Free program to help businesses explore city-parish contracting opportunities

Mayor-President Melvin “Kip” Holden will hold a Small Business Development Summit on Thursday, June 6, to help local businesses explore possible contracting opportunities with the City-Parish. The summit will be held from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m. at the Baton Rouge River Center.

Representatives from the following city-parish departments will be on hand to discuss their processes for procuring goods and services, and to provide information about how small businesses can take advantage of those opportunities:

– Planning Commission

– Purchasing

– Office of Community Development

– East Baton Rouge Parish Library

– Downtown Development District

– Sanitary Sewer Overflow Program/Department of Public Works

– Fire Department

– Mayor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness

– Division of Human Development and Services

– Juvenile Services

– Information Services

There will also be opportunities to meet one-on-one with city-parish purchasing and procurement managers.

Representatives from U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu’s office, Congressman Cedric Richmond’s office and the Small Business Administration will also be taking part in the summit.

“Through this upcoming summit, we are hoping to strengthen the local pool of qualified small businesses and to help small business owners achieve success by providing one-on-one consulting, networking opportunities and other assistance,” Mayor Holden said.

The summit is free, but participants are asked to register in advance online. Simply go to the city web page at www.brgov.com <http://www.brgov.com> .

Business with Baton Rouge is part of the Mayor’s Small Business Investment Initiative administered by the Office of Community Development to stimulate the local economy through small business growth.   The program is funded by an SBA grant obtained by the Mayor for supporting entrepreneurship, creating jobs and stimulating local economic recovery and growth.

A new logo and website for the program will be presented at the summit by Mayor Kip Holden and Orhan Mc Millan, managing partner at dezinsINTERACTIVE, whose create team was engaged for these projects.

The program is coordinated by City-Parish Business Development Coordinator Stacie Williams, who joins the City-Parish from the public and non-profit sectors, where she coordinated vendor programs, designed and facilitated training, worked to increase procurement opportunities through training, mentoring and partnerships with private and public entities.

The Business with Baton Rouge program will coordinate with all City-Parish agencies to assure there is consistency across programs designed to encourage small business participation.