Frequently Asked Questions for Minority, Female and Disabled-Owned Businesses (MFD) Program

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  1. Doing Business with Montgomery County as a Minority, Female, Disabled-owned Business

    The MFD program is responsible for ensuring that minority, female, disabled persons-owned businesses receive a fair share of the County's contracting opportunities. The goals of the program are to:

    • Encourage economic development for minority persons.
    • Increase business opportunities for minority persons.
    • Notify minority-owned businesses of procurement opportunities.
    • Provide information to minority business owners about the procurement system.
    • Provide referrals for technical assistance, sureties, and financing information.
    • Review procurement procedures to remove artificial barriers to competition.
  2. What is a Minority, Female, Disabled (MFD) Owned Business?

    A MFD owned business is a business that is at least 51% owned, controlled and managed daily by a minority person(s) as defined by state, county, and federal laws to include the following categories: African American, Hispanic American, Asian American, Native American, Disabled Persons, and Women.

    You must be a certified MFD business to participate in the countys MFD program. The MFD program refers to the countys legal authority to provide a certain percentage of all contracts and procurement activity for participation by certified? MFD businesses. Once you have decided that the county is a potential customer, you will need to seek certification by using the following two steps:

    1. Step One - State of Maryland Minority Certification Process
      Apply for certification from:
      Maryland Department of Transportation
      Office of Minority Business Enterprise
      7201 Corporate Center Drive
      PO Box 548
      Hanover, Maryland 21076
      Phone: 800-544-6056
    2. Step Two

      Become a registered vendor with the County. Please visit the Inter-Agency Central Vendor Registration System to register. Please upload certification documents as noted during registration.

  3. How does a MFD business participate in Montgomery County's MFD Program?

    Do your market research. Determine if there is a market for your product or service.Identify the agencies and departments that may use your product or service. Obtain a copy of the current County Executive's Budget and Capital Improvements Program. Market your firm and yourself to your target department or agency. Identify the person(s) responsible for acquiring your product or service. Identify the procurement specialist responsible for purchasing the type of service or commodity you provide. Get on the vendor list and on the desk file of the person responsible for purchasing the product or service you provide.

  4. About the MFD Process

    As a certified MFD vendor, you are eligible to compete for contracts either as a prime or subcontractor. A minority owned business does not have to be certified to compete for contracts. All negotiated contracts valued at $50,000 or more are MFD designated. This means that the non-minority prime contractor is obligated to satisfy a predetermined percentage of the contract dollar value for subcontractor participation.

    MFD certification provides greater exposure throughout county procurement activity and may provide exposure to private industry as a result of being listed in the MFD electronic data base and the MDOT directory.

    You can do business with the county without being certified. However, if you are designated as a minority sub on a county MFD subcontractor workplan, the prime contractor cannot count you in its performance plan to meet the goals set for the particular project. It is to your and to the prime contractors benefit to be certified.

    Contracts valued less than $50,000 are potential fruitful markets for a minority vendor to pursue. For example, department heads have the authority to purchase up to $5,000 of goods or services on a purchase order transaction.

  5. What county resources are available to assist MFD businesses?

    The Office of Procurement provides:

    1. An automated user-friendly system, RAPID, that allows users to view procurement information, download files or receive weekly e-mail notifications.
    2. MFD procurement seminars designed to guide minority businesses through their early attempts to sell their product or service to Montgomery county.
    3. One-on-one counseling to both majority and minority businesses seeking to best use the MFD requirements.

    The Department of Economic Development also provides a mentoring program, small business fairs, network linkages to banks, state agencies, chambers of commerce and minority business associations.

  6. Effective Strategies for Marketing and Selling to the County:
    1. Make your first contact with the county through the MFD Program in the Office of Procurement.
    2. Get the required initial paper work completed and accepted by the Office of Procurement.
    3. Determine your target department/agency and begin to develop contacts.
    4. Find out when the department will have a pre-bid conference. This will provide you the opportunity to meet key department personnel and some of your competitors and prime contractors with whom you may wish to do business.
    5. Request a post award briefing if you submitted a bid on a solicitation and you were not the apparent awardee.
    6. Make sure you staff your presentation team for the selection committee with your best presenter if you are designated as one of the apparent awardees on a RFP.
    7. Follow the directions carefully when submitting a bid. If you have questions about any clause, phrase or requirement in the solicitation, contact one or both persons whose name appear on the cover sheet of the solicitation. One person is the technical representative and the other person is the procurement specialist. The technical questions should be addressed to the technical representative and the procurement questions to the procurement specialist.
    8. Submit your bid on time. If your bid is one minute late, it is disqualified.
    9. Keep abreast of local media coverage about county initiatives and projects. Inquire about possible contracting opportunities with appropriate county personnel.
    10. Pursue various outreach efforts sponsored by individual departments. Attend vendor seminars, trade fairs, procurement forums, open house events, and pilot projects.
    11. Seek to become a joint venturer or enter into a partnership agreement with a business when you have special capabilities which may enhance the chance of an award.
    12. Design a business plan if you don't have one. If you do have a business plan, revise it to conform to current business requirements.
    13. Be aggressive and offer unsolicited proposals for project ideas that are conceptual in nature. This can be very beneficial in professional services. Choose your situations carefully.
  7. Contact Us:

    Montgomery County MFD Program
    255 Rockville Pike, Suite 180, Rockville, MD 20850
    Phone: 240-777-9912
    Email: mfd@montgomerycountymd.gov