For Sean Martin, becoming a certified Minority Business Enterprise in Maryland would have a lot of benefits.
Contacts. Resources. Hopefully, new business, said the Baltimore-based entrepreneur.
“I’m hoping that the certification will provide a revenue stream and give me more exposure,” Martin said.
That’s why Martin, founder of consulting firm Biddison Lane LLC, took part in an Application Assistance Workshop hosted April 7 by MDOT’s Office of Small and Minority Business Policy. The workshop was held online for the first time as part of an effort to promote social distancing and limit the spread of COVID-19.
While in-person Application Assistance Workshops typically draw 80-100 participants, nearly 140 people took part in the webinar. A second webinar, held May 5, drew nearly 150 participants.
“That figure is incredible and shows how much Maryland businesses are depending on the resources and benefits of certification for life after the pandemic,” said MDOT Secretary Greg Slater.
Certification brings with it a host of benefits, including exposure to prime contractors and work opportunities on state and local government projects.
Three participants in the April 7 webinar have since applied for certification. Organizers anticipate more applications will come from additional participants in the future.
“Finding that webinar definitely was beneficial,” Martin said. “I think for anyone who’s interested in (certification), that webinar should be required. That answered a lot of questions, gave a lot of direction and a lot of good insight to help make the decision of whether that’s the route you want to go.”
The Office of Small and Minority Business Policy continues to work remotely, as are many other MDOT employees, while planning future events. The office also is staying busy working on applications and certifying Maryland businesses, among their many other duties.
“Through all their efforts, these dedicated employees are ensuring that Maryland stays open for business long after this State of Emergency comes to an end,” Secretary Slater said.