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South Florida Businesses Team on One-Stop Procurement Portal

South Florida’s minority small-business owners should get a better shot at government contracts with the South Florida Anchor Alliance, a collaboration between local health-care, educational and government organizations.

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(TNS) — South Florida’s minority small business owners should get a better shot at lucrative government contract work thanks to the South Florida Anchor Alliance, a new collaboration between 19 local healthcare, educational and government organizations.

They are backing the creation of a one-stop shop web portal that small business operators will be able to use starting in September to learn about and secure local, state and federal government contract opportunities for their goods and services.

At a Wednesday press conference at Florida Memorial University in Miami Gardens unveiling the alliance’s tech-based procurement project, Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava and Broward County Mayor Michael Udine expressed strong support for the pending online system.

Udine underscored Broward’s reliance on small entrepreneurs by noting the county purchased more than $245 million worth of goods and services last year from the area’s smaller companies. Levine Cava referred to this public and private sector alliance as an example of community wealth building.

“I believe in local small business and I really believe in ... technology, so that it becomes more affordable, easier and more seamless for small businesses to take advantage of these types of programs,” Udine said.

Black and brown small business owners have historically faced challenges accessing government contracts to sustain their businesses, and often have seen large companies walk away with the most lucrative government work.

Black businessman and Encompass CEO Marcell Hayward spoke at Wednesday’s press conference about the importance of small and big businesses working together to better support the South Florida economy.

“It’s really important for us to be thinking as a region and combining our forces, power and resources available to us from a regional standpoint to not just prop up our economy, but reinvest in our economy,” he said.

The Health Foundation, a South Florida nonprofit, will provide $1.2 million to help alliance members get the online portal going. The 10 anchor community stakeholders in the group, including Miami-Dade County, Broward County and the University of Miami, among others, are committing to buying a combined $8 billion worth of goods and services from South Florida small business owners through the new online platform.

Health Foundation CEO Loreen Chant said area small business operators will be able to access the website and become part of a regional network, enabling them to share information and resources with larger businesses and organizations.

The 10 anchor members of the alliance will share their pool of vendors via the online portal, so small business owners can tap contracts and resources previously unavailable to them. An algorithm that’ll be part of the web system will be able to connect each government contract opportunity with a small business owner based on company information the small business owner shares with the network via the alliance’s online portal.

© 2022 The San Diego Union-Tribune. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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