Nearly 500 small business owners networked and explored potential contracting opportunities with government agencies, procurement representatives and prime contractors at LaGuardia Community College Business Services’ 14th Annual Small Business and Procurement Expo, held at the Con Edison Learning Center in Long Island City, NY on June 10.
Left to Right: Michael Jones-Bey, Con Edison; Mohamed Hamdan, T-Mobile; Van Thompson, Skanska, Gail O. Mellow, LaGuardia Community College; Melinda Katz, President, Borough of Queens; Beth Goldberg, U.S. Small Business Administration; Pamela Newman, ISS Action; Linda Mellon, LaGuardia Business Services; Glen Greene, Granwood Inc.; Robert Chory, Valente Yeast (Photo Credit: LaGuardia Community College.)
“LaGuardia Business Services continues to play a key role in the establishment and success of New York City small businesses,” said Dr. Gail O. Mellow, President of LaGuardia Community College. “Through services and resources, education and training, assistance with government contracting opportunities, and access to capital, we empower existing, new and emerging businesses—helping them to grow and thrive, and in turn support the local economy.”
Exhibitors at the Expo included the Department of Homeland Security/FEMA, Empire State Development, General Services Administration, Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), New York City Economic Development Corporation, NYC Department of Environmental Protection, NYC Department of Transportation, and Port Authority of New York & New Jersey, among others. Participants attended workshops on topics such as accounting for government contracting; alternative financing; sales; and Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business certification.
“Skanska is committed to working with local businesses on our construction projects. We always look forward to working with LaGuardia Community College Business Services to achieve our mutual goal of supporting small-business owners, especially those right here in Queens,” said Michael Viggiano, Executive Vice President, Skanska USA Civil. “In the long run, programs like these help improve engagement with diverse subcontractors and suppliers and help foster sustainable growth for these companies while supporting our communities and local workforce.”
“We are proud to host this event once again this year,” said Michael Jones Bey, Director, Supplier Diversity, Con Edison. “Our partnership with LaGuardia Community College Business Services consistently yields positive results. This is a great opportunity for minority and/or women-owned business enterprises to meet representatives from government agencies and private corporations that are committed to increasing expenditures with diverse firms.”
In addition to organizing this annual Expo, LaGuardia Business Services’ procurement services includes the Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC), which helps New York City businesses—in particular, small, minority, and women business owners—market their goods and services to government agencies. Since its inception in 1999, PTAC has served over 4,800 businesses; helped create over 4,600 jobs; and assisted clients in obtaining over $250 million in contracts.
Granwood Inc., an information technology and staffing company, became a PTAC client in 2014, when the company needed assistance breaking into the government contracting market. Working closely with PTAC, by February 2016 Granwood had become an approved MTA vendor, one of only 29 companies selected from over 200 submissions, allowing it to bid on upcoming consulting opportunities within the various agencies of the MTA system.
And with help from PTAC, ISS Action, a woman-owned security services firm, has been awarded $41 million (including option years) in government contracts since 2009. ISS Action expanded from state government contracts to federal ones, with counsel from PTAC. In December 2011 the company was awarded the Security and Protective Contract for a NASA location in Mississippi. Two years later, it was awarded the prestigious United States Merchant Marine Academy Federal contract for armed guards. And in August 2015, the company was awarded by the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey the armed PATH train contract, which utilizes ISS Action armed guards in both New York and New Jersey.