GSBA Vision & Mission

MISSION: To combine business development, leadership and social action to expand economic opportunities for the LGBT Community and those who support equality for all.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

9th Annual Regional Contracting Forum

Dear GSBA Members,

I want to let you know about a great business development opportunity!

The 9th Annual Regional Contracting Forum will be held at the Washington State Convention Center on March 30, 2011!

Structured as a "reverse trade show " the event is designed to provide Small, Minority, Women and Veteran Owned Businesses direct access to regional contracting representatives in a semi-structured setting. Representatives from local, state, and county jurisdictions have booths where representatives speak one-on-one with event attendees. Also, agency representatives give presentations that outline upcoming contracting opportunities and how small businesses can bid and compete for those opportunities. Business resource organizations are also on hand to provide attendees with assistance and information to help their businesses grow. In order to maintain its focus on small businesses, the RCF is sponsored by Regional Agency Major Sponsors and contributing partners, which allow business owners and representatives to attend without paying a registration fee. Last year there were over 80 agencies and 2000 attendees and this year could be even bigger!

With procurement reform the buzz in most local jurisdictions, entities like City of Seattle, King County and the Port of Seattle are scrambling to find competent local businesses to compete for newly formed small capital contracts and projects. They are looking to increase dramatically the numbers of diverse suppliers that participate, if not as Tier One providers then as Tier Two and Three. Tier Two and Three opportunities often come with the added bonus of large corporation mentorship to smaller businesses in their fields of expertise.

There are also one on one networking interviews in 3 areas Architectural Engineering, Construction, and Goods and Services. This gives you the opportunity to have a face to face conversation about your business with procurement representatives that make bid decisions. Additionally for architectural and construction industry small businesses will have the opportunity to meet the prime government contractors on major public works projects who need qualified tier-two and tier-three subcontractors.

If you are already certified or are looking to certify your business for small and minority owned contracting opportunities this is your event to learn more! Currently recognized certifications with the Washington State Office of Minority and Woman Business Enterprise (OMWBE) are:
• Woman
• Black – origins in any of the Black racial groups of Africa
• Hispanic – Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban, Central or South American, or other Spanish or Portuguese culture or origin, regardless of race
• American Indian/Alaskan Native – origins in any of the original peoples of North America
• Asian American – origins in any of the original peoples of the Far East, Southeast Asia, the Indian Subcontinent or the Pacific Islands
• Socially and Economically Disadvantaged – determined on a case-by-case basis. To qualify for SEDBE, the owner must complete the Proof of Social and Economic Disadvantage Questionnaire and Personal Financial Statement and provide documented proof
• Veteran – you have served active duty in the US military

For more information:

LGBT Certification
For businesses looking to take advantage of the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce’s (NGLCC) LGBTBE certification here is your chance to make a political stand for our right for LGBT inclusion into these lucrative supplier diversity procurement opportunities.

Currently over 100 Fortune 500 Corporations are actively seeking qualified LGBTBE businesses to purchase from in their supply chain. This number is estimated to grow tremendously next year as HRC will require these major corporations to include LGBTBE’s in their supply chain to maintain their coveted 100% HRC Corporate Equality Index scores. Right now the State of Washington is considering becoming one of the first States to include LGBTBE’s and why not? Currently the LGBT community is the only community with protected status under our State's civil rights law that is not included in the OMWBE list of available certifications for supplier diversity programs and opportunities. Together let’s change this!

The key points to attend are:

• Support GSBA Business & LGBT Community Visibility

• Member Opportunity for Business Development, Education & Connections

• Member Introduction to Local Supplier Diversity Contracts & Participation

• Member Introduction to Local Government Procurement Officers & Engagement

• One on One networking meetings

• The Opportunity for GSBA Members to Advocate for LGBT Inclusion

• It’s Free!

GSBA & the NGLCC will both have information tables at this event. So come and meet Sam McClure the Director of Affiliate Relations for NGLCC to find our more about LGBTBE Certification! Also if you can volunteer a ½ hour to an hour of time at the GSBA table, your effort will help our inclusion! I own an LGBTBE Certified Business and I am happy to share with you the power of certification. Please call me at 206-790-0277 to volunteer or find out more information.

For more information:

I know that LGBT inclusion will open tremendous opportunity for our community. It will further retention of public works dollars in our local economy, helping it grow, and support our community to do its part in building a diverse, innovating and thriving economy here in Washington State.

Let’s make our community stronger together!

George Pieper
Former GSBA Vice President & Board Member
Chair & 6th District Commissioner, King County Civil Rights Commission

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