Economic Development Director Silverman Discusses County "Buy Local" Program

Posted Date: 
November 16, 2011


From left to right: Co-Chair Charles Atwell, Vice-Chair Judy Stephenson, Director of Economic Development Steve Silverman, and President & CEO Gigi Godwin
The Small Business Committee heard from Steve Silverman, Montgomery County Director of Economic Development, primarily on the Montgomery County "Buy Local" initiative.
Silverman began his remarks on recent data that Dr. Stephen Fuller presented to the Montgomery County Council, which showed no net-new jobs created in Montgomery County in a decade. Silverman pointed out that Dr. Fuller used Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data, which does not count individuals who are self-employed. According to another data set, which he argued was more complete, called EMSI data; Montgomery County saw 8% employment growth. He said, “Small business is big business in this County”.
From the more general discussion of job growth, Silverman spoke about procurement opportunities with County government through the creation of the Small Business Reserve Program and how the County is increasing its commitments to that program in this fiscal year. In addition to County government, the schools system has also committed to buy locally from small businesses.
Silverman has also been working to secure procurement opportunities for small businesses from the larger companies in the County. DED created the Bagels and Business program with the Gazette that allows big businesses to talk about opportunities for procurement with small businesses. He announced that some of the larger companies in the County will make the same commitment as government to procure with locally owned small businesses. Silverman also discussed the $2 million revolving loan program.
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