Columbia's Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Program (CDBE)
CDBE Application Form and Current CDBE & DBE Directories:
City Held Third Minority Business Opportunity Conference
Minority Business Opportunity Conference 2018: Wednesday, April 4, 2018
On Wednesday, April 4, the City of Columbia’s Office of Business Opportunities held its third Minority Business Opportunity Conference (Minority BOC) at the Venue on Main. Minority business owners had the opportunity to learn about City efforts to grow the number of companies that they make routine and emergency purchases from. Participants heard from City leaders, learned about the City’s procurement procedures & special programs, and met with City department staff that make purchasing decisions.
Melissa Lindler, Office of Business Opportunities director said, “The purpose of the Minority BOC was to support our Diversity Strategy by providing small businesses and Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBE) with an opportunity to introduce their various products and services while directly interacting with City departments and key purchasing officials to learn more about the City’s procurement process.” During the Minority BOC, 15 City departments met with over 75 local minority business owners. These owners were able to learn what each City department needed and then discuss products and/or services they are able to provide.
Utilities & Engineering, Public Works, Information Technology, Parks and Recreation and Public Relations were some of the departments in attendance. The services that local businesses offered varied greatly and some of those categories were janitorial services, advertising/marketing, construction, printing, environmental testing, landscaping, consulting, training and catering. Participants were also given resource guides and other helpful information on available programs/resources that are accessible to them through the Office of Business Opportunities.
The Minority Business Opportunity Conference relates to the City Council’s Envision Columbia Vision Statement focus areas and goals:
•Focus area #1: Attracting & Retaining Talent
•Focus area #5: Economic Prosperity Endless Possibilities
•Focus area #7: Leading the Way in Innovative & High Quality Municipal Services
•Goal #1: Grow opportunities for entrepreneurship, business development and a skilled workforce to achieve a healthy economy.
•Goal #4: Collaborate and partner with entities within the Midlands region to become the state’s prime destination for residents, visitors and
•Goal #5: Provide high quality municipal services, efficiently, effectively and responsively.
The City of Columbia is dedicated to the development and growth of small/minority/women owned business enterprises (SMWBEs). The OBO coordinates several programs that involve opportunities for SMWBEs. View the current list of SWMBEs that participate.