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
(A problem and solution
suggested by our daughter
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
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.
An e-mail response opportunity is