10 Stock photoLet’s do business! As a small business owner, as well as a member of the Fayetteville City Council, our Council’s strategic goal of having a diverse and viable economy is one that is near and dear to my heart. It is so important that we foster an environment where businesses can thrive and grow.

Along with proclaiming January as Building Local Business month, I want to encourage all local businesses to attend the fourth annual Building Business Rally on Thursday, Jan. 30, at the Ramada Plaza, from 2-6 p.m., to learn about opportunities to win local government bids and contracts.

The event features purchasing and procurement representatives for Fayetteville and Cumberland County’s largest buyers, including many from the city of Fayetteville. Each has needs and offers opportunities for local vendors — suppliers, professional service providers and prime and subcontractors of all sizes. The event is an ongoing initiative to educate and engage local businesses on how to do business with our organizations as well as the types of goods and services we need.

Businesses that attend will have the opportunity to meet and talk with representatives from the city of Fayetteville’s purchasing department, Community Development, the Fayetteville Area System of Transit, and Vector Fleet Maintenance, who manages the city’s fleet.

The city currently has budgeted millions of dollars for a multitude of projects and initiatives that city leaders would love nothing more than to spend locally. Examples range from the continued work on the Parks and Recreation bond projects — the sports field complex, Jordan Soccer Complex and the Senior Center East — to Fayetteville Regional Airport renovations, sidewalk and streetscape improvements and over $4 million in stormwater projects.

Closely related to city projects, representatives from Prince Charles Holdings will also be available at the event. Prince Charles Holdings’ private investment in our downtown area is complimenting ongoing city initiatives, and they also have needs for services, materials and contractors.

Other organizations participating in the Building Business Rally include Cape Fear Valley Hospital System, Cumberland County, Cumberland County Schools, Fayetteville State University, Fayetteville Technical Community College, the town of Hope Mills, the town of Spring Lake and the North Carolina Department of Transportation.

To help businesses take full advantage of the opportunities presented by the event, organizers — the Greater Fayetteville Chamber, Small Business and Technology Development Center, and Cumberland County N.C. Works — have scheduled a series of Building Business Rally Workshops before the Jan. 30 event. Presented by the SBTC, topics of the two remaining workshops, which will be Jan. 9 and Jan. 23, include information that can help businesses get results when attending the Building Business Rally. Workshops will be held at the PWC Administrative Offices at 955 Old Wilmington Rd. at 6 p.m., and the Building Business Rally is scheduled for Jan. 30, from 2-6 p.m., at the Ramada Plaza on Owen Drive.

All events are free. Additional details about the workshops and Building Business rally, as well as event registration and local contracting opportunities, can be found at www.faybids.com.

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