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National Black Business Month event connects businesses to opportunities

If you didn’t attend, here’s what you missed…

In recognition of August being National Black Business Month, we hosted an event on August 9, 2017 to help Black businesses grow by connecting them to contracting opportunities and encouraging the idea of strategic partnerships. More than just a procurement matchmaking event, the heart of the event Leveling the Playing Field, aimed to help Black businesses understand that opportunities to do bigger business is plentiful, but having the scale and capacity to pursue those opportunities sometimes requires teaming arrangements, pooling resources together, and forging strategic relationships.

Vivian Walters, Jr., Small Business Development Section Chief Division at Miami-Dade County led the discussion on available contracts ranging from janitorial and grounds maintenance to various construction trades, including electrical, plumbing, etc. He also shared details on the process of getting certified as a small business with the county.

Garrie Harris, President & CEO of the successful staffing firm, Alpha1 Staffing, served as Mr. Walters’ model of a small business that went through his program and eventually graduated from the small business category as a result of the multimillion dollar contracts they had secured. Ms. Harris shared her company’s story of going from having only 20% of a $10 million contract to eventually forming a strategic partnership with another firm that allowed her to be awarded a $100million+ contract with the Navy.

Both Amber Lawhorn at Jackson Health System’s procurement office and Brian Williams of T&G Contractors shared information about their respective opportunities. Ms. Lawhorn oversees procurement for Jackson’s six signature capital projects each having their own small business set aside requires. Mr. Williams shared opportunities available for the building project at Antioch Missionary Baptist Church in Miami Gardens that T&G is the General Contractor of.


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