I believe that for the health of our community we must develop
successful independent business people among all ethnic and religious
segments of our community.
THE LOWEST AND BEST is the city's criteria for a successful bidder. BEST
gives an opportunity to chose a bidder who offers better quality and the
ability to help the city achieve its goals other than low price. We
should not spend public money for goods or services from contractors who do
not compete with good quality and competitive price. I believe, however,
that we should invest money to find and mentor small contractors. We
should show them how to bid successfully for city of Grand Rapids
business. This would help them to have a chance to grow and become a
part of the larger business community .
PROBLEM: I believe that the greatest hindrance to minority or any other small
contractor being successful in getting contracts and keeping them with the
city is a lack of information and experience. Contractors who have
never done business with the City are intimidated by the paperwork, bid
deadlines, and the demands made by different city departments. The
lack of sensitivity to small struggling businesses by the city is evident
in their inability or unwillingness to communicate clearly, courteously,
and pay for goods and services in a timely fashion.
SOLUTION: I believe that the City should have a small business advocate in
the Purchasing, Engineering, and Comptrollers Departments who would
seek out small businesses, council potential bidders, and advocate for
successful bidders when they have problems getting co-operation and payment
from the City.
SOLUTION: I believe that the city should identify areas where there are few
minority contractors and encourage the successful majority contractors and
suppliers in those areas to help one of their minority employees start
their own business.
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