FMU, Florence, FDTC join efforts to improve business community - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

FMU, Florence, FDTC join efforts to improve business community

Source: FMU website Source: FMU website
Source: City of Florence, S.C. website Source: City of Florence, S.C. website
Source: FDTC website Source: FDTC website
Source: Florence, S.C. website Source: Florence, S.C. website
FLORENCE, SC (WMBF) - Francis Marion University, the City of Florence, Florence County and Florence-Darlington Technical College are joining forces to bring a new training and consulting program designed to help small and minority-owned businesses in the Pee Dee area understand public procurement processes and gain access to new business opportunities.

“Public Procurement: A Program for Small and Minority Businesses” is the new program that FMU's Small Business Institute will host that will consist of several group classes on procurement followed by individual consultations, according to a news release from FMU. The institute will be at the center of the ongoing consulting initiative as the other partnering institutions contribute by providing access to their procurement personnel and information regarding their processes.

“It's a critical need for both businesses and governmental entities,” says Teresa Myers Ervin, Florence City Council Member. Councilwoman Ervin, who organized the movement for the program. “Everyone can benefit when there's a level playing field. The training and information available through this program will be a real boom to our local businesses.”

The free program begins in August and is open to all businesses in the Pee Dee region; participants will be included on a master list of small businesses in the area interested in doing business with the sponsoring entities.

The release states Florence Mayor Stephen J. Wukela believes the program will augment small and minority business involvement in contracts with the city:

“While the City actively solicits minority and small businesses in our procurement process, we have been deeply concerned about the percentage of those firms that do not respond to our solicitation to bid on projects. Councilwoman Ervin has forged a strong coalition of public entities led by Francis Marion University that will provide training and advice to minority and small business firms in the procurement process.”

FMU is delighted to join the partnership and provide the educational element needed for the program to succeed, according to Dr. Fred Carter, FMU President. “Francis Marion University's mission is to be an educational hub for a variety of activities in the Pee Dee,” commented President Carter. “We're happy to play that role in this endeavor which will expand procurement opportunities for the region's business community.”

To register or for more information, please call Brianna Zhang, Manager of the FMU Small Business Institute, at (843)-661-1112 or e-mail her at bzhang@fmarion.edu.

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