https://veterans.maryland.gov/veteran-owned-small-business/ Businesses seeking to participate in the VSBE Program must (1) meet the size standards adopted by the United States Small Business Administration in 13 C.F.R. 121.201 and any subsequent revision of that regulation, and; (2) must be at least 51% owned and controlled by one or more individuals who are veterans. A veteran is defined as an individual who is verified as having served on active duty in the armed forces of the United States, other than for training, and was discharged or released under conditions other than dishonorable.

Businesses seeking to participate in the VSBE Program must (1) meet the size standards adopted by the United States Small Business Administration in 13 C.F.R. 121.201 and any subsequent revision of that regulation, and; (2) must be at least 51% owned and controlled by one or more individuals who are veterans. A veteran is defined as an individual who is verified as having served on active duty in the armed forces of the United States, other than for training, and was discharged or released under conditions other than dishonorable.

Certification as a VSBE vendor requires 2 elements:

(1) Veteran Verification – The veteran verification process includes, but may not be limited to completion and submission of DD Form 214, Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty. Veteran status must be verified by one of the following entities: (1) VSBE Program Verification of Veteran Status Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs (2) Center for Validation and Evaluation (VetBiz) United States Department of Veterans Affairs Complete information regarding the verification process can be found by utilizing the website links provided above.

(2) Vendor Registration – VSBE firms must complete the vendor registration in eMaryland Marketplace Advantage (eMMA), Maryland’s eProcurement platform. Vendors registered in eMMA receive email notices of procurement opportunities available across all state agencies/departments valued over $15,000. County and local governments use the platform to advertise their procurements as well. There is no cost to register in eMMA. During the registration process, vendors who meet the VSBE Program ‘s eligibility standards should select VSBE under the Procurement Programs category and enter your verification number in the box provided. If you do not have a verification number at the time you register as a vendor, you can update your vendor profile once you receive the number.

Your business may also qualify for procurement opportunities through the Small Business Reserve (SBR) https://gomdsmallbiz.maryland.gov/Pages/sbr-Program.aspx or/and Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) Programs https://gomdsmallbiz.maryland.gov/Pages/mbe-Program.aspx

Howard County Veteran-Owned Business Enterprise Program (VOBE) which includes an overall aspirational goal of 1% of the County’s total dollar value of procurement contracts to be made directly or indirectly with Veteran-Owned Business Enterprises. For the purposes of the Veteran-Owned Business Enterprise Program, a Veteran-Owned Business Enterprise (VOBE) is defined as a business enterprise that is verified by the Center for Verification and Evaluation of the United States Department of Veterans Affairs as a Veteran-Owned Small Business Enterprise. Here are different ways to find out about the current open procurement opportunities in the County:

County Website - You can check Bid opportunities by following this link on the County website: 

Register Online - PlanetBids Vendor Portal - On the above link in #1, you will also find information on the PlanetBids (PB System) - The County has implemented a web-based procurement system hosted by PlanetBids (PB System), provided at no cost to all interested businesses. The PB System allows suppliers to self-register online and to receive automated email notifications of solicitations for goods and services pertinent to their business. The PB System allows registered suppliers to download bid documents, receive addenda, submit electronic bids, and view bid results.

eMaryland Marketplace (State Portal) - You can also register on the State of Maryland portal eMaryland Marketplace for notifications http://procurement.maryland.gov/ Maryland conducts the majority of its procurements through eMaryland Marketplace, the online procurement system that is a business tool to provide vendors with easy access to State procurement information. Vendors have the ability to:

  • Receive notice of bid opportunities
  • Search for contracting opportunities
  • Submit bids electronically
  • Obtain bid results online

Howard County Economic Development Authority (HCEDA) - provides business support through financing, Howard County Tech Council, catalyst fund loans, workforce and local business initiative. http://www.hceda.org/business-support/

  • Maryland Innovation Center (MIC) - Entrepreneurs need a place to call home, a community to grow in, and resources to take their business to the next level. Whether you are looking to become a resident company with an office or take advantage of our facilities and services through an affiliation membership, we can connect you with the resources you need to start and grow.
  • Business Resource Center - Nontechnical, services-based companies, or businesses that are too early for the incubator can still get support and assistance through the Business Resource Center. The BRC provides experienced guidance and information to help companies start and grow.
  • The Business Revitalization Initiative Through Entrepreneurship program (BRITE) accelerates the journey from innovation through commercialization. From mentoring to marketing, product development to pitching, BRITE provides early stage startups in Howard County with direct pathways to entrepreneurial success.
  • Catalyst Loan Fund  provides access to capital to growth-oriented businesses that are in pre-banking stage. It helps businesses to bridge gaps in existing/available funding options. Loan funds can be used for normal business uses such as working capital, equipment, real estate, franchise fees ad inventory purposes. 
  • Cyber Resources

