OhioMBE Celebrates 10 years of Publishing

Ronda Watson Barber

By Ronda Watson Barber

Hip Hip Hurrah! OhioMBE is celebrating 10 years of publishing. It is an honor to advocate and highlight small businesses, particularly Black-owned businesses in the Buckeye state.

I’m a business owner just like my typical reader. I started OhioMBE on a whim and produced the first issue in 10 days. No business plan. No loans. I saw a couple of needs that needed to be met and jumped in the water to fulfill them. Minority businesses needed a source of news and information. Organizations needed an outlet to communicate their good-faith efforts and purchasing opportunities. The first issue of OhioMBE hit the stands on Jan. 15, 2010.

The newspaper business and publishing have always my passion. As a little kid, I produce a one-page newspaper and distributed to it, my relatives and neighbors. My love for communication continued when I founded BOLT (Black Outstanding Leading Teens) magazine a teenager. Stents at the Columbus Call & Post, Columbus Dispatch and CommunicatorNews aided in my professional development.

We have grown. We have had struggles. There are so many resources and allies that threw out the lifeline and assisted in our development while we were treading in the deep end. We feature many of those organizations and business advocates in OhioMBE. Ten years later, still no business plan. No loans. Just the desire to get it done and make it happen.

The goal of OhioMBE will always be to provide access to contracting opportunities. I believe we have been very successful. We have established a powerful voice in advocating for small businesses.   From the dissemination of bid notices to the hosting monthly OhioMBE Procurement Fairs, we are actively engaged in improving the business climate for small businesses. The best is yet to come. I am so excited to celebrate our 10 years of advocacy and publishing all year long. Join me in celebrating! Small business is good business!

Just my thoughts…rwb

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