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Gov. Bob McDonnell honors Va. Beach for minority business efforts

12/5/2013, 11:59 a.m.
Virginia Beach was recognized for its efforts in improving contracting for small businesses.

Governor Bob McDonnell has honored the City of Virginia Beach for its minority business contracting efforts with the Governor’s 2013 Supplier Diversity Award.

The award recognizes Virginia Beach’s efforts to improve contracting for small businesses and those owned by women or minorities – known as SWaM businesses (small, women- and minority-owned). Virginia Beach won the award for SWaM Innovation and Best Practices.

“It is an honor to accept this award on behalf of the City Council,” Mayor William D. Sessoms, Jr. said. “I am particularly proud of our Minority Business Council, which works very hard to expand opportunities for local businesses.”

Virginia Beach is the first city to win the award. It recognizes government agencies that have made innovations or modifications to their SWaM programs that removed barriers, enhanced competitiveness or increased participation by SWaM businesses.

The Virginia Beach Minority Business Council is an advisory agency to the City Council and City Manager. It holds an annual expo to help SWaM businesses compete for government contracts, and provides information, guidance and programs to help business owners understand how to work with the city.

The City Council has set a goal of 10 percent of all city contracting for SWaM businesses. In the past year, 9.37 percent of all non-capital expenditures went to minority businesses. “Although this award is wonderful, there is still much work to do to reach our 10 percent goal in capital expenditures,” said MBC Chair Carla Bailey. “The MBC is a volunteer group that advises the City Council. We have tools in place but we must raise awareness in the minority business community about these tools and encourage them to continue to pursue opportunities with the city.”

The governor’s trophy and plaque were presented last week to Mayor William D. Sessoms, Jr. and the

entire City Council.