Like many states in the U.S., Florida has established goals for the utilization of disadvantaged business enterprises in the state. Overseen by the Office of Supplier Diversity, the Florida program seeks to increase participation by woman, minority and veteran owned businesses in government contracts through a certification process similar to that in New York. The office provides asssistance to business owners who are interested in becoming certified and hosts annual Supplier Diversity Exchange events in multiple locations throughout the state.
About the Supplier Diversity Exchange
The Florida Supplier Diversity Exchange is an opportunity for disadvantaged business owners to meet with representatives from a variety of federal, state and county agencies to learn more about the procurement process and how to get involved. Attendees typically include representatives from the U.S. Small Business Administration and Small Business Development Center as well as procurement officers from local entities such as school districts, public utilities and the like. These events are free, and the focus is on training, networking and one-on-one interactions between small business owners and representatives from federal, state and local agencies. Some specific questions that may be addressed include:
- How to identify procurement officers and decision makers at various agencies
- How to qualify to work with different organizations
- Where to contact the agency with materials about a business
- Upcoming purchashes and solicitations
The next round of Supplier Diversity Exhanges are taking place throughout Florida over the next few months. Here are the dates and locations:
Date: July 31, 2018
Live Oak Center — University of Central Florida
4115 Pyxis Lane
Orlando, FL 32816
Date: August 23, 2018
Broward College North Campus
1000 Coconut Creek Parkway
Coconut Creek, FL 33066
Supplier Diversity Exchange — Tallahassee
Date: October 10, 2018
Agency for Health Care Administration
Location & Details TBA
Tips for Success
Many women, minority and veteran business owners are new to dealing with government agencies and unfamiliar with how the procurement process works. Thus, the Supplier Diversity Exchange provide unique opportunities for these individuals to get in front of decision makers who can help their businesses grow. To help business owners successfully navigate the process, the Office of Supplier Diversity offers the following suggestions for those who plan to attend:
- Register for the one-on-one sessions to secure your time in advance (Registration forms are available on the website for each specific event.)
- Learn about the agencies that will be in attendance so you can tailor the information you present to your audience and maximize your allotted time (A list of agencies will be available on the website for the event.)
- Prepare an “elevator speech” — a quick overview of your business and what you do.
- Dress professionally.
- Bring along business cards. (If you don’t have business cards, order them now. A number of online companies will deliver professional-looking, affordable business cards within 3 to 5 business days.)
About The Carmoon Group
The Carmoon Group Ltd. is an insurance broker located in Hicksville, New York. We are experts in small business insurance and risk management, and offer services to business clients throughout the United States. We are also a highly successful minority-owned business, so we are uniquely qualified to help MWBEs understand and address the challenges they face. Give us a call today to set up an appointment for a free consultation, or reach out online and we’ll get back to you at a convenient time.