State Hosting Business Forums

May 6, 2002
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LANSING — The state is looking for entrepreneurs that it can do business with.

That’s why the Michigan Department of Transportation and several other state agencies will be bringing purchasing agents and potential vendors together at 11 business forums this spring and summer.

The forums are free and the focus will be on how entrepreneurs can do business with the state. The first in the series of forums will be from 9 a.m. until 12:30 p.m., May 7, in the Hill Center for Academics and Technology at 5815 Wise Road in Lansing.

Another will take place in Grand Rapids from 9 a.m. until noon, on Aug. 13, in the exhibition hall of DeVos Center at Grand Valley State University, 401 W. Fulton.

“In recent years, most state agencies and local units of government have changed the way they do business,” said Charles Ford, administrator of the Office of Equal Opportunity at MDOT.

Ford said the state needs an astonishing number of goods and services ranging from telecom equipment to cleaning supplies.

“Our system for working with vendors is much more user-friendly, today. These business forums will explain our processes and help individuals connect with representatives from governmental agencies who regularly purchase goods and services,” added Ford.

How state and local agencies buy goods and services will be explained, along with how vendors can register with the state, how to access the state’s electronic bidding system and how to bid on projects and service contracts.

“The business opportunity forums will be especially helpful to minority and women-owned firms,” said Ford. “There will be specific information to help business representatives learn how to become certified to do business with public agencies.”

Last year, more than 750 business owners attended similar sessions.

Contact Ann Williams at (517) 241-4427 or Claudia Allen at (517) 373-8139 for more information.            BJ

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