On September 28, 2011, the Prince George’s County Minority Business Development Division (MBDD) held a Focus Group, the “MBE Town Hall Meeting.” The focus group consisted of a small sample of small and minority businesses with 27 people in attendance.

The purpose of the Town Hall Meeting was to gain information that will enable the Prince George’s County Minority Business Development Division to develop strategies to implement more effective programs that can assist Minority Business Enterprises (MBEs).

During the course of the event, an agreed upon set of questions was used where all participants in the focus group were asked the same basic questions in the same order. These questions covered specific challenges facing small and minority businesses, navigating through the Prince George’s County procurement process, financial needs, and Improvements needed in MBDD to become a better resource for the County’s business community.

We found this research methodology to be highly efficient as the group setting helped to minimize inhibitions from the participants. The high level of participation from the attendees as well as the level of interaction among themselves allowed for an easy assessment of shared points of view.

While assessing each of the issues will be an ongoing process, the County has already begun to address the issues and concerns that were raised during the focus group. This document will outline the following information from the Prince George’s County MBE Town Hall Meeting:

  1. The questions used for the focus group
  2. Responses/issues of concern from the participants
  3. Method in which each of the concerns are currently being addressed.

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