State to host business expo next week

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With the 2012 Ohio Business Expo on Sept. 19, the Ohio Department of Administrative Services and the Ohio Department of Development are hoping to expand access to state contracts for minority-owned, women-owned and small businesses.

The expo, which will take place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Rhodes Center at the Ohio Expo Center in Columbus, will allow business owners to network with purchasing professionals from state agencies regarding upcoming contracting and procurement opportunities.

“The Ohio Business Expo is a great networking opportunity, which connects Ohio businesses to state agencies,” says Christiane Schmenk, director of the ODOD. “The state needs reliable services and dependable products, and this expo provides the perfect platform to make valuable business connections.”

The state spent more than $250 million with certified Minority Business Enterprise and Encouraging Diversity, Growth and Equity firms during fiscal year 2011.

The MBE program is the state’s minority business set-aside program. EDGE is a business and economic development program for economically and socially disadvantaged companies.

The expo will include workshops about resources available to certified MBE and EDGE firms.

Admission is free and parking is $5. Registration for the expo is preferred, but walk-ins are welcome.

To register or learn more about the expo, or the state’s MBE and EDGE programs, visit DAS.Ohio.gov/eod or call 614-466-8380.