Wednesday, September 13, 2006

What is California doing to assist small business?

In a visit to Fresno, Sam Wallace- 56, a former business owner, African-American and the first appointee as the Small Enterprise Officer outlined some ways in which small businesses can access procurement contracts with the state. The three strategies for increasing small business capacity that will assist them in benefiting from the Governor's $107B Strategic Growth Plan through Executive Order S-11-06 include:
  • Recognizing opportunities to do business without being a certified small disabled veteran, minority or women small business (must produce $10M or less in annual revnues)
  • Connecting small business with prime contractors (larger firms doing more than $10M)
  • Connecting the Office of Small Enterprise with the rest of the community- business, nonprofits and workforce/govt. agencies to get the word out
Wallace mentioned some interesting facts:
  • California has about 1.5 million firms/business
  • About 750,000 are eligible to participate in the state's small business program
  • Of those, approximately 2-3% or 15-20 thousand firms are certified in the state as a small or disadvantaged business (over 50% owned by veteran, ethnic minority or woman).
  • Only 42% of them are bidding on state procurment projects and approximately 2000 won a contract, which means only 1% of the qualified small firms are doing business with the state.
This causes a problem- it creates opportunities for out of state and foreign companies to access the billions of dollars procured through California. Even if we usedCalifornia's top 25 contsruction firms, they could only manage approximately 10% ($6.3B) of the state's planned $63B in construction and infrastructure contracts according to Wallace.

So how can small business participate with the state, which was the theme of the conference held in Fresno titled "2006 Contracting Connections"? Wallce, who previously contracted with the state is was the president of Williams-Wallace Managament Consultants. had three words of advice:
  1. Focus in on the services you will provide
  2. Connect with the agencies that best fit your expertise
  3. Develop relationships with staff at the Agency you want to do business with

Friday, January 13, 2006

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Holiday Celebration Calendar

Fresno, CA

Everybody can be great because anybody can serve. You don't have to have college degree to serve. You don't have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.

Dr. Martin L. King, Jr.

Friday, January 13, 2006

5:30-6:30 PM
The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Evening Reception and Awards Presentation: Fresno City Hall, 2nd Floor Lobby & Council Chambers, 2600 Fresno Street.
Contact: Dr. Jean Kennedy (559) 270-1023 or Julia Dudley (559) 457-2780.

5:30 PM
A reception and awards program at the African American Historical and Cultural Museum, 1857 Fulton St.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

8-9 AM
The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Breakfast will be held at the
Clovis Veterans Memorial Building -Independence Room, 453 Hughes Avenue (corner of 5th Street & Hughes Ave.). Members of the Community are invited to enjoy a delicious breakfast is $5.00 per person. Fresno City College President, Ned Doffoney will speak.
Contact: Caroline Carlson (559) 324-2416.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

The Drum Major for Justice Award Banquet is hosted by the California Advocate Newspaper ( Radisson Hotel Cost, $75. Reception is followed the awards banquet starting at
7 PM.

5:30-6:30 PM
The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Candlelight Vigil at the Fresno City Hall Fountain, 2600 Fresno Street, Fresno.

Monday, January 16, 2006

9:30 AM- Assembly. 10 AM March Start
The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. March and Food Drive to End Hunger in Fresno. The event begins at 9:30 a.m. at St. John's Cathedral, 2814 Mariposa Ave.

11 AM
The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemoration Program Memorial Auditorium,
Fresno Street between N and O Streets (across from the Fresno Water Tower). An inspiring and enjoyable program will be hosted by the City of Fresno's Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Unity Committee.

Contact: Ed C. Bailey (559) 304-5772

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Prespections, Poverty and Kayne West from a Vegas View

Today, I read an editorial piece on Black Commentator , which highlighted a study of 1200 people (500 blacks & 700 whites) about their views on how race factored into the federal government's response to Hurricane Katrina. Unsurprisingly, there was a great disparity between blacks and whites on the issue. The article also asked those polled whether Kayne West comments about George Bush, FEMA, Hurricane Katrina and racial inequality were unjustified. The editor states that the difference in perception (9% blacks, 56% whites) demonstrates that race is still an issue in our country.

I guess what makes this article particularly striking is that I saw Kayne West after his concert on News Years Eve in Las Vegas. The capacity crowd of about 7500 ($75-300 a pop) was primarily white. Despite Kayne's clear message in his lyrics and on national TV about societal wrongs regarding race, poverty and urban repression he continues to garnish fans across ethnic and socio-economic lines. Is it because young white suburbanites are searching for ways to rebel against the cultural institutions established by their parents & families? Is it because people are tired of a federal government that is unresponsive to the needs of the people whether they are of seniors, veterans, international citizens, or black/African-American? Or could the fans like artists who just don't like George Bush? I say it could any or all above.

In Fresno where the concentration of poverty is greater than pre-Katrina New Orleans, race and poverty are issues swept under the old rug already plauged with a huge lupe of dirt. It kick up dust every time someone walks over it and acts as its not there. Maybe that's why we have bad air-- no one wants to clear the dust.