The region’s small, minority-owned companies will have additional help in becoming local government contractors and securing business financing as a result of a cooperative agreement between the National Capital Minority Business Opportunity Committee and the U.S. Department of Commerce Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA).
The three-year, $600,000 agreement was announced today at a regional small business conference sponsored by the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (COG) and the Minority Business Coalition (MBC) of Washington, D.C.
Under the agreement, four small business organizations that make up the National Capital Minority Business Opportunity Committee will work to help minority-owned firms learn to win contracts and secure loans, bonding and venture capital. Those organizations will work with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to provide access to guaranteed loans and with COG to improve their access to government contracting information, opportunities and training.
“We believe the local government contracting market is a lucrative one for small businesses and can provide a great foundation for them,” Phil Mendelson, vice chair of COG’s Board of Directors said. “Business owners in the region can grow their companies and gain important skills by participating.”
Alfonso Jackson, District Officer for MBDA and Joseph Lodo, the Washington, D.C. District Director for SBA, and COG executive director David Robertson also enthusiastically support the new agreement. The National Capital Business Opportunity Committee is a coalition group comprised of the Minority Business Coalition of the District of Columbia, the Prince George’s Economic Development Corporation, the Greater Washington Ibero Chamber of Commerce of Northern Virginia and the Mario Loiderman Procurement Center in Montgomery County.
District of Columbia Deputy Mayor Eric Price and other regional experts including Joseph James, president of the Prince George’s Economic Development Corporation, Paula Riley, executive director of the Alexandria Economic Development Partnership, David Edgerly, director of the Montgomery County Department of Economic Development, and Ted Carter, executive director for the National Capital Revitalization Corporation also explained details of their own economic development initiatives.