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Tampa Bay-Lakeland
Business Observer Tuesday, May 11, 2021 1 year ago

Program teaches businesses how to win valuable city contracts

Tampa's Bridges to Business event connects businesses with city staff, that help maneuver through the oft-complicated procurement process.

For the first time since the start of the pandemic, Tampa business owners can get in-person help this week on how to become vendors for the city and bid for work.

The training sessions are part of a program started by Tampa Mayor Jane Castor in 2019 that’s aimed at increasing the number minority, women-owned and small businesses that receive city contracts.

The program is called Bridges to Business and was created to connect businesses with city staff, resources and experts that can help maneuver through the oft-complicated procurement process.

Thursday’s sessions will allow business owners to meet staff from the office of Equal Business Opportunity who will complete certification applications. 

Staff members from the purchasing and contract department will also be on hand to walk owners through the bidding process and to talk about contract opportunities that may be coming up.

Tampa is currently looking for companies that specialize in maintenance, installation and repair, construction services and public work as well as other services.

The city had been hosting events in person until the pandemic forced the sessions online. While Thursday’s event is a step toward a return to normal, there will still be a virtual component.

Thursday’s sessions will be held from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Barksdale Active Older Adult Center, 1801 North Lincoln Avenue. To register, visit

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