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Seminar geared toward opportunity

For local and regional residents looking to do business with the city of Selma, a regional agency will show the type of contracting opportunities currently available.

The Small Business Development Center at the University of West Alabama will hold its “Contracting Opportunities Seminar for local businesses” today from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. inside the Larry D. Striplin Performing Arts Center.

The workshop, presented by Selma Mayor George Evans and the Selma-Dallas County Chamber of Commerce, is designed to show local and regional businesses how to identify federal, state and local contracting opportunities.

Topics will include: doing business with the U.S. federal government, how to identify and position your business with state and federal contracting opportunities and minority contracting with the Alabama Department of Transportation Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Program, to name a few.

“It’s basically an opportunity for local businesses as well as entrepreneurs to identify how to do business with government and the city of Selma,” said Chamber executive director Sheryl Smedley. “Everything’s changing in our world today. The way we do business now is not how we did it yesterday.”

Such jobs as construction, real estate, welding, insurance, information technology, painting, plumbing and even pest control, Smedley said, are available through contracts with the state of Alabama.

“We want the general public to know and be aware of the ins-and-outs of business,” Smedley said. “Whether state, city or federal, you have to be certified to do business … we want to explain the opportunities out there and how to take advantage of them.”

Guest speakers for the event include Regional Small Business Office of Utilization General Service Administration director Mildred Quinley, UWA Division of Outreach Services director Kenneth Walker, ALDOT DBE program director John Huffman, Procurement Technical Assistance Program Alabama Small Business Development Consortium director Rick Howell and Selma City Clerk Ivy Harrison.

Donald Mills, SBDC director, said the workshop will provide businesses with all the information they need to do business with city, state and federal government.

“With the economic downturn, typical markets are slow,” Mills said. “It’s a good opportunity for businesses to take options with the state and federal governments. It’s a good opportunity to find out what programs and services the state and federal government procure — (see) what they purchase.”
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