Maryland-Washington Minority Business Association Honors County Executive Ball, Praises Local Business Initiatives

ELLICOTT CITY, MD — Howard County Executive Calvin Ball was honored last night by the Maryland Washington Minority Companies Association (MWMCA) at its 9th annual Black History Month celebration. Ball received the Black History Hero Award, given to those who demonstrate leadership to significantly improve the lives of African Americans in the communities they serve.

During his tenure, Executive Ball increased business opportunities for minority-owned businesses doing business with the Howard County government.

Equal Business Opportunity Program: Howard County’s Equal Business Opportunity Program (EBOP) has grown significantly under Executive Ball.

  • In the last fiscal year, 29.2% of all county spending went to minority and women-owned businesses, the highest proportion in county history, and up from 18 .8% in FY17.
  • Of FY21 EBOP spending, 25.5% went to African American-owned businesses, totaling $16.4 million.
  • Of 113 new businesses added to the program in the current year, nearly half were owned by African Americans.
  • Decrease in the number of waivers, with 104 waivers in FY17 versus 64 waivers in FY21.

Local business initiative: Executive Ball bolstered Howard County’s Local Business Initiative, which keeps local government spending in the community through preferences for certified local businesses.

  • Howard County now has 300 Certified Local Businesses, which received $15 million in government spending over the past two quarters.
  • That’s an increase from 2018, when there were 100 certified companies and $4 million spent.