Headlines in the Midlands
University of South Carolina holds this year’s Small and Minority Business Forum
The University of South Carolina will hold this year's Small and Minority Business Forum from 9 a.m. to noon on Wednesday, Nov. 9, in the Koger Center for the Arts, 1051 Greene St.
What is the USC Small and Minority Business Forum?
The USC Small and Minority Business Forum is a follow up to the 2009 USC Small and Minority Business Expo. The University of South Carolina will hold this year's Small and Minority Business Forum from 9 a.m. to noon on Wednesday, Nov. 9, in the Koger Center for the Arts, 1051 Greene St.
The forum is part of President Harris Pastides' community outreach initiative to increase the number of small and minority businesses that participate in the university's purchasing processes. The university has always had an interest in doing business with more small and minority owned businesses, but Dr. Pastides has decided to be more proactive in this area and make it more of a priority. We are trying to make a positive impact on the local economy. A dollar spent in the local community goes a lot further than a dollar spent outside of the state.
Prior to 2009, we had the businesses set up a table and the potential procurers of their goods and services from the university and government moved around from table to table. With the 2009 Business Opportunity Expo, we switched the format in that the various departments had tables and the small and minority businesses had a chance to visit with and introduce themselves directly to the business people in the university community.
After the 2009 forum, we used the data we collected to develop an online database of vendors so we could start including them in our procurement processes.
Businesses have access to information online about procurement, but we felt that for this year's forum that it would be useful to provide educational and training sessions about the ins and outs of the process. Businesses will be able to get some great tips on how to do business with the state and the University of South Carolina's purchasing departments.
The buzz in the community is that businesses love being involved in our processes and that it leads to contracts.
Who should attend?
Anybody who is interested in learning how to do business with the state or the university should attend. There is already an existing program out of the Governor's office for officially certifying minority-owned vendors. Our program goes beyond that - you do not have to be certified to participate in this program. We are concentrating on both small and minority South Carolina vendors with this effort. We just want to get more people in the procurement mix.
What can businesses expect to see in the information sessions?
Sessions will focus on how vendors can do business with USC and the state of South Carolina, and the others will provide information on construction project opportunities, including the new Darla Moore School of business. The sessions will be led by officials from the Procurement Services division of the Budget and Control Board, the USC Purchasing Department and USC facilities Construction and Planning.
Starting at 9:00 there will be two concurrent sessions, one dedicated to doing business with the state in general, and the other to the university construction procurement process, our existing projects. At 10:30 there will be two additional concurrent sessions, one dedicated to providing insight on how to conduct business with the University and one on upcoming construction opportunities.
We want the business community to come out and participate. The event will be held on the 2nd floor of the Koger Center. Businesses can register for the session(s) they want to attend by visiting the purchasing web site: purchasing.sc.edu and then selecting Nov 9th, 2011 Small and Minority Business Forum from the News & Announcement section.