South Florida Anchor Alliance forms to help minority small businesses access government contracts
Black and brown small business owners face challenges accessing government contracts to grow and sustain their businesses.
The South Florida Anchor Alliance, a new collaboration between 19 local healthcare, educational and government organizations, seeks to change that. Together they are backing the creation of a one-stop shop web portal that small business operators will be able to use starting in September to learn about and secure government contract opportunities in South Florida for their goods and services, the Miami Herald reported.
The Health Foundation, a South Florida nonprofit, will provide $1.2 million to help alliance members get the online portal going. The 10 anchor community stakeholders in the group, including Miami-Dade County, Broward County and the University of Miami, among others, last year purchased a combined $8 billion worth of goods and services from vendors nationwide.
How it will work: The 10 anchor members of the alliance will share their pool of vendors via the online portal, so small business owners can easily access contracts and resources. The technology will connect each government contract opportunity with a small business owner based on company information the small business owner shares on the alliance’s online portal.
While COVID was devastating for many businesses across the country, the impacts for enterprises owned by women, racial minorities, and immigrants were even more severe. African Americans experienced the largest losses: a 41 percent drop in the number of active business owners. Latino-owned business ownership dropped by 32 percent. Immigrant business owners suffered a 36 percent drop, while female business owners declined by 25 percent.
“Miami-Dade’s small and minority-owned businesses are the backbone of our local economy,” said Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava. “We’re ready to on-ramp these businesses to competitive procurement opportunities within our larger anchor institutions, and we remain confident that this cross-sector approach will help to uplift small businesses across the region.”