HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (AP) — Marshall University is working to build connections with local businesses under a pilot project approved by the West Virginia Legislature.
House Bill 4418 creates a small business supplier certification assistance program to help small businesses bid on government contracts, The Herald-Dispatch reported.
As part of the project, the university’s purchasing office is working to educate small businesses about the program and recruit them to get certified. Officials said at a Board of Governors meeting last week that 106 vendors are working toward the certification.
The pilot project runs through the end of 2023, when a legislative committee will evaluate whether it should be expanded statewide.
Board Chairman Patrick Farrell said the program is important for the local community.
“Marshall is probably the biggest customer for any of these small businesses,” he said. “So hopefully … we can get more of our business going to local and small businesses in the area locally to drive economic development.”