ODU Business Gateway Chosen as Host Site for Regional Small Business Transportation Resource Center
The U.S. Department of Transportation's Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU) has named Old Dominion University's Business Gateway as the site of its South Atlantic region Small Business Transportation Resource Center (SBTRC).
The center, which has an annual federal budget of $150,000, will serve the South Atlantic region, covering West Virginia, Kentucky, North Carolina and Virginia.
"This is a really a coup for the ODU Business Gateway, and a recognition of the work that is done at the Gateway - and across campus - to be a resource for entrepreneurs seeking to leverage the resources of many funding sources," said Jerry Robertson, the Business Gateway's executive director, who submitted the proposal.
SBTRCs were created to ensure that small business policies and goals of the secretary of transportation are implemented in a fair, efficient and effective manner to serve small businesses.
The centers administer short-term lending programs and bonding education programs, as well as offer a wide range of assistance to Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBEs), ensuring that DBEs receive their share of federal transportation contracting expenditures.
Customers include different categories of traditionally disadvantaged businesses, including Woman-Owned Businesses, Historically Underutilized Business Zone businesses and Veteran-Owned Businesses.
Robertson said key reasons for the selection of the ODU Business Gateway as the regional SBTRC site include its innovative Women and Girls Initiative, which provides mentorship to aspiring female entrepreneurs, and its Veterans Business Outreach Center, which acts as a one-stop shop for military veterans seeking to become entrepreneurs.
The U.S. Department of Transportation's Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization was created as part of the Small Business Act, to ensure that small and disadvantaged businesses are provided maximum practicable opportunity to participate in the agency's contracting process.
One of the six priorities in ODU's 2019-14 strategic plan is to increase opportunities for engagement with the community: to transform the way businesses interact with ODU and to become the "go to" place for providing solutions for the private and public sectors across Hampton Roads and throughout the commonwealth.
Founded in 2010, the ODU Business Gateway provides a single, consistent entry point to the intellectual capital, innovative technologies and world-class infrastructure of the university.