|MISSION: The Office of Business Opportunities (OBO) is committed to supporting initiatives that benefit small, minority, veteran, and women owned businesses located in, or that want to do business with, the City of Columbia. This is accomplished by providing creative financing, technical assistance and capacity building opportunities that contribute to the economic growth of all communities.|
COMMERCIAL RETENTION & REDEVELOPMENT:
Provides financial assistance to start-up and existing businesses for growth, expansion, retention and the creation of new jobs, and assistance in the redevelopment of commercial corridors that have become significantly deteriorated within the City.
TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE, EDUCATION & ADVOCACY:
Provides business development assistance and courses for start-ups and existing businesses looking to grow and expand covering topics including: marketing, use of social media, business plan development, finances, legal issues, and more.
Small Business Access to Capital - Wednesday, 6/6/18
Access to Capital Symposium
June 6, 2018
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.
For more information, please contact the Office of Business Opportunities at (803) 545-3950.
1) Located within the Columbia-Orangeburg-Newberry Combined Statistical Area (CSA)
2) A Certified Disadvantaged Business Enterprise
Below are the City's CDBE Policy and Program Guidelines. Please take a look and contact us to begin your qualifying process.
Columbia Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Utilization Policy
Commercial Non-Discrimination and Columbia Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (CDBE) Utilization Policy
Columbia Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (CDBE) Program Guidelines
That's all it takes to qualify for CDBE Status - it's that simple! LET'S GET STARTED
We are waiting to hear from you: 803.545.3950
Photographs by Stuart Miles and chainat; Courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net