Friday, July 10, 2015

A Minority Business Q&A with Sherman Coleman

Sherman Coleman, Business Development Specialist for the Office of Economic Development is answering questions today on minority businesses in Frederick County. Sherman coordinates the Frederick County Minority Business Vision, launched in 2015, and aimed at providing outreach services to minority businesses.

What are the fastest growing minority groups in Frederick County?
The fastest growing group in Frederick County is the Hispanic population.  From 2000-2013, Frederick County had the highest increase of this minority group in the state of Maryland (316.4%). Frederick County has the 3rd highest percentage of Hispanic population in Maryland at 8.0% of the total population being Hispanic.

Frederick County also had the highest percentage of increase in Asian population from 2000-2013 among jurisdictions in Maryland representing a 212.5% increase.

Percentage Change by Non-Hispanic Race and Hispanic Origin 2000-2013
Frederick County
% Change
White Alone
Black or African American Alone
American Indian and Alaska Native Alone
Asian Alone
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander Alone
Two or More Races
Source: Maryland Dept of Planning, from the Population Division, U.S. Census Bureau

Please share the local programs available to assist minority-owned businesses and aspiring minority-owned entrepreneurs.
There are several active groups that assist specific issues that minority businesses face in Frederick County and here are a few: Mid-Atlantic Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Centro Hispano de Frederick, Asian American Center of Frederick, Maryland Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Asian Pacific American Chamber of Commerce, Women's Business CenterGolden Mile Alliance and the Small Business Development Center.

Please share the state programs available to assist minority-owned businesses and aspiring minority-owned entrepreneurs.

  • The Governor’s Office of Minority Affairs (GOMA) connects small, minority- and women-owned businesses to State contracting and procurement opportunities through the Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) and Small Business Reserve (SBR) programs.
  • The Small, Minority and Women-Owned Business Account-Video Lottery Terminal Fund (VLT) provides 1.5% of the proceeds from video lottery terminals (slots) to be distributed in targeted areas surrounding five Maryland casinos. The other 50% will be available to small, minority and women owned businesses located throughout Maryland. Eligible fund managers oversee the distribution of video lottery terminal funds.
  • The Maryland Small Business Development Financing Authority (MSBDFA) promotes the viability and expansion of businesses owned by economically and socially disadvantaged entrepreneurs. MSBDFA uses include working capital, supplies and materials, machinery and equipment acquisition, land acquisition and real estate improvements. Other uses include the purchase of an existing franchise, construction or renovation and franchise fees or obtaining bid, performance and payment bodes for contracts, which receive the majority of their  funding from federal, state, or local government.

  • How can a person or a business get started in these programs if they are interested? 
    Locally, the Office of Economic Development and an advisory committee has started the Frederick County Minority Business Vision Initiative whose mission is to bring the Frederick County minority business community together by providing a forum for networking, sharing of information, lessons learned and successful growth business strategies that inspire creativity and innovation leading to expanded business growth opportunities. For a schedule of these events, please contact me at or call me at 301-600-2137.

    What do you see as trends for minority-owned businesses and aspiring minority entrepreneurs in Frederick County?
    The trend is start up business from those individuals with very creative and innovative ideas. They start out as home based an branch out to larger facilities. Minority-owned businesses are primarily family based and community involved.  The trend seems to be geared toward a younger population with an equal percentage between male and female. They are based more toward Central Frederick such as Frederick City rather than on the outskirts and outlying municipalities.