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Jane Castor was elected by a landslide on April 24, 2019.

Tampa Bay

Tampa Mayor Jane Castor to boost local business participation in city contracts process through social media engagement

The idea is to make doing business with the city more accessible.

The city of Tampa is beginning to advertise bid opportunities on social media in order to boost participation in the city’s procurement processes.

The city will advertise opportunities for businesses to provide goods and services to the city on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

The city has historically been criticized for not having an inclusive bidding process for city contracts, instead utilizing larger, often out-of-town companies to contract with the city.

The procurement process is most well-known for large-scale, highlights-profile projects like revamping large parks, building new city facilities or completing transportation projects.

However, the bidding process extends to multiple levels of city government and can include smaller services like providing catering for events or minor services like cleaning offices or consulting on technology.

The city’s purchasing department will post listings on social media for bidding opportunities. The department is responsible for acquiring needed goods and serves as efficiently and inexpensive as possible while also ensuring the process provides an equal opportunity for all qualified vendors.

It’s the latest step in a series of efforts by Jane Castor’s new administration to create an inclusive business environment between the city and its private businesses.

“Local businesses are the backbone of our City and we’re looking for any and all ways we can get the message out about opportunities available,” Castor said.

Castor also launched a Bridges to Business tour that takes staff members from the city’s purchasing department into communities local businesses serve in order to teach them the ins and outs of the procurement process and help them meet qualifications to apply for city contracts.

Increasing opportunities to do business with the city was one of Castor’s campaign promises she is aggressively seeking to fulfill.

Businesses can follow the city of Tampa on Twitter under the handle @CityofTampa, on Facebook here or LinkedIn here.

Current bid opportunities are also listed on the city’s DemandStar page. Current opportunities include janitorial services for parking garages, firms to create a Streetcar Extension and Modernization Design and firms to participate in creating the citywide mobility plan under Castor’s newly released transportation advisory board recommendations, among others.

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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