Helping business owners better engage with municipal government was the goal of LaMATS attendance at the 2018 Small Business Summit, held Sept. 28 at the Shreveport Convention Center. Hosted by Louisiana Economic Development (LED) and the City of Shreveport, the Summit convened hundreds of small business owners with an emphasis toward minority, women, and veteran owned companies.
In her welcoming statement, Shreveport Mayor Ollie S. Tyler said the event is designed to teach business owners how to build capacity and provide more value-added products and services.
LaMATS Executive Director Cliff Palmer said those same lessons can help small businesses create long-term relationships with municipal customers. “With better understanding of the unique needs of local government, businesses can plan how best to serve them,” he said.
Palmer joined representatives from Louisiana’s Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (PTACs) to discuss with attendees how local government procurement works and how, through LaMATS Purchasing Services and the PTAC network, small business owners can leverage that knowledge to benefit municipalities and their own bottom lines.
Both Gov. John Bel Edwards and LED Sec. Don Pierson addressed the attendees, each stressing the importance of participation in available local and state economic development initiatives, such as Shreveport’s own Fair Share Program, launched in 2000 specifically to increase opportunities for disadvantaged enterprises seeking city business.