About 25% of the County contracts will be awarded to small businesses
During the Broward & Beyond Business Conference, Monica M. Cepero, Deputy County Administrator of Broward County, was very enthusiastic to talk about how small businesses can benefit from millions of dollars in contracts throughout the County.
“We are super excited about all of the opportunities that we have for small businesses”, said the administrator. “Today’s conference is all about getting the word out of what we are doing; from startups, how to grow (your company), to human services industries and all the industries. We have a strong emphasis of getting register with the County because it is the only way to learn the opportunities and getting engaged”, the Cuban American executive added.
–La Familia de Broward: Is it difficult to register if they are not here?
-Monica M. Cepero: Great question. If you go to our website www.broward.org and go to the Office of Economic and Small Business Development, all the tools you need are there, right at your fingertips. They have a tremendous staff with our director Sandy-Michael E. McDonald and our assistant director Maribel Feliciano. They are willing and excited to get everyone to register to become eligible to all the opportunities we have.
–LF: What are the County numbers and the opportunities to come for small businesses?
-MC: This question is very exciting. We have over sixty lines of businesses just in Broward County. You have everything to Parks and Recreation, Arts and Culture, our libraries, to major construction projects like the Port of Everglades. We are talking about hundreds of millions of dollars. Of all of these major initiatives and the Airport expansion, the Court House among others, we put a goal that the County Commission is very strong and is emphasizing to challenge to prime vendors. They have about 25% of these major projects in place to be utilized for small businesses. They are depending on small businesses to fulfill 25% of Broward County’s work.
For example, just in the Port we have 78-million-dollar contract right now for terminal modernization and 25% are set aside really for CBEs (County Business Enterprise) and small businesses. In the Courthouse we have 187-million-dollar project and from that about 63.5 million are for small businesses. In our airport we have 608 million dollars in projects that we are working on right now and from that is about 45 million dollars for small businesses. So those are big numbers, tangible things that we are looking for small companies to fulfill.
-LF: How can our Hispanic community be part of these opportunities?
-MC: Well the first thing is to show up. As Latinos we have to be out there. The opportunity is there, the County is waiting for all of the communities to take the initiative to be willing participate. We have the resources at your fingertips, and the County is doing a tremendous job providing these opportunities.