SMBA&D was created to support the various needs of small and minority businesses in Baltimore City. Our mission is grounded in ensuring equitable rights and opportunities for small and minority businesses. SMBA&D will support the business community by conducting outreach, advocacy, and facilitating training. Additional responsibilities of the office include:
- reviewing all City contracts over $50,000 for MBE/WBE utilization goal setting,
- reviewing requisitions under $50,000 for award to small & minority businesses,
- examining contract compliance requests,
- evaluating new, renewal, & expansion certification applications, &
- investigating potential violations of the City Code.
SMBA&D’s broad involvement in the procurement process and City operations will enable the agency to review and work with partners, contractors, suppliers, the community, and private developers. SMBA&D collaborates with agencies throughout the City during the procurement process and contract term to ensure that there are opportunities for MBE/WBE participation. Furthermore, the agency includes outreach and developmental resources such as:
- the Small Business Resource Center which will offer 95 webinars annually,
- the Baltimore Main Streets Program to revitalize neighborhoods by uplifting local businesses and community organizations,
- Sourcelink, the online hub to start, grow, & seek funding for your business,
- Sizeup Baltimore a tool to measure business performance, optimize marketing, enhance advertising, analyze demographics, &
- the U.S. Department of Commerce Mid-Atlantic Region Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) Advanced Manufacturing Center.
With these additional duties we are keenly focused upon increasing small, local, and M/WBE entrepreneurship. The inclusion of MBE/WBE utilization goals, and monitoring compliance, ensures that M/WBE utilization injects dollars directly into minority and women’s owned businesses. We are actively working to recruit and retain minority and women businesses seeking to do business with the City of Baltimore by expanding contracting opportunities with the MWB Program. We are additionally working to increase all small local businesses.
Be sure to visit Sourcelink, the online resource hub for small businesses. We provide: business guides for popular business, how to start and grow a business, secure funding, obtain grants, and Sizeup Baltimore where you can measure your business performance, identify suppliers, competitors, optimize marketing and advertising, and analyze demographics. The Small Business Resource Center (SBRC) offers a robust schedule of 95 webinars and workshops to assist small businesses including: growing your business, budgeting during crisis, becoming a homeowner, developing a business plan, and cashflow planning.
The Minority and Women’s Business Program (MWB Program) is “necessary to overcome the effects of past discrimination and to prevent ongoing discrimination in the City’s contracting process, while assuring that high quality goods and services are obtained through the competitive bidding process.” City Code § 28-3(a)(4). The MWB Program requirements are applicable to all City contracts and spending. SMBA&D’s duties overseeing the MWB Program are governed by Baltimore City Code Article 5, Subtitle 28, which states:
§28-10 (a) The Minority and Women’s Business Opportunity Office is responsible for the administration of this subtitle.
The Office’s duties include:
(1) certification of business enterprises covered by this subtitle;
(2) maintaining a directory of business enterprises certified under this subtitle;
(3) providing information and needed assistance to business enterprises covered by this subtitle to increase their ability to compete effectively for the award of City contracts;
(4) investigating alleged violations of this subtitle and, when appropriate, making written recommendations for remedial action;
(5) developing and distributing all necessary forms, applications, and documents necessary to comply with this subtitle;
(6) maintaining statistics on and reviewing regularly the progress of agencies towards achieving the annual goals for the utilization of minority business enterprises, women’s business enterprises, small business enterprises, and local business enterprises;
(7) recommending to appropriate City officials’ methods to further the policies and goals of this subtitle;
(8) monitoring contractors throughout the duration of their contracts to ensure that all efforts are made to comply with this subtitle; and
(9) certifying compliance with this subtitle before contracts are submitted to the Board of Estimates for award.
SMBA&D is here to assist, counsel, provide resources to foster growth, and zealously advocate to protect the interests of small, minority, and women-owned businesses.