Free Procurement Fair Will Educate Underserved Delaware Small Businesses About Contract Opportunities
10 Apr 2023
Procurement is the process of entering into contracts with service providers and vendors. The fair will connect underserved business owners with the following companies and entities who often need vendors or suppliers:
- U.S. Dept. of Commerce
- J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.
- Office of Supplier Diversity
- City of Wilmington
- Eastern Minority Supplier Diversity Council
- Christiana Care
- Christiana School District
- University of Delaware
- Delaware State University
- New Castle County Government
- U.S. Small Business Administration
- Apex Accelerators
- Pennsylvania Minority Business Development Agency Business Center
- Wilmington Alliance
- Delaware Black Chamber of Commerce
- United Way of Delaware
- And more
“Our objective is to help introduce and educate small businesses on procurement opportunities made available by federal, state, and local governments, as well as private industry,” said John L. Banks, Business Consultant, True Access Capital. “We are asking participating organizations to share with our audience the types of products and services normally purchased through their vendor/supplier diversity programs, as well as guidance on how prospective small businesses can participate in future procurement opportunities.”
Banks continued, “The Procurement Fair would not be possible without the assistance of our sponsors, JP Morgan Chase & Co, Santander, and our co-hosts: Delaware Office of Supplier Diversity, Delaware Black Chamber of Commerce, Wilmington Alliance, The Wilmington Library, The Minority Business Development Center, The City of Wilmington, and The United Way of Delaware.”
More About True Access Capital
True Access Capital (TAC) is a community development financial institution, or CDFI, that offers technical expertise and access to capital to entrepreneurs in Delaware and southeastern Pennsylvania, especially women and minorities underserved by traditional lenders. Through its efforts,
TAC seeks to empower these business owners to succeed.
TAC was founded in 1991 as First State Community Loan Fund to provide loans and business advice to community-based organizations and entrepreneurs in low-income communities throughout Delaware.
Characteristics of the financial assistance TAC provided to its targeted audience during FY 2022:
- Approved small business loans in excess of $7.3 million to businesses in Delaware and Southeastern Pennsylvania;
- 98 percent of the dollars and 81 percent of all loans approved were to businesses led by people of color;
- 52 percent of the loans went to low-income borrowers or businesses located in low-income communities; and
- As a result of these loans, small businesses were able to create or retain 329 jobs.
The Procurement Fair Marks the Launch of The New Markets Opportunity Program
The New Markets Opportunities Procurement Fair is the kickoff to The New Markets Opportunity Program, a procurement initiative with the goal of increasing supplier diversity in Delaware by providing more established minority and women-owned businesses with technical support to identify, pursue, and secure government and corporate contracts and procurement opportunities.
“To begin, we want to bring in a manageable number of businesses and hold their hands through the process of taking advantage of the many opportunities available that they may not be aware of,” said Banks. “Just to give an example, let’s take the federal government. It is the largest buyer of products and services in the entire world. Nobody buys more stuff than Uncle Sam. In any given year, the federal government spends more than $600 billion on products and services. Congress had a goal that at least 23 percent of the domestic dollars spent go to small businesses, but they actually exceeded the goal. In fiscal year 2021, the share spent with small businesses was 27.2 percent, equating to $154.2 billion.”
“We want to walk business owners through what they need to become certified as minority- or women-owned business,” said Banks. “We’ll introduce them to their federal customers and even physically go with them on marketing calls. We’ll help them understand how best to market themselves, present their products and services to these organizations, and learn further how to take advantage of the opportunities these organizations are making available. That's the entire objective.”
“Small business owners who want to grow just need to click and register for the Procurement Fair,” said Banks. “From that point forward, they will get a guided tour of what is available.”
City of Wilmington Office of Economic Development (OED)
The OED is committed to ensuring a diversified local economy for the City by promoting and developing all varieties of industry and by initiating programs to increase job opportunities for residents of the City of Wilmington. Contact us at (302) 576-2120 or by email. Follow us on Facebook and LinkedIn.