A Black-owned Prince George’s County firm recently got a multi-million dollar, multi-year contract, with the help of a Baltimore-based African-American financing company, to screen people who have traveled to regions in Africa that are plagued with the deadly Ebola virus.

Staffing Etc., located in Lanham., Md., got a $15 million-$18 million contract in early November from the federal government’s Centers forDisease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta to monitor travelers from Ebola-affected countries at the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport in Atlanta, Washington Dulles International Airport in Dulles, Va., Chicago O’Hare International Airport in Chicago, John F. Kennedy International Airport in Jamaica, N.Y., and the Newark Liberty International Airport in Newark, N.J.  Staffing Etc., led by president and CEO Hope Porter, supplies health care professionals and workers at such institutions as government agencies, hospitals and school systems.

However, the contract had to become operational within a month so the company needed quick financing. The firm’s leadership turned to Baltimore’s Meridian Management Group Inc., who manages the Maryland Small Business Development Financing Authority for the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development.

Meridian was established in 1995 and its president ,CEO and co-founder is Stanley W. Tucker.
Tucker has decades of experience in helping socially and economically disadvantaged businesses get financing.

Meridian’s senior vice president and chief investment officer, R. Randy Croxton, started helping Staffing Etc. immediately. “They had to have everything in place by December,” Croxton said. “We helped them to secure a $1 million line of credit through mobilization funding.”

Porter said Meridian’s assistance was vital to the Ebola contract. “We were able to fund the contract through the line of credit but we have an 11-year relationship with them,” Porter said. “They have helped us in a variety of ways with different types of financing.”

Croxton said helping companies like Staffing Etc. is its mission. “It is extremely difficult for minority businesses to get financing for projects like that,” he said. “We help businesses grow create jobs and pay taxes.”

Tucker agrees. “This contract is a major accomplishment for this firm,” he said. “It will help the company grow nationally and internationally and it is great for the country and the state of Maryland.”