2007 Small and Disadvantaged Business Conference Coming April 10

Communications Director

Kristin Farley
(865) 215-2589

400 Main St., Room 691
Knoxville, TN 37902

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2007 Small and Disadvantaged Business Conference Coming April 10

Posted: 03/19/2007
The City of Knoxville and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development are presenting the 2007 Small and Disadvantaged Business Conference on April 10.

The conference - for businesses in Knoxville and the surrounding area - will be held from 9 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. at the Foundry on the Fair Site, at 747 World's Fair Park Drive with registration beginning at 8:30 a.m.

The goal of the event is to give individuals involved in small businesses a better understanding of the federal government contracts available to them and how to take advantage of those opportunities.

Admission to the conference is free but space is limited to the first 200 participants so registration will be on a first come, first serve basis.

"We're excited to be able to offer this event with the Department of Housing and Urban Development," said Mayor Bill Haslam. "We believe that it will give small business people here in Knoxville and the metropolitan area the kind of tools that will help them better compete for federal contracts."

Valerie Hayes, Acting Director of HUD's Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization, will be the keynote speaker and Bob Young, HUD Regional Director will be on hand to welcome the attendees.

Speakers from HUD, the Small Business Administration and the General Services Administration will offer presentations during the conference.

Hayes will make her remarks during lunch, which will be served as part of the event.

"There are numerous opportunities for contracts with small and disadvantaged businesses available in the federal government," said Young, HUD's Regional Director. "What we want to do at this conference is to say this is how you can compete for those federal dollars."

The 2007 Small and Disadvantaged Business Conference grew out of a series of small business workshops sponsored late last year and in early 2007 by the City of Knoxville's Community Relations Office, HUD, SunTrust Bank, and the University of Tennessee's College of Law.

Those events were part of the city's Equal Business Opportunity Program (EBOP).

Joshalyn Hundley, Coordinator of the city's Title VI and EBOP programs, said it became apparent during conversations with participants of those workshops that, "there was a lack of a bridge to unite contract opportunities with small businesses."

"The people in small businesses were either not aware of the opportunities to compete for these funds or they were intimidated by the process," Hundley added.

The conference is designed to remedy both of those problems.

To reserve a spot at the conference please email your request to Suzanne_E._Wright@hud.gov or call 865-545-4400, ext. 106 for more information.