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State of Maryland Hosts 6th Annual Business Opportunities & Entrepreneurial Training Summit for Small, Minority, Women, & Veteran-Owned Businesses

BALTIMORE, MD – The Maryland Department of General Services (DGS), the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT), and the University System of Maryland (USM) today kicked off the 6th Annual Business Opportunities and Entrepreneurial Training Summit. The summit, held virtually this year over a three-day period, is a premier event for small, minority, women, and veteran-owned businesses, traditionally attracting over 500 businesses from across the state. The theme of this year’s event, “Rebounding to Opportunities,” 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, 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 this summit will help ensure they get their fair share of the billions of dollars in contracts that the state has to offer.”

DGS Secretary Ellington E. Churchill, Jr. opened the first day of the conference to address an engaged and motivated audience of Maryland’s small and minority business owners. Secretary Churchill highlighted the Hogan administration’s dedication and commitment to making Maryland “Open for Business” through the focused efforts of dedicated state agencies, the Office of State Procurement, and the eMaryland Marketplace Advantage (eMMA), the state’s e-procurement platform.

“This summit is a valuable resource to address the needs of Maryland’s business community by identifying available opportunities,” said DGS Secretary Churchill. “Our department is committed to building on the success of past summits and further proving that Maryland is open for business.”

DGS’ Office of State Procurement conducted a special session, “Best Practices for Finding Solicitations & Submitting Responses in eMMA”, about the benefits of eMMA. The workshop also showed businesses how they can use the system properly to participate in contracting opportunities. eMMA experts were 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 MDOT Secretary Slater. “Our project managers and procurement directors from all of our transportation business units are here to provide firsthand information on these projects.”

MDOT invited businesses to participate in the innovative Opportunity MDOT workshop, a program 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, MDOT will partner with P3 developers to provide small, women, minority and disadvantaged business inclusion and on-the-job training opportunities. The summit also offered a variety of training workshops for registered attendees. 

“The USM is proud to be a part of this important partnership. We look forward to working with DGS to identify even more opportunities for energy savings,” said USM Chancellor Perman. “And, of course, addressing energy efficiency isn’t just fiscally responsible; it’s good for the environment and that’s critical for us.”

Maryland is committed to expanding opportunities for businesses to connect with state decision makers and project managers to learn about upcoming contracting opportunities. Together, MDOT, DGS, and the USM offered over $3 billion in contracting opportunities. 

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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; administering the state’s Capital Grants Program; 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.