Small businesses in Austin - including those struggling due to the COVID-19 pandemic - have been invited to find out how to compete for millions of dollars of smaller City contracts.
The 2021 Small Business Contracting Forum, on March 24, 2020, will bring together procurement staff from dozens of City of Austin departments alongside a number of other municipal, county and governmental entities in the region, to connect them with a large and diverse group of smaller vendors.
The free annual event, the third organized by the City's Purchasing Office, will provide advice, information and encouragement to help small business owners better identify opportunities to do business with the City, and to be more successful when bidding on City contracts.
Sessions at the event will cover registering as official City vendors, how to create bids, understand the City of Austin vendor payment process, how to grow your business and much more.
Businesses that registered for last year's Forum have since been awarded millions in contracts, and organizers want this year's event to involve even more businesses in the City's procurement process. 2021 Small Business Contracting Forum Virtually Wednesday, March 24, 2021 9 am to 4 pm virtually Register online HERE
This year's virtual event will allow attendees to:
- Learn best practices for pursing business with the City of Austin and other local entities
- Chat one-on-one with department representatives on-demand and in real-time
- Access department resources, including downloadable collateral materials
- Conduct real-time follow up with department representatives
- Network with other small business owners
An analysis by the City of Austin's Purchasing Office, which is organizing the Forum, shows 40 City departments have collectively made $155 million of smaller purchases valued under $50,000 over the past three years.
Such purchases made via City credit cards (for expenditures under $3,000), purchase orders or contract agreements, may cover electrical services, training, consulting, safety equipment, landscaping and technology, and many other areas of City activity.
"Our goal with the Small Business Contracting Forum is to not only to empower small businesses, but to connect them to the resources they need in order to continue to be successful," said City of Austin Purchasing Officer James Scarborough. Many unprecedented times took place during 2020, our community dealt with a nationwide pandemic and most recently a winter storm that impacted many causing businesses to shut down for an extended amount of time. We want our small businesses to connect with all the appropriate governmental agencies and Austin's diverse community. In addition, understand how the procurement process works."
The Small Business Contracting Forum will be attended by representatives from various City of Austin Departments and Offices including Austin Public Library, Aviation, Building Services, Capital Contracting Office, Corridor Mobility Program, Police, Public Works, Economic Development, and the Small & Minority Business Resources Department, Watershed Protection. External organizations planning to attend include Austin Community College, Travis County, the City of Buda, the City of San Antonio, Texas Department of Public Safety, Railroad Commission of Texas and the Lower Colorado River Authority.
To hear from those who attended the forum last year, click here
To REGISTER for the event, go to www.eventbrite.com/e/2021-small-business-contracting-forum-tickets-143415342149
. For more information about the event contact PurchasingOutreach@austintexas.gov
or call (512) 974-2938 or (512) 974-2038. For more information about the Purchasing Office go to austintexas.gov/purchasing