Florida SBDC Network,
Department of Management Services'
Office of Supplier
Diversity Team Up to Support Small Businesses
Agreement aims to increase opportunities for
certified business enterprises
FSBDCN State Office (Pensacola, Fla.) - The Florida SBDC Network, the state's principal provider
of business assistance, today signed an Ambassador Agreement with the
Florida Department of Management Services' Office of Supplier Diversity
(OSD) solidifying a partnership to increase contracting opportunities for
Florida's woman-, veteran- and minority-owned small businesses. Florida
SBDC Network Government Contracting Services Manager Jane Dowgwillo and
OSD's Executive Director Hue T. Reynolds signed the agreement today at the
Florida SBDC at the University of South Florida's 29th Annual
Government Small Business Conference in Tampa as part of National Small
The Office of Supplier
Diversity serves as the state's certifying agency for minority-owned (MBE),
woman-owned (WBE) and veteran-owned (VBE) certification programs. Through
these programs, which ensure that companies meet legal qualifications,
certified businesses are the first tier referred to state agencies and
other organizations seeking to include supplier diversity in their contract
Dowgwillo, Florida SBDC Network Government Contracting Services Manager,
and Hue T. Reynolds, OSD Executive Director
Historically, completion of
the certification process has proven a hurdle for many small business
owners who lack the time and resources for completion. The purpose of the
agreement is to develop and foster a mutual understanding and working
relationship between the Florida SBDC Network and OSD to increase the
number of certified business enterprises in the state and to help
businesses become more competitive with their bid proposals.
Under the agreement, OSD will
serve as a point of contact for small business owners who seek information
on the state's certified business enterprise program and will refer, as
appropriate, interested businesses to the Florida SBDC Network for
contracting assistance. The Florida SBDC Network will, in turn, share
information about OSD's certification and re-certification requirements and
assist client businesses in navigating the process, including compiling the
documents necessary for state certification, applying for certifications
and identifying bid opportunities.
The Office of Supplier Diversity is a specialized team within
the Florida Department of Management Services and is responsible for
helping woman-, veteran- and minority-owned small businesses work with the
State of Florida. A primary goal of OSD is to collaborate with
organizations that also strive to promote small business development.
"Small businesses are
the backbone of Florida's economy," said Chad Poppell, Secretary of
the Florida Department of Management Services. "Teaming up with the
Small Business Development Center, we are better able to leverage state and
federal resources to
help woman-, veteran- and
minority-owned small businesses thrive in Florida."
its 40th anniversary in 2016, the Florida SBDC Network provides
tools, training and expertise to help small businesses grow and succeed.
Through the network's Government Contracting Services, professionally
certified business consultants are available at no cost to assist Florida
businesses in researching and bidding on contract opportunities from the
Department of Defense, other federal, state, and local agencies, and prime
partners such as OSD is vital to ensure that we can assist those small
businesses in taking advantage of OSD certification programs," said
Jane Dowgwillo, Florida SBDC Network Government Contracting Services
Manager. "This places small businesses in the best position for
contracting with the State of Florida."
For more information regarding the state's MBE, WBE and VBE
certification programs, visit www.dms.myflorida.com/OSD.
For more information regarding contracting assistance available through the
Florida SBDC Network, visit www.FloridaSBDC.org.
About the Office of Supplier Diversity:
The Department of Management Services'
Office of Supplier Diversity (OSD) works to improve the economic
opportunities available for woman-, veteran- and minority-owned small
businesses. The Office of Supplier Diversity aims to provide education,
advocacy, training and technical assistance with certification, which
enables certified business enterprises to thrive in Florida. For more
information about OSD, please visit www.dms.myflorida.com/osd.
About the Florida SBDC
The Florida SBDC Network,
the state's principal provider of business assistance, is celebrating its
40th anniversary in 2016. Since its inception, the Florida SBDC
Network has nourished a statewide partnership between higher education and
economic development to provide emerging and established business owners
with management and technical assistance, enabling overall growth,
increased profitability, and economic prosperity for the state. In 2014,
the initiatives of the Florida SBDC Network resulted in 42,664 jobs
created, retained and saved; $5.8 billion in sales growth; $140.2 million
in capital accessed; $210.2 million in government contract awards; and 952
new businesses started. A statewide network of over 40 centers, the Florida
SBDC is funded in part by the U.S. Small Business Administration, Defense
Logistics Agency, State of Florida and other private and public partners,
with the University of West Florida serving as the network's designated
lead host institution. The Florida SBDC Network is nationally accredited by
the Association of SBDCs. For more information, please visit www.FloridaSBDC.org.
FSBDCN State Office l UWF Center for Research and Economic
Tower, Suite 301, 220 West Garden Street l Pensacola, FL 32502