Local military leaders and community small business leaders gathered at the Onslow County Government Center in Jacksonville for a small business town hall meeting June 22.

The event offered a platform for both military buyers and community businesses to learn about each other, future potential business ventures and by providing federal contractors with a better idea of how to do business with the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps.

"This was an outreach event hosted by MCI-East to facilitate farms who seek to do business with the base," said Jo Rozier, director of the small business office at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune.

The event highlighted the close relationship with the local civilian community with representatives from Marine Corps Forces Command and Naval Hospital Camp Lejeune led the town hall formatted meeting, with presentations from the U.S. Small Business Administration, the North Carolina Procurement Technical Assistance Center and the Small Business Center of Coastal Carolina Community College.

"Marine Corps Installations East made it very clear that there is tremendous opportunity for local small businesses," said Scott Dorney, executive director, North Carolina Military Business Center. "This helps improve the teamwork with the military and local businesses while benefiting the state."

The Navy and Marine Small Business Town Hall benefited local business forces and provided resources and information for businesses who are intending on doing business with military in the future.

The base needs small businesses to partner with to complete the mission and support the Marines and their families, said Rozier.

"Our money comes from the public and part of our obligation is not only to meet the needs of Marines but also to return the benefit of opportunity to the public."