Maryland is one of the smallest states in the United States, in terms of area, but also has the distinction of being one of the wealthiest states. The state is home to a robust mix of minority groups, which are presumed to be socially disadvantaged. The racial breakdown is as follows:
- White Americans: 53.9%
- African Americans: 30%
- White Hispanics: 6.9%
- Asian Americans: 6%
- American Indians: 0.5%
Barring White Americans, the others are bestowed by the government with minority status. Minority Business Enterprise in Maryland is provided with a certificate by the state government, such as MBE which gives them an advantage, while bidding for government contracts for developmental activity. To procure the certification a minority group or individual has to submit an application with all the relevant documents. This is followed by an investigation by a government agency and then evaluation, and finally the applicant is given a written determination by the concerned government authority.
Eligibility Standards for Minority Business Enterprise in Maryland
The following 5 standards need to be satisfied by an enterprise to get certified as MBE.
1) The enterprise must be owned by a minority individual to the minimum extent of 51%
2) The minority status is bestowed on the following groups. All these groups are presumed to be socially and economically disadvantaged, and thus are eligible for special economic packages formulated by the government of Maryland and the federal government.
- African Americans
- White Hispanics
- Asian Americans
- American Indians
- Disabled (MBE only)
- Non-Profit Organizations serving the physically and/or mentally challenged population (MBE only).
3) Minority owners must have basic managerial and technical competence in the specific business, that the individual is seeking certification.
4) The individuals must fall under the prescribed personal net worth cap established for each program
5) The firm of the applicant must meet the small business size standard, prescribed by the US Small Business Administration
Once the aforesaid criteria are satisfied, then the state government issues the certification for Minority Business Enterprise in Maryland, which enables the individuals or firms managed by minority individuals, to secure government contracts. Maryland’s MBE participation goal fixed in 2001 was 25%.