Web resource open for minority businesses
- By Colleen O'Hara
- Jun 22, 2000
Minority businesses owners looking for a single place to find resources
available to them now can log on to the Minority Business Development Agency's
World Wide Web-based locator system.
The site (www.mbda.gov) gives minority business
owners a list of resources such as banks, Small Business Administration
offices, and state and local minority business development centers located
in their neighborhood.
Users type in a Zip code or city name, and the system pulls up a list
of resources along with a map and directions on how to get to a location.
MBDA, part of the Commerce Department, developed the site with the help
of geographic information systems vendor MapQuest.com Inc., which provides
the technology that matches the user query with the resource list and map.
This one-stop-shopping Web portal works in conjunction with MBDA's national
network, which links its five regional offices and 50 centers located around
the country, said Michael O'Hara Garcia, chief information officer at the
MBDA, speaking Wednesday at the GovTech conference in Washington, D.C.
For example, the agency maintains a database dubbed Phoenix, which matches
contract opportunities with minority businesses. Minority business owners
simply register with the database to receive a constant flow of business
opportunities to their desktop, Garcia said.
MBDA also relies on a performance reporting model that enables the agency
to track information such as how well its business development centers and
employees are meeting their goals and assisting their clients. The system
represents the first time an agency can measure how well it delivers service
to the public on a real-time basis, Garcia said.