Matchmaking in 2018 took on new meaning at the College of Southern Maryland (CSM) Oct. 12 thanks to CSM’s Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Procurement and Business Showcase that put Maryland businesses and local, regional and federal government agencies in the same room to ‘speed date’ – without a speed limit.
“I have been to a couple of procurement matchmaking showcases and this particular one was great,” explained Sina Avery, president of Eminence Maintenance and Building Services. Avery was one of 24 business owners who participated in the state-funded event held at CSM’s La Plata campus.
“The CSM event was not as rigid or time-driven as most matchmaking events, so the participants really got to network, share more and learn about pretty amazing business opportunities.”
CSM’s SBDC is the sole administrator of a State Highway Administration (SHA) Business Development Accelerator Program (BDAP) grant focused on helping small, minority and Disadvantage Business Enterprises (DBE) in Maryland, such as Avery’s, build capacity so they can compete with projects across the state that are specifically earmarked by SHA for heavy construction and related work.
“We help businesses make connections,” explained CSM’s SBDC Project Manager for the SHA Lesley Quattlebaum. “We introduce businesses of all sizes to prime contractors and federal, regional and local government agencies and let them discuss procurement prospects.” Quattlebaum said CSM has been administering the grant since 2016 and engages businesses who perform a variety of construction services that range from IT and development, to architecture and trucking, to hauling and engineering.
“The networking was fantastic,” said Avery, whose Largo business specializes in HVAC and building maintenance. “I got great leads and we heard from a dynamic speaker who attended this event in prior years and grew his business.”
That speaker, Enyinna Anthony, president and CEO of Anthony Management Group, credits his company’s success to the many programs offered by BDAP.
“The BDAP program came along right at the time I needed it,” he shared in a recent BDAP promotional video.
“I could not effectively run my business if I was managing everything,” he continued. “When I joined the CEO accelerator program, one additional program that the BDAP had available, it blew my mind about the things that I really didn’t know – or things that I needed to consider to grow as a viable business. I took that information I learned and came back and redeveloped my action plan. We were able to land our first prime federal contract.”
For information on SBDC-sponsored courses, visit https://www.csmd.edu/programs-courses/non-credit/workforce-training/sbdc/.
For information on SBDC services, visit http://marylandsbdc.org/southern/index_southern.php.
For information on the SHA’s Business Development Accelerator Program, visit http://www.marylandsbdc.org/consulting/sha-business-development-accelerator-program or email Lesley Quattlebaum at firstname.lastname@example.org.