Supplier Diversity Digest: A newsletter from the Office of Supplier Diversity
December 2018
The Gift that Keeps on Giving: Supplier Diversity Exchange
Each year, in collaboration with local organizations, the Office of Supplier Diversity (OSD) hosts several Supplier Diversity Exchange events across Florida. In the spirit of the season, consider these free events our gift to your small business to help you understand and become involved with government contracting. Presentations, panel discussions, and networking opportunities – including the chance to meet directly with government buyers from state and local agencies during pre-scheduled interviews – may be the most important gift we offer.

As 2018 comes to an end, take advantage of our gift to you and register for our upcoming 2019 Supplier Diversity Exchanges! The Pensacola Supplier Diversity Exchange will take place on February 5, 2019, and the Gainesville Supplier Diversity Exchange will take place on March 1, 2019. Visit the OSD Events webpage for more information and to register for these events.
Small Business Update
Provided by the Florida SBDC Network

While no one wants to see disasters strike, for small business government contractors they can provide opportunities to serve their communities and grow their businesses. At the federal, state, and local levels, many government procurement opportunities exist for small businesses following Hurricane Michael.

At the federal level, for example, the Thomas T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act requires that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) contract with businesses located in the affected area for goods and services when practical and feasible. These opportunities include debris removal and items frequently used following a disaster, including office supplies, dumpsters, and shredders.

If the goods and services your company offers are relevant to disaster response, we highly encourage you to review this Disaster Recovery Contracting guide , which outlines opportunities available and the steps your business must take. The Florida Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) offers a comprehensive service to best position you as a successful government contractor. 

To read the guide, and to learn more about how the Florida PTAC can help you at no cost, please visit
Provided by the Florida Advisory Council on Small and Minority Business Development (FACSMBD)

During the October meeting, the Council welcomed Joe Marino, Interim Executive Director of Veterans Florida. Mr. Marino presented an overview of Veterans Florida and answered questions on the services Veterans Florida offers to veterans, including career services, employer workforce grants, and an entrepreneurship program.
Several Council members recently received awards and special recognitions. Congratulations to the following members:

  • Johnny Helms of Lumbee Resource Management received the Small Business of the Year Award from the Jacksonville Chamber Information Technology Council. Lumbee Resource Management also received the Small Minority Business of the Year Award from the Northeast Board of Education during the First Coast Business Alliance, Inc. MED Week celebration.

  • Deborah Thompson of Deborah K. Thompson Consultants received a community award from NAACP for her work on the NAACP Economic Development Committee. She also received an award from the Puerto Rican Chamber of Commerce and was recognized as one of the 10 most influential women in Florida.

  • Christine Yerkes of Yerkes South, Inc. was recognized during National Veteran's Small Business Week with a salute and special feature from Florida's SBDC at UWF.
Did you know Veterans Florida has a Workforce Training Grant Program that reimburses employers 50 percent of qualified training costs up to $8,000 per veteran trained?

This information and more was shared with attendees at the Nov. 14, 2018 Small Business Workshop hosted by the Office of Supplier Diversity and Florida State University Procurement Services. At the workshop focused on resources available to veteran entrepreneurs, Christopher Meinhardt, Veterans Florida’s Employer Outreach Specialist, discussed Veterans Florida’s career services and employer workforce grants. Charles Sessions, Program Coordinator, shared information on the Veterans Florida Entrepreneurship Program located at Tallahassee Community College. Visit for more information on these programs and to learn how Florida is putting veterans first.
Small Business Snippets
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The content of this newsletter is intended to serve as informational only. It should not be construed as business advice or an endorsement of any particular organization by the Office of Supplier Diversity or the Florida Department of Management Services.