Minority Business

  I believe that for the health of our community we must develop successful independent business people in all segments of our community. 

THE LOWEST AND BEST is the city's criteria for a successful bidder.  BEST gives an opportunity to choose 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 pay retired business people to find and mentor small ethnic minority contractors to bid successfully for city of Grand Rapids business.

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 not yet conducted business with the City find the government paperwork, bid deadlines, and the demands made by many different city departments confusing.  The perceived or actual lack of sensitivity to small struggling businesses by the city is sometimes evident in an inability or unwillingness to communicate clearly, and pay for goods and services in a timely fashion.

(A problem and solution suggested by our daughter Rhonda 3/7/17)
PROBLEM: One of problems of a business in a neighborhood run by someone who does not live in the neighborhood where they do business is that they do not have a social connection to the people in the neighborhood. If they are not of an ethnic, or income group the same as the neighborhood, it is especially difficult for the business to respond and reflect the needs of the neighborhood and be an example and encouragement to the population in that neighborhood.


SOLUTION:  I believe that the City should give a tax incentive to business owners who open a business in a neighborhood where they live, and continue to live in that neighborhood.

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, counsel 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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