(BALTIMORE – October 31, 2022) – The Maryland Department of General Services (DGS), the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT), and the University System of Maryland (USM) today hosted the sold-out 7th annual Business Opportunities and Entrepreneurial Training Summit. The summit, which was held in Ellicott City at the Turf Valley Conference Center, attracted over 500 businesses from across the state.
“Our administration has remained committed to connecting local, 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 their continued growth is vital to the economic future of our state.”
Lt. Governor Boyd K. Rutherford opened the conference to address more than 500 small business owners. The Lt. Governor highlighted the administration’s focus on making Maryland more “Open for Business” through the efforts of the Office and State Procurement and eMaryland Marketplace Advantage, the state’s new e-procurement platform.
“The primary goal of the summit is to make sure that local, small, women-owned, minority-owned, and veteran-owned businesses get their fair share of the billions of dollars in contracts that the state has to offer,” said Lt. Governor Boyd K. Rutherford. “Today’s summit is the perfect opportunity for those businesses to connect with state project managers.”
The summit is a premier event for local, small, minority, women, and veteran-owned businesses. This year’s theme is “Back to Business Together”, focusing on providing businesses with the tools and resources they need to move forward with building business relationships with the state. The state continues to expand opportunities for businesses to connect with state decision-makers and project managers to learn about upcoming contracting opportunities. Together MDOT, DGS, and USM offer over $4 billion in contracting opportunities. Maryland is committed to creating jobs and economic prosperity for all Marylanders. The summit also offered a variety of training workshops and panel discussions for registered attendees.
“This summit continues to be a valuable resource to address the needs of Maryland’s business community by identifying available opportunities,” said DGS Secretary Ellington E. Churchill, Jr. “Our department remains committed to building on the success of past summits and further proving that Maryland is open for business.”
DGS’ Office of State Procurement held special sessions about the benefits of the eMaryland Marketplace Advantage (eMMA) e-procurement tool and how businesses can use the system to participate in contracting opportunities. eMMA experts provided demonstrations of system functions including vendor registration, profile maintenance, and how to respond to solicitations.
“MDOT is proud to be Maryland’s official agency for certifying small, minority, and disadvantaged businesses,” said Transportation Secretary James F. Ports. “During the past 8 years, MDOT has helped grow the program from about 5,000 certified MBEs in 2015 to more than 8,600 certified MBEs in Maryland today. We stand ready to partner with MBEs on our future projects.”
MDOT invited eligible businesses to participate in the innovative Opportunity MDOT workshop, which will create job access and DBE participation, via partnerships between contractors, consultants, and 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 University System of Maryland spends billions of dollars each year supporting our teaching, research, and service missions,” said USM Chancellor Jay A. Perman. “We’re proud to offer contracting opportunities to Maryland’s own entrepreneurs and, through conferences like these, help them compete for and win our business.”