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Miramar Commissioner Wayne Messam to Teach Minority Businesses How to Bid on Contracts

October 17, 2012

By Dessalines Ferdinand

MIRAMAR, FL -- On October 2nd, 2012, Miramar Commissioner Wayne M. Messam hosted his first of two meetings to teach local business owners about the procurement and bidding process in the city. The meeting was held at the Miramar Multi Service Center Ballroom, at 6700 Miramar Parkway. About 100 small business owners showed up.

Attendees have learned that over the last fifteen years, the city has grown in population from 73,000 to more than 123,000 residents today. During a 40 minutes presentation, Commissioner Messam fully explained the process that everyone must go through in order to bid effectively.

Participants have learned a lot about the city of Miramar as the commissioner presen-ted key points on how the procurement process works and how small business ow-ners can take advantage of the many incentives available to them.

Messam, the first of his Jamaican parents' children born in the United States, stated that all vendors have to go through the same bureaucratic, and each business has an equal opportunity to work with the city of Miramar.

"As a commissioner, I can't use my position to influence the Procurement service department to favor any vendor. You must follow the procurement guidelines the city has implanted. It is a fair and competitive process," said the commissioner.

Mr. Messam underscored the difference between private and public purchasing and the importance for small business owners to develop a good relationship with the procurement department.

"It is better to stay in contact with the procurement service department to know about coming bids, which is not illegal. But, it is illegal to talk to the employers of the procurement department once a bid comes out," he said.

According to the commissioner, there is a 5% prefe-rence for local bidders. This is a way to increase employment opportunities for Miramar residents.

"If you are a Miramar resident and have your office in another city, you are still considered as a local business owner by the city."

The city of Miramar will be launching a new system of DemandStar soon, which maintains a vendor database and provides electronic notifications of solicitation opportunities to them. Each vendor is categorized by NIGP commodity codes for the specific goods or services they offer.

The good thing, said Commissioner Messam, is that businesses who have registered are notified electronically whenever the city requests a quotation or has issued a formal solicitation for a commodity or service offered by the vendor.

With the new DemandStar system, vendors will have the opportunity to register their business profile. The new system will help the purchasing department in its bid solicitations by tracking them by required category.

Randy Cross, CPPO, Procurement Director of the city of Miramar was also in the room. He answered some specific questions to support the commissioner in his presentation. Mr. Cross explained how the new DemandStar system website will make it easier for vendors to conduct business with the city of Miramar.

The city of Miramar has recently passed Procure-ment Code offers and great incentives for businesses, which has been a key initiative of Commissioner Messam, champion of economic development and job creation in the City.

Messam, an advocate for small, minority-owned and disadvantaged businesses, was elected to the City of Miramar Commission in March of 2011. He currently serves as vice-chair of Miramar's Planning and Zoning Board. He is also serving his second term as chair of the Broward County Small Business Develop-ment Advisory Board where he has been very influential in the policy recommendations that affect the local and small business programs for Broward County and Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) firms.

Another "How to Do Business with The City" presentation will be held on October 30th, at the Commission Chambers in City Hall, 2300 Civic Center.

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