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Levy Forum Gives Minority/Women-Owned Businesses Insight about Government Contract Opportunities

County Executive Levy was joined at the event by (from left) Henry Holley, president The Holley Group; Dr. Marie Nicholas-Cook, president of the Lighthouse Resource Center; Lisa Pomerantz, chair of Suffolk’s Women’s Business Enterprise Coalition, and Elta Bergold of Long Island Sound Transport, also known as A & R Materials.

The office of Steve Levy issued this release:

Suffolk Executive Steve Levy hosted a networking ‘mixer’ for minority/women-owned business enterprises on Dec. 14, providing an information-exchange forum with County Department of Public Works personnel and purchasing officials about qualifying for government work. Levy spoke about the importance of understanding the newly modified bonding requirements that enable emerging businesses to have a better chance of gaining municipal contracts.

“In many cases, the difference between a successful and unsuccessful business is a matter of knowing all the options available,” Levy said. “That is why Suffolk is proud to host this ‘mixer,’ so that members of our business community will know where to turn when presented with a problem or question they cannot answer alone.”

The informal atmosphere at the event facilitated interaction between the entrepreneurs and key members of county personnel – including purchasing agents and procurement specialists – that will foster one-on-one working relationships going forward.

Under Levy’s direction, the county has instituted a number of important programs to assist minority/women-owned businesses and help these firms compete in the market place. Entrepreneurs, for example, can becoming a member of the Suffolk County Minority/Women Business Enterprise Registry, which gives companies additional exposure and, potentially, a better chance of gaining government contracts.

Levy’s Suffolk County Office of Minority Affairs is also a home to the County’s Minority Business Development Council and the Women’s Business Enterprise Coalition. Both coalitions strive to assist qualified women and minority-owned businesses in effectively competing for bids, contracts and other procurement opportunities in both the public and private sectors. Businesses seeking certification as a minority or women-owned business in Suffolk may also obtain applications and information on qualifications by calling the Office of Minority Affairs at 631-853-4738.

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