Project Opportunity is a free entrepreneurship training program which has been designed solely for veterans who want to start their own business. The prerequisite for veterans who wish to be considered to participate is they must have a solid idea of what business venture they want to start because the course is designed to develop and complete a comprehensive business plan instead of just exploring the possibility of entrepreneurship. The program is a 10 week (30 hour) intensive course designed to prepare participants to research and complete a business plan. We utilize the NxLevel Curriculum which is a nationally recognized entrepreneurship training program and supplement the course material with presentations by subject matter experts in topics such as Marketing Plans, Cash Flow Analysis, the 5 C’s of Credit, Commercial Insurance, both a tax based and legal based review of the four business entities, Crowd funding, Web Site Design, and procurement opportunities on the state and federal levels for veteran owned businesses. 

The Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University is committed to supporting veterans and their families as they navigate their entrepreneurial journey. For more than a decade, the IVMF has served over 120,000 veterans and we are just getting started. Arm yourself for entrepreneurship success with the IVMF’s ARSENAL of programs.


Behavioral Health Resources for Teachers, Counselors and Parents


Military kids face unique stresses and challenges—from frequent moves to parent deployments—that can place them at greater risk for academic struggles. Studies show that educators who understand these issues can create a welcoming environment for these students. Below is a list of resources to help you to assist your military-connected students and their families.


Veteran Service Organizations


American Legion: Ellicott City Post 156

P.O. Box 2416, Ellicott City, MD 21041

410-340-7892 • www.legionpost156maryland.org

Members meet on the 3rd Thursday of the month at VFW Post 7472 in Ellicott City, 7 to 8:30 p.m.; lunch and Fellowship on the 2nd Friday of the month. Contact Michael Blum at adjutant@legionpost156maryland.org

Since its charter in 1974, Adams, Hanna, Moore Memorial Post 156 has welcomed veterans from all branches of the Armed Forces. Joining Post 156 enables you to continue serving your God, country and community. Our mission is to implement the goals, aspirations, dreams, peace and blessings for our country, friends and families embodied in our preamble. Some of our programs include Boy Scout Venturing Crew in marksmanship, Boy Scout shotgun merit badge sponsorship, Flag Retirement program, Vets-in-School program, Boys State/Girls State sponsorship program, Veterans Day Parade, Annual First Responder Recognition and JROTC award program.


American Legion: Columbia Post 300

9405 Guilford Rd, Columbia, MD 21046

410-997-3863 • www.americanlegionpost300.com 

Meets on the 4th Thursday of the month at Cornerstone Church in Kings Contrivance, Columbia; lunch and Fellowship on the 3rd Friday of the month at Mission BBQ in Columbia, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., except December. All are welcome.

Contact: Vice Commander George Delaney at delprops9@gmail.com or 240-381-5909. 

Columbia Post 300 prides itself on the work it does in the community, which gives life to their motto “Serving the Youth and Veterans of Howard County.” The American Legion was chartered by Congress in 1919 as a patriotic, mutual-help, wartime veterans’ organization, and now has nearly three million members—men and women—in nearly 15,000 American Legion Posts worldwide.


Marine Corps League, Detachment 1084

P.O. Box 2416, Ellicott City, MD 21041

410-340-7892 • www.hcmcl.iwarp.com

Contact Bill Swain at wswain@ultra-palsinc.com

Members of the Marine Corps League join together in camaraderie and fellowship to preserve the traditions and promote the interests of the United States Marine Corps. This is accomplished by banding together those who are now serving in the United States Marine Corps and those who have been honorably discharged from that service; voluntarily aiding and rendering assistance to all Marines and former Marines and to their widows and orphans; and by perpetuating the history of the United States Marine Corps through fitting acts to observe the anniversaries of historical occasions of particular interest to Marines.


Veterans of Foreign Wars

Yingling-Ridgley Post No. 7472

4225 VFW Lane, Ellicott City, MD 21043-5428

410-465-4240 • www.vfw7472.org

Monthly Members meeting is held the 2nd Thursday of the month at the Ying-Ling Ridgely VFW 7472 post, from 7 -8:30 p.m. Contact Shelby Rogers at sl1940rj0731@gmail.com to attend.

VFW aims to foster camaraderie among United States veterans of overseas conflicts; serve our veterans, the military and our communities; and advocate on behalf of all veterans.


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Photograph of Lisa Terry
Lisa B. Terry

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