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EDC & The Prince George's County Chamber of Commerce Connect Local Business to More Than $9 Billion Dollars in Contracting Opportunities

Largo, MD - Yesterday, the Prince George's County Economic Development Corporation (EDC) and the Prince George's Chamber of Commerce brought its collective resources together to bring local businesses face-to-face with County and federal agencies to learn how to successfully secure government procurement contracts. A standing room only crowd of more than 150 small business owners packed into the EDC's headquarters to hear from top level officials from the Federal Aviation Administration, the U.S. General Services Administration, the Prince George's County Public School System, the Office of Central Services Supplier Development and Diversity Division and Corvias Solutions. Collectively, these five entities contracted for more than $9 billion in services last year and are well on their way to topping that number this year.

"Now is not a time to cool off for small businesses in Prince George's County," said EDC President and CEO Jim Coleman. "While most government contracts have an MBE goal of 25 percent or 30 percent that just isn't enough when you compare the quality and quantity of small businesses in this area. By bringing public and private contractors such as the FAA and Corvias Solutions who have billions of dollars to spend, we have the potential to make every small business in Prince George's County a big business by connecting them to the revenue from these contracts."

This breakfast celebrated the launch of 'Connections for Success', a three part panel series designed by the Economic Development Corporation and the Prince George's Chamber of Commerce to assist small businesses in the areas that are most in demand: contracting opportunities, capital and financing and business assistance to attract more customers.

"Today was a giant step in the right direction toward Small Business development, procurement, securing contracts and wealth creation," said David Harrington, President and CEO of the Prince George's Chamber of Commerce. "The Prince George's Chamber of Commerce and the Economic Development Corporation are fully committed to helping businesses create and sustain wealth. More to come!"

Each presenter provided tangible contract opportunities and key advice on how to best secure procurement contracts.

"In FY 15, the GSA exceeded all of its small business goals and had spent more than $4 billion. Not only do we spend GSA dollars, but also dollars for other federal agency procurements and I strongly encourage you to get on our schedule," said A. Jerome Fletcher from the U.S. General Service Administration. "From our leadership to our staff, we are constantly looking for ways for you to be successful. It is important for small businesses to know what procurement opportunities out there and how they would qualify for a particular contract. Secondly, businesses shouldn't bite off more than they can chew; know their limitations."

Attendees from today's event, which was sponsored by Eight O'Clock Coffee in Landover, MD, BLE Executive and Virtual Office Suites, Strativia Solutions and Creative Lipi, all in Upper Marlboro, MD were extremely pleased with the presentations and information that was shared by the presenters and the business development professional in the room.

"These events definitely help small businesses stay aware of what is going on in the community," said Andre Benefield, President of F. Benefield Consulting Group. "This event has been very informative. You can clearly understand each of the requirements [needed for procurements] and they let you know what is going on in Prince George's County that you would never know without attending. I appreciate this forum and I #ChoosePGC."

"Today, I am walking away with information to take my small business to a big business," said Fredericka Cunningan with HR in Motion, LLC. "I have met many businesses in need of resource management services today. I also met federal government representatives from the FAA and GSA as well as representatives from EDC and the Chamber of Commerce and am walking away with a wealth of knowledge. As I go back to my office, not only will I get busy working on the information I received, but I am also ready to make in-roads that will give HR in Motion the effectiveness necessary to take may small business to a big business."

The second and third 'Connections for Success' forums will be held on January 11, 2016 with "Building Your Business through Access to Capital" and on March 14, 2016 with "Enhancing Relationships With Customers for Long Term Growth". Both will be from 9 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at 1801 McCormick Drive, Suite 140, Largo, MD 20772.

Free admission and parking will be provided. All attendees for these exclusive events must RSVP to Crystal Ballard (cballard@co.pg.md.us) at 301-583-4650. Sponsorship opportunities are available. Contact Toni Miles (tmiles@pgcedc.com) or 301-583-4604.