Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are important to most economies. To improve e-commerce uptake and often motivated by regional economic and community development issues, some governments are creating Internet-based e-marketplaces for SMEs. Given the complexities involved in creating such e-marketplaces, a conceptual framework to support their development needs to be considered. The proposed framework uses a staged approach to advise the development of government-sponsored community-portal regional e- marketplaces (CP-REMs) for SMEs. Data from an ongoing case study is used to examine the framework constructs. Findings indicate that the staged approach allows CP-REMs to develop in tandem with e-commerce sophistication of SMEs.