About 1,000 people and 50 exhibitors in the federal and small business fields networked this week in Frederick — a location that has a huge federal presence, an attendee said.
The 16th annual Small Business Procurement conference, also called the SMART PROC GOV-CON, took place at the Clarion Inn Event Center.
“That stands for all the different procurement activities in the State of Maryland and Federally that are in the Region; so SMART stands for ‘Strengthening the Mid-Atlantic Region for Tomorrow,’” said Debbie Burrell who is on the SMART board & SMART PROC Chair.
Officials say this conference gives business owners the opportunity to meet, connect and network with government agencies, prime contractors, as well as state and local representatives.
“What’s unique to SMART is we bring in program managers, contracting officers, and the small business offices,” Burell said. “Many times when small businesses go to conferences, they just get the small business office, they don’t understand or get the program managers — the people who are making the decisions.”
CyberCore Technologies was one of the businesses that had a booth set up at the conference, a company based out of Elkridge, Maryland.
“CyberCore has some discriminators in secure supply chain, so we ensure that the IT equipment that’s being purchased all the way from the manufacture to when it gets delivered to typically a Government customer…is secured,” Tina Kuhn said, CyberCore Technologies President & CEO.
Kuhn says this conference will help them spread information about secure practices.
“This is really to spread information about secure supply chain especially to our small businesses… a lot of procurement especially from the government goes under small businesses,” Kuhn said.
The City of Frederick’s Department of Economic Development Director, Richard Griffin, says this conference will hopefully help generate more business in the area.
“We’re the home of Fort Detrick, and the Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research, so we have a huge federal presence here. That means that there is a lot of opportunities for companies to do business with the government… right here in Frederick,” Griffin said.