By Ronda Watson Barber
OhioMBE has many milestones to celebrate. We have established a powerful voice in advocating for small businesses. Through our media outlets we have increased the visibility and capacity of small businesses. We are established strategic partnerships with the City of Columbus, Columbus City Schools, Ohio Department of Transportation, Waste Management, Wesbanco Bank, ECDI, the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, Franklin County and the Columbus Airports.
It’s 2019! Just like clock work a new year is here. It’s an exciting time. A fresh start. Many people resolutions to grow and develop. What are you working on? How will you expand or improve your business. How will your business make a difference for you personally and the overall community?
Looking back at 2018, I am proud that OhioMBE has actively worked to improve the business contracting climate for Black-owned and other small businesses. Our advocacy has assisted with the City of Columbus and Columbus City Schools improving their purchasing spend with MBEs.
The OhioMBE Procurement Fairs, sponsored by Waste Management, provides access and one-on-one connections with organizations seeking to be inclusive in their purchasing. We traveled outside of Central Ohio and took the OhioMBE Procurement Fair on the road. We headed to Cleveland three times. Participants in the 2018 OhioMBE Procurement Fairs had access to over $650,000,000 in contracting opportunities.
The OhioMBE Awards is a celebration of MBEs, FBEs and Family-owned businesses. The 2018 OhioMBE Awards was hosted by our partner, the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium. The annual scholarship luncheon recognizes the Frank W. Watson Scholars. The renewable scholarship assists students with post-secondary expenses. There are presently nine Frank W. Watson Scholars receiving assistance.
I greatly appreciate your readership. I believe the primary role of a newspaper s to inform the public about the activities of organizations that receive public tax dollars both good and bad. I take this responsibility seriously.
OhioMBE will continue to advocate and promote Black-owned businesses. We will continue to work with organizations to foster a positive climate that includes economic prosperity for all. OhioMBE will also inform our reader about issues of importance to their businesses.
The 912 Group and it’s media outlets wish you happiness and success throughout the coming year.