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Thursday, March 24, 2011

Minority Business support in Howard County

Minority Business support in Howard County
Staff Writter

â€"Howard County Executive Ken Ulman today announced the launch of a program geared towards helping facilitate small and minority-owned business participation in the One Maryland â€" Inter-County Broadband Network (ICBN).

“Howard County is dedicated to ensuring that small and minority-owned businesses have the ability to be a part of this historic investment as the ICBN is a tremendous opportunity for any company,” said County Executive Ulman. “One of the most invaluable aspects of the ICBN project is the project’s commitment to creating jobs and opening up economic development opportunities where none previously existed.”

“Whether it’s in the robust Baltimore-Washington corridor, the mountain counties of Western Maryland or over the Bay Bridge on the Eastern Shore, broadband is going to bring the jobs of tomorrow to our state,” said U.S. Senator Barbara Mikulski. “With more than $115 million coming to Maryland, it’s critical that the grants not only create jobs, foster business growth and spark innovation, but create opportunity for Maryland’s talented small and minority-owned businesses.”

The County is encouraging large (prime) construction firms to partner with the small and minority-owned business community who are on the new ICBN Small and Minority-Owned Business Construction Vendor List. In addition, large minority-owned business are encouraged to submit bids as prime contractors.

In order to be eligible for the list, small and minority-owned businesses must meet the following minimum requirements:

* Must have three years of relevant experience in outside plant construction;

* Must provide three relevant references of performance over the three years; and

* Must be in good standing with the Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation and not be on any debarment list in the state of Maryland or any jurisdiction within Maryland

“While the initial deadline for applications is Thursday, March 17, applications received after this date will be considered on a rolling basis. The County will evaluate applications and all eligible vendors will be published on the ICBN Small and Minority-Owned Business Construction Vendor List website, onemaryland-icbn.org, beginning Wednesday, March 23 at 3 p.m. Applications or for more information, visit the County’s Office of Purchasing website at www.howardcountymd.gov/Purchasing/.

The One Maryland Broadband Network (OMBN), led by the Maryland Department of Information Technology and with Howard County as a key partner, was granted $115 million under the Recovery Act’s Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP). The grant allotted BTOP the ability to build a high-speed fiber optic network that will directly connect 1,006 community anchor institutions and span 4,200 square miles across Maryland. As a grant sub recipient, Howard County is responsible for managing the $72 million (of the $115 total amount granted) directed to ICBN, a collaborative inter-governmental consortium comprised of 10 central Maryland jurisdictions.

The ICBN will directly connect 715 anchor institutions in central Maryland, including hundreds of K-12 public schools, libraries, public safety agencies, community colleges and other government institutions. In addition â€" in each of these communities â€" the network will also connect to existing networks with thousands more anchor institutions.

tags: small business in howard county maryland,minority business in howard county maryland,

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