New program teaching SA minority-owned businesses how to bid on government contracts

Bexar County, Alamo City Black Chamber of Commerce working to help businesses

SAN ANTONIO – Bexar County is shelling out hundreds of thousands of dollars to make sure the playing field is even when it comes to local businesses being granted government contracts.

It's a new county initiative, called Community Development Connection, that was formed in partnership with the Alamo City Black Chamber of Commerce.

It’s a $371,000 county-funded program designed to teach minority business owners how to bid for government contracts.

Research conducted by the University of Texas in San Antonio showed minority-owned businesses are less likely to bid on these contracts.

“That study found that a lot of minority firms were not participating for lack of knowledge. The Alamo City Black Chamber of Commerce took a look at that and realized this is a way to serve that community,” Monica Ramos, public information officer for Bexar County, said.

The program will help minorities who own businesses learn the skills they need to win government bids.

“Get them plugged in, get them up-to-date about solicitations and help them with their certifications and mapping out how to do business and how they want to apply," Ramos said.

Terry Martin, who has owned A Dreamweaver Florist and Special Events for 25 years, is hoping to get the chance to participate in the week old program.

“We just finished Fiesta. We had a contract with the airport, terminal A and B, and it was successful. So, we're looking for that big one,” Martin said.

“You had to have enough staff to handle big events. It took time to get to that point, but we're ready,” he said.

To benefit from the program, owners must be a member of the Alamo City Black Chamber of Commerce.

It is a pilot program that will run for a year. After that, the county will re-valuate and determine how to move forward with it.

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