Local & Minority Business Programs
Small Local Business Enterprise Program (SLBE)
Contrary to their name, small businesses have mighty aspirations. Charles County supports the vitality of small businesses by encouraging them to participate in County contracts and other procurement opportunities.
In order to qualify for the program, businesses must first be certified in the State of Maryland's Small Business Reserve (SBR) Program, and then be certified by the Purchasing Office as a "local" business. Once fully registered, SLBE firms are eligible for preferences in County procurement subject to the SLBE Program.
Minority Business Enterprise Program (MBE)
The Minority Business Enterprise Program encourages women, people of color, veterans, and disabled entrepreneurs to take their seats at the procurement table. This program encourages minority business participation in the County procurement process by providing technical assistance with certification, networking, and promoting MBEs as subcontractors on County projects.
The County conducts its own MBE registration and recognizes MBE certification by the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) and Federal 8-A certification. To qualify as an MBE, applicants must own 51 percent of their business and classify as one of the following:
- African American
- Asian American
- Indian/Native American
- Disabled American Veteran
- Physically and Mentally Disabled
MBE firms benefit from the certification, networking, and revenue streams made possible by the program.
Download our MBE directory to learn more.
A comprehensive checklist on the MBE program can be found here.
Once you’re ready to apply, download an application here.
Learn more about Charles County’s procurement process here.
Download our combined MBE and SLBE directory and search by industry.
Local and Minority Business Tools
For emerging businesses, the College of Southern Maryland's Small Business Development Center connects the dots between product development and profit.
Maryland Procurement Technical Assistance Program (PTAP) provides counseling services at no or low cost to Maryland small business owners who want to do business with government and respond to RFPs.
The College of Southern Maryland’s Diversity Institute holds workshops and networking opportunities relevant to the modern workplace.
The Velocity Center at Indian Head, a 15,000-plus-square foot development project aligned with base initiatives, will heighten innovation and entrepreneurship in the local technology community.
Veterans Corner is Charles County’s resource for local veterans seeking career support and opportunities.
Maryland Governor’s Office of Minority Affairs - The Governor’s Office of Small, Minority, and Women Business Affairs looks to create a culture of openness and accessibility to underrepresented business owners in Maryland. It connects the small business community to economic opportunities in both the public and private sectors.