Ohio Business Expo upcoming

By Frank Lewis

November 15, 2013

Frank Lewis

PDT Staff Writer

Local women, minority and small business owners are learning of an Ohio Business Expo on Nov. 21 at the Rhodes Center at the Ohio Expo Center in Columbus. To support the effort to expand access to state contracts for minority, women-owned and small businesses, the State of Ohio is hosting the 2013 Expo on Thursday, Nov. 21 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

“The expo will be a great networking opportunity for business owners,” David Goodman, director of the Ohio Development Services Agency, said. “There are countless state contracts out there, and minority, women-owned and small businesses need to be made aware of the possibilities.”

During fiscal year 2013, the state spent more than $225 million with firms certified through the Encouraging Diversity, Growth and Equity (EDGE) program and more than $156 million with firms certified through the Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) program. The MBE program is the state’s minority business set-aside program. EDGE is a business and economic development program for economically and socially disadvantaged businesses.

Goodman said the expo also will include five free workshops. Topics include the Ohio Capital Access Program and the Check Ohio First program, both of which are administered by the Ohio Development Services Agency. In addition, attendees can learn how to navigate the state procurement website and obtain advice from mentors. The day also will include a panel discussion about how small businesses can partner with large businesses.

“This free expo will allow Ohio business owners to meet one-on-one with procurement professionals from state agencies to discuss how to work together to provide the goods and services the state requires,” Robert Blair, director of the Ohio Department of Administrative Services, which is sponsoring the expo in partnership with the Ohio Development Services Agency, said.

Admission is free. Parking is $5, and registration for the expo is encouraged, but walk-ins are welcome. Anyone wanting to register or learn more about the expo or the state’s MBE and EDGE programs, can visit the Ohio Department of Administrative Services’ website at das.ohio.gov/OBERSVP or call 614-466-8380.

Frank Lewis may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 252, or at flewis@civitasmedia.com. For breaking news, follow Frank on Twitter @FrankLewisPDT.