The MDHCC Partners with the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond on Supplier Diversity Fair
The Maryland Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (MDHCC), the leading chamber of commerce representing and connecting over 60,000 Hispanic-owned businesses in the region, partnered with the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond to launch the Fed’s first Supplier Diversity Vendor Fair held at the Baltimore Branch. The Fair, which took place on September 20th, aimed to further strengthen the minority business community’s understanding and access to procurement opportunities with the Fed and beyond.
The Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond’s Baltimore Office has been a strong partner to the MDHCC for two years, and the vendor fair is only the latest in a series of outreach events to the chamber’s members. As an organization that is strongly committed to hiring and contracting minorities, the Fed has been a natural ally for the chamber in designing a comprehensive event that directly responded to MDHCC members’ questions. Baltimore Regional Executive and Senior Vice President Dave Beck said, “This event is part of our Bank’s strategy to incorporate diversity and inclusion into our business, procurement and supply chain practices and grew out of conversations with diverse business organizations and chambers of commerce in the region that have been central to our outreach efforts.”
MDHCC Chairman, Jorge Castillo, explained, “While this vendor fair focused on direct contract opportunities for our diverse members, our quarterly Membership Orientation & Economic Outlook Breakfasts have been paramount in allowing our members to understand exactly what the Fed does beyond setting monetary policy. In particular, they have highlighted the importance that the Fed’s large research arm plays in national monetary policy recommendations by having direct access to a pool of Hispanic-owned businesses and their leaders. Our members see tremendous value in being associated with the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond and this fair is another example of the great programming and opportunities both of our organizations are bringing forth to serve minority communities in Maryland.”
The vendor fair’s plenary session broke down exactly how companies can be part of the growing number of minority firms that do business with the Fed. Afterwards, the four breakout sessions explored certification, doing business with the state, payments for small businesses and tips on accessing capital. Throughout the day, and perhaps most importantly, MDHCC members and other attendees had an opportunity to meet face to face with their contracting officers, establish relationships, and ask important questions about the contracting process and future opportunities.