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by Jessica Goolsby, staff writer

More than 200 local businesses attended the Marine Corps Base Hawai‘i’s first Open Industry Day March 11, in hopes of making solid connections and selling their products and services to the base. MCBH and Marine Corps Community Services (MCCS) hosted the free event, sharing with the public information about how to do business on base. The event was aimed at helping businesses interested in working with the government on a local level. The Officers’ Club Lanai Ballroom was reserved for the occasion, allowing for businesses and entrepreneurs to learn, meet, and mingle with military personnel and base business liaisons from 9 a.m. to noon.
“ The local community is definitely interested in partnering with the base,” said Lt. Col. Eric Corcoran, director of the Regional Contracting Office, “And we want to partner with them. It’s a win-win situation.”
“ From contracting to advertising, there are numerous ways to build business with MCBH,” Corcoran said. Attendees learned how to get a product circulating on military installations, access the procurement process, and bring businesses, products, or services on base. They also met and mingled with representatives from MCBH regional contracting; MCCS contracting and procurement; food, beverage, hospitality, and catering; health and fitness; marketing, sponsorship, and advertising; and retail purchasing.
Retailers interested in doing business with the Marine Corps Exchange were encouraged to connect with MCCS for contracts. According to one speaker, more than $25 million worth of merchandise was purchased from Hawai‘i businesses in 2008 to stock the shelves of MCCS retail locations.
“ Contracts are constantly being worked out with local businesses,” said Corcoran, and his office provides help to businesses wanting to work with and through the base. He encouraged any company or entrepreneurship eager to reach the military market and expand its business, but unable to attend the event, to connect with the base by calling 254-7679.


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