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Columbia Business Monthly

MTC Hosts Small Business Conference

Jun 04, 2018 02:35PM ● Published by Kathleen Maris

Photo: Dr. Michelle Street, deputy director of the Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization, welcomes the conference attendees.

Midlands Technical College (MTC) recently hosted a free conference with the U.S Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Office of the Secretary of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization at the MTC - Harbison campus in Irmo. The conference educated small businesses about federal procurement opportunities with HHS and their top large business prime contractors.

Almost 400 small businesses attended the event, making it one of the largest attended events this year. The HHS does four of these events annually, with other events gathering in Denver, Detroit, and Washington, D.C.

“It was an honor to host this conference,” said MTC President Dr. Ronald L. Rhames. “The Department of Health and Human Services shared a lot of opportunities for Midlands companies to do business with their agency. I hope many businesses here today will grow and increase the economic development of our community.”

HHS spent more than $23 billion in contracts last year. About five billion of that went to small businesses.

Conference participants gained insight into the proposal-development process, learned federal contracting basics, and had the opportunity to attend one-on-one networking/matchmaking sessions with HHS top 25 large prime contractors.

The Small Business Administration also provided an overview on the small business programs and services like the 8(a), HUBZone, and Women-Owned Small Business certification programs; the All Small Mentor-Protégé Program; Lender and Loan Contract Financing; Procurement Technical Assistance Centers; and other small business resource partners.

“Hosting the conference is just one way MTC reaches out to small businesses,” said Rhames. “We have a team that works to connect our business customers to the best corporate training and consulting resources available.”

Many small businesses rely on MTC to provide consulting, facilitation, individual coaching services, and other training opportunities, and has helped small companies coach their next generation of leaders with one-on-one sessions. MTC business solutions directors work with small businesses from start to finish guaranteeing that the proper training format and objectives are met.

“I know many of those who attended this national conference made significant and long-lasting contacts,” Rhames said. “MTC is ready to help them take that next step toward growth.”