(WASHINGTON, DC) On October 19, the Bowser Administration will join Certified Business Enterprises (CBEs) at the Third Annual District Connect Matchmaking and Networking Event being held at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library. Small Business Enterprises (SBEs), a subset of CBEs comprised of smaller, local businesses, are welcome to participate in one-on-one matchmaking and information sessions with prime contractors; contracting staff from DC government agencies, including the DC Department of Transportation, Department of General Services, Office of Tax and Revenue, and DC Retirement Board; and regional partners including DC Water and EventsDC.
"We're constantly looking for ways to harness the procurement power of government to bolster our local businesses,” says Kristi Whitfield, Director of the Department of Small and Local Business Development (DSLBD). "Keeping local dollars in DC, as well as requiring our Administration to spend with our local businesses, is essential to advancing equity and providing a Fair Shot for our small business community. That is why we are excited to continue to host this matchmaking and networking event targeted towards SBEs."
District Connect focuses on increasing access to capital and contracting opportunities for local businesses and is a part of Mayor Bowser's overall initiative of spending over a record-breaking $1 billion with SBEs.
DSLBD certifies local businesses as CBEs, which gives them set asides or preference points when bidding on procurement and contracting opportunities. DSLBD also facilitates the annual release of the Small Business Enterprise Opportunity Guide, also known as the Green Book. In 2015, Mayor Bowser launched the FY16 Green Book with an initial SBE spend goal of $317 million. The Green Book helps SBEs navigate the procurement opportunities available at District agencies. By FY21, the District spent a record-breaking $1.1 billion with SBEs.
For more information about the District Connect event, visit https://dslbd.dc.gov/districtconnect.