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February 6 Outreach Features Three Guests Who Offer More Business Resources

Post Date:02/12/2020 3:16 PM
Frank Hayden addressing listeners

WEST PALM BEACH, FLA. (February 12, 2020) – The City of West Palm Beach is committed to providing resources and helping small business owners to grow. Through the City’s Office of Equal Opportunity (OEO), the City hosted “Take the Leap-Get Certified,” a quarterly outreach event held at the Mandel Public Library of West Palm Beach on February 6, 2020. There, approximately 70 attendees learned about City resources and partnerships with other agencies that aid in entrepreneurial development. This initiative is in line with Mayor Keith A. James’ vision of working to create a community of opportunity for all in West Palm Beach. 

“West Palm Beach is becoming increasingly known for the entrepreneurial spirit embraced by a growing number of small business owners,” said Mayor James. “Small business owners are the lifeblood of our city.  As a City, we are doing everything we can to support them, and outreach events such as ‘Take the Leap-Get Certified’ are key to raising awareness of the City’s support.” 

At “Take the Leap-Get Certified” Director of the Office of Equal Opportunity (OEO) Frank Hayden reminded guests of how the City works with small business enterprises (SBEs) and minority and woman business enterprises (M/WBEs). 

“With sheltered market bids designed to increase participation among SBEs and M/WBEs and with an open-door policy, the City’s Procurement Department and OEO are doing all that we can to help small businesses be successful,” Hayden said. 

The City’s Chief Financial Officer Mark Parks provided an overview of the City’s financial strength and a step-by-step guide for how small business owners should submit their invoices to get paid quickly. Patricia Armstrong, senior purchasing agent, explained the rules and regulations that govern the procurement process and what requirements vendors are expected to meet in order to bid. Tinu Pena, the City’s Capital Improvement Plan manager, shared the upcoming capital improvement projects that would require vendor participation; she unveiled the new interface for bids on 

Attendees also heard from the City’s partner agencies:

  • Thais Sullivan, first vice president of Valley National Bank, was there to encourage small business owners and certified vendors to learn about the new Small Business Banking program. Valley is part of a consortium of banks that will work with City contractors on financing options to help them be competitive.
  • Complete Contract Consulting CEO Sharna Barnes offered her firm’s assistance to business owners who simply don’t have the time to research solicitations and respond by the deadlines. Her firm works with companies that need a helping set of hands getting certified and bidding on contracts.
  • And Courtney Mickens, associate director for the Jim Moran Institute for Global Entrepreneurship, invited guests to take advantage of the free business development training available from her organization. The no-cost workshops allow business owners to learn from each other and the Institute, while making valuable connections.

 Register to do business as an SBE and MWBE at and click on “About” ( to contact staff for questions.

 For more information, please call the Office of Equal Opportunity or the Department of Procurement at (561) 822-1200 (TTY: 800-955-8771).


[PHOTO CAPTION: Frank Hayden, Director of the Office of Equal Opportunity, Addresses Guests at “Take the Leap – Get Certified” Event

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