The City of Lauderdale Lakes Mayor, Hon. Hazelle Rogers and M. Gill & Associates partnered to launch the MBDA INFRASTRUCTURE INITIATIVE at the Lauderdale Lakes Multi-Purpose Auditorium on July 6th. In the form of a Technical Assistance “Walk-In” Forum featuring “Help for Small Businesses,” the 4-hour Launch was presented by M. Gill & Associates, Operator of the INFRASTRUCTURE INITIATIVE and other U.S Department of Commerce, MBDA Programs in Florida.
The event was presented by MBDA Programs in Florida operated by M. Gill & Associates, Inc. – focusing on “Help for Small Businesses” and all guests were able to attend free of charge. The City of Lauderdale Lakes presented contracting opportunities which allow small businesses to participate in a variety of avenues geared to increase small business inclusion. The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Director of the Southeast Region Office of Small Business, Adriana Clark, presented a wealth of information, outlining the Infrastructure Deal and the various projects and contracting opportunities that are anticipated in Florida. She explained that the Florida Department of Transportation will be the main source for Infrastructure funding and projects throughout the State of Florida. She also explained that small businesses as well as local government entities need to be on the look-out and start preparing for new and innovative projects, including electronic vehicles (EV) and conversion stations, broadband, real estate, which are components of Florida’s infrastructure initiatives. Corporations such as Florida Power & Light will be highly engaged and will be needing to work with small businesses to implement some of these initiatives. Ms. Clark encouraged attendees to obtain and keep their DBE Certifications active, which will be an additional positioning strategy in doing business with the DOT.
Ms. Bobbie Williams, Assistant Director of Financial Services with the City of Lauderdale Lakes spoke about various projects that the City has available and the process for registering as a vendor and obtaining and completing their bid responses. Gladys Keith, President of FSB Agency, Inc. explained the qualifying process for small and minority businesses to obtain bonding for their various construction and service projects. Ms. Keith encouraged the small businesses to maintain accurate accounting records, preferably utilizing an accounting system, such as Quick Books, and to ensure that they are engaging CPA’s that understand the construction industry.
In preparation for lucrative contract opportunities, Ms. Marie Gill, whose company operates several MBDA Technical Assistance Programs, introduced several of her consultants who were on-site at the event, meeting one-on-one with the attendees to help them prepare to access infrastructure opportunities.
She discussed the MBDA’s process and get Access to Capital, Access to Contracts and Access to Global Markets. Feedback from the audience was robust. George Yap, Chairman of LEASA Industries in Miami, shared how Ms. Gill and her team has been helping his company from a startup with $25 dollars in the 1980s when he started, to a $14 million company today. He encouraged fellow businesses at the event to heed the advice provided by Ms. Gill and her team as he is proven example that the MBDA’s work in the community is effective.
Ms. Gill introduced the National Association of Black Women in Construction (NABWIC) as a strategic partner that the MBDA has embraced in extending training and technical services to ensure that minorities and women in the construction sector are taking advantage of the services in order to be “shovel-ready” for Florida’s infrastructure opportunities.
Ms. Gill also explained the importance of minority businesses engaging in exports. “95% of our market is overseas, so it stands to reason that we should think global as we segment our market and target our customers,” she said. She explained that her team has recently launched the Florida MBDA Export Academy, which provides an online platform with training modules and various resources to provide services to U.S. exporters.
The successful launch of the MBDA Infrastructure Initiative gave attendees a head-start in preparedness for Infrastructure Initiatives, with full support from the MBDA’s Free Technical Assistance Programs operated by M. Gill & Associates. Guests were served delicious Caribbean inspired refreshments during the networking soiree.
Business Owners are encouraged to join MBDA, M. Gill & Associates, and their NABWIC partner for the Shovel Ready Training Series featuring skills featuring developmental skills in Capability Statements, Business Plans & Proposal Writing, Teaming Agreements, and tips on Networking and Connecting with Government Agencies and Corporations! To stay up to date, visit: www.mbdaexport.com or www.mbdaexportacademy.com.