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Department of Management Services

Supplier Diversity Exchange - Improving Government Diversity Spending

The Supplier Diversity Exchange serves as a forum for local small businesses to interact with state, county and federal government representatives, including such entities as the Small Business Administration, Small Business Development Center, school district, public utilities and others. The event serves as a way for government procurement representatives to share how small businesses can get involved in procurement opportunities and as a way for buying representatives to meet face-to-face with woman-, veteran- and minority-owned businesses; increasing the diversification of government spending.

The FREE one-day event includes short presentations, training sessions, networking opportunities and several one-on-one interviews between the representatives of both the small businesses and government entities. Here’s what each audience needs to know:

  

Procurement Representatives

Be comfortable addressing general questions about how to do business with your organization, including:

  • Having a general understanding of the different ways businesses may work with your organization.
  • Sharing upcoming purchasing needs or solicitations.
  • Explaining how businesses can connect with other businesses for sub-contractor work.
  • Being friendly and patient with attendees who are most likely unfamiliar with state purchasing processes.

Many small businesses from the area may be very new to the public procurement processes. The educational tracks of the day's event will provide answers to their questions – which will cover the majority of state and government agencies. When the business owners speak with you, some common questions may include the following:

  • Who is the best person I can speak with at your agency about procurement opportunities?
  • Who makes the decision(s) at your agency?
  • Typically, how long does it take to get involved with your organization?
  • Can my business qualify to do work with you? What is that process?
  • When does your agency/organization buy my goods/services?
  • Where can I send any materials about my organization?

   

Small Businesses

The Supplier Diversity Exchange is your chance to market your goods and services directly with state and local procurement professionals.  Don’t let this one-on-one networking opportunity pass you by. Before the exchange:

  • Prepare your elevator speech so you are ready to give a quick overview of your agency.
  • Learn about each agency attending so you can customize and maximize your time with each agency.
  • Register for one-on-one sessions to reserve your time in advance.

Florida's government has been challenged to work leaner and stronger. Procurement professionals are interested in learning about local, enthusiastic businesses that can provide agencies a fresh perspective on services, products and possible savings opportunities.  During the exchange:

  • Be ready to learn.  Bring business cards, a notepad and pens.
  • Dress to impress.
  • Be prepared to meet new people and learn best practices from other small business owners.
  • Disconnect and silence your phone so you can focus on the event.
  • Exchange business cards and network with other business owners and agencies.

   

   

Please contact the Marketing Designer for the Office of Supplier Diversity if you have additional questions.