• Kenton Tsoodle

Local expertise may benefit minority suppliers in OKC


The OKC Rescue Program is preparing for the next phase of its COVID business recovery support. We currently are accepting proposals from Oklahoma City businesses and not-for-profits to provide case management, training, mentorship and other assistance to help minority-owned suppliers from Oklahoma City to identify and complete RFPs and RFQs, complete business certifications, secure bonding or collateral requirements, and otherwise compete for procurement opportunities.

Sought are Oklahoma City businesses that have at least two years of experience providing supplier diversity programming or assistance, expertise in minority supplier diversity and procurement procedures and a strong understanding of the barriers and challenges that minority-owned firms have in securing competitive public, private and corporate contracts.

Examples of programming from qualified respondents might include helping minority-owned businesses identify procurement opportunities, facilitating SBA 8(a) Certification or ODOT Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Certification, coordinating multiple suppliers into teams to compete for public and corporate contracts, creating a central database of Oklahoma City-based, minority-owned/controlled firms that can compete for public and corporate contracts or creating or facilitating loan and bonding products to secure large bids and fulfill supplier collateral requirements.

The goals of the minority supplier diversity program are to increase the number of Oklahoma City-based minority-owned firms that can compete for large, competitive public and corporate procurement opportunities, bolster the number of contracts successfully obtained by those firms and establish a network and ecosystem of locally based minority suppliers for public and corporate entities.

The minority supplier diversity programming is funded through approximately $850,000 in Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds that the city of Oklahoma City received from the federal American Rescue Plan Act funds. The goals of the funds are to provide businesses and individuals with additional COVID recovery services and increase resiliency. The Alliance for Economic Development of Oklahoma City is working with the city of Oklahoma City and community partners to plan programs that will direct relief funds to businesses and individuals in ways that provide for families, help businesses access capital and other resources needed for growth, train people for in-demand jobs and otherwise impact our local economy.

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