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Jane Castor makes first ‘Bridges to Business’ stop this weekend

Small business owners can certify their businesses to access city contracts to boost their businesses. 

Tampa Mayor Jane Castor is kicking off her first “Bridges to Business” vendor certification event this weekend.

Castor, along with city officials from the purchasing and minority and small business development offices, will be at the event.

It’s 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday at the Cyrus Greene Community Center, 2101 E. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. (Note: While the event opens at 9 a.m., Castor will not arrive until 9:30.) 

Small business owners attending the event can certify their businesses with the city to help access city procurement contracts to boost their businesses. 

The goal of the “Bridges to Business” Vendor Certification Tour is to meet entrepreneurs in the communities where they serve in an effort to connect them with basic information that has the potential to lead to government contract work.  


Business owners will have the opportunity to learn city processes for bidding on contracts as well as other information about things like filing permit applications. The events specifically target small business owners and minority and women-owned businesses. 

Prime contractors and non-profit organizations will also be on hand to provide information on current projects.  

“Bringing city services into the neighborhoods ensures local businesses have access to the tools they need to build a long term relationship with the City,” Castor said.

“Improving the number of minority, woman-owned and small businesses that have an opportunity to bid on city projects and guarantees an inclusive, equitable and open process for all businesses to have a chance to thrive locally.”

The Bridges to Business Vendor Certification Tour is free and open to business owners or their representatives.  Space for one-on-one certification consultations is full for this event, but business owners can still register for future events on the city’s website.

The City plans to announce dates and locations for additional Vendor Certification Tours in the near future. 

Janelle Irwin Taylor has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in the Tampa Bay area since 2003. Most recently, Janelle reported for the Tampa Bay Business Journal. She formerly served as the sole staff reporter for WMNF News and previously covered news for and various local neighborhood newsletters. Her work has been featured in the New York Daily News, Free Speech Radio News and Florida Public Radio and she's been interviewed by radio stations across the nation for her coverage of the 2012 Republican National Convention. Janelle is a die-hard news junkie who isn't afraid to take on big names in local politics, including Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, the dirty business of trash and recycling in St. Pete and contentious issues surrounding transit. Her work as a reporter and radio host has earned her two WMNF awards including News Volunteer of the Year and Public Affairs Volunteer of the Year. Janelle is also a devoted wife and mother to three brilliant and beautiful daughters who are a constant source of inspiration and occasional blogging fodder.

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