The Broward County Office of Economic and Small Business Development made some exciting accomplishments in 2016. Our office introduced new initiatives, a myriad of various activities for the benefit of our local business community as well as enhanced our existing programs and services. As we launch our 2017 efforts in the development and growth of all businesses in Broward County, we would like to share with you a few of our major achievements over the last 12 months.
Office of Economic and Small Business Development (OESBD)
- The Broward County Economic Development Partnership, which consists of Broward County, the Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance and the County’s 31 municipalities, coordinated efforts that resulted in the retention of 1,850 jobs. Over the last 18 months, the Partnership reported activities resulting in a projected capital investment of more than $384 million. Outcomes for FY 2016:
- Facilitated the planned creation of 3,845 new jobs
- Assisted in retaining 1,850 jobs
- Planned direct capital investment of $384 million
The estimated creation of 3,845 new jobs will generate new wages in Broward County of at least $203.5 million ($203,546,610). This planned direct capital investment of more than $384 million ($384,000,000) will generate an economic impact in Broward County of $587.5 million ($587,546,610).
SMALL BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT
- OESBD conducted five Business Development Workshops with a total of 799 participants. All of these Workshops were conducted in an effort to enable business owners to better position themselves in the marketplace by taking advantage of opportunities provided by Broward County, as well as grow their businesses beyond Broward. In addition, OESBD facilitated eight targeted meet and greet events which were attended by more than 583 primes, subcontractors and small businesses to learn more about County projects and how to participate. Two additional targeted outreach events were conducted, geared towards Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) firms interested in participating on County contracting opportunities, and for community stakeholders concerned with the County’s DBE goals and methodology.
- OESBD continued to maximize opportunities for certified firms to participate as prime vendors via unbundling large projects and reserving contracts in order to increase the growth and development of local small businesses. 410 certified firms participated in County contracting as a prime contractor or subcontractor during FY 2016. The unbundling of projects contributed to additional certified prime-level participation. In fact, Broward County unbundled the General Security Services for Various County Facilities Project into two smaller projects (Group 1 and Group 2), both with small business participation requirements. The County ultimately awarded Group 2 to County Business Enterprise (CBE) certified prime vendors for a potential contract value of $17.9 million. Another example of unbundling efforts is the temporary personnel services contract valued at approximately $8.5 million. The County expected to use federal funding to pay for a portion (12%) of these services. OESBD worked with Human Resources Division to unbundle the project to ensure that local certified small businesses would be given the opportunity to perform as prime contractors on the County funded portion. The County awarded contracts to two (2) certified CBEs as prime vendors.
- OESBD created subcontracting opportunities for 34 CBE firms on the New Broward County Courthouse Project, which accounted for 35% or $63.5 million.
- Nine (9) janitorial services contracts were awarded to certified Small Business Enterprises (SBEs) for a total $8.27 million in potential contract value.
- OESBD reviewed approximately 200 smaller value projects for Small Business Reserves, which resulted in awards of $2.49 million to SBEs as prime vendors in FY 2016.
- OESBD conducted its inaugural business conference focused on capacity building in FY 2016, resulting in training and networking to over 400 attendees over the duration of the event. The two-day conference highlighted 38 presenters, with 14 sessions on the first day, and six (6) sessions on the second day. 12 Broward County agencies were showcased in the Broward is Buying Expo at the event.
- OESBD implemented additional outreach efforts to increase the level of small business participation in Broward County’s procurement process by providing one on one technical assistance training to 660 firms. OESBD referred 51 firms to external partners for additional assistance. OESBD continues cross training among staff to increase awareness of all services provided within the agency, in order to better serve our internal and external customers.
- OESBD was recognized by the National Association of Counties (NACo) and presented with an Achievement Award for our 2016 Technical Assistance Training Program which offered 12 sessions with 292 participants. OESBD staff members were also recognized for participating as expert panelists at the 2016 American Contract Compliance Association National (ACCA) Training Institute as well as the Airport Minority Advisory Council (AMAC) annual event in Cleveland, Ohio.
- OESBD has incorporated social media as part of our outreach efforts. Since being granted permission in April 2016 to create and manage our own social media websites (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn), OESBD has made great strides towards building an audience, connecting with other agencies and entities and maintaining an active presence. In fact, of the 21 Twitter accounts and 29 Facebook accounts maintained by Broward County governmental agencies, OESBD is ranked 3rd in Twitter followers. Currently, we are just shy of 9,000 followers on Twitter with over 400 posts to date. Our number of Facebook fans, at approximately 682, ranks OESBD as 10th among County agencies. In addition to gaining a substantial following, our followers are also interactively engaging on our pages by sharing our content and helping to promote OESBD news, tips and events to their personal and professional platforms.
- In addition to our ongoing social media commitment to promote the agency’s services and program offerings, OESBD purchased and placed over 20 radio and print ads across mainstream and targeted multicultural platforms.
- In 2016, OESBD convened its FastTrac® NewVenture™, a free program designed to guide aspiring and early stage entrepreneurs on the path to success and refine their business concept, identify the components of a strong business plan and access the appropriate resources. The participants completed 10 fast-paced and challenging modules held at the Innovation Hub @ Broward College over a 3-month period. 15 entrepreneurs graduated from the program. The program culminated with a graduation day event which featured oral presentations of the top three scored business plans which were:
- A mobile app that supports renal disease management with the mission of improving the lives of people with chronic kidney disease
- A Marine environmental specialty firm that evaluates potential environmental impacts, particularly of coastal, estuarine and marine development
- An IT consulting firm providing solutions for healthcare facilities on a global basis
- For the second year, OESBD organized its signature event entitled “Doing Business with the World” during the Florida International Trade and Cultural Expo (FITCE). The event brought representatives from over 30 nations around the world to meet Broward County businesses and exchange valuable information about business opportunities in their respective countries. The event attracted over 200 attendees.
- OESBD continued its roadshow seminar series entitled “11 Steps to Exporting – A Roadmap to your Exporting Success!” The series drew over 400 attendees. The goal of the seminar series is to introduce those Broward County businesses that are interested in exporting to important exporting principles and resources to assist them as they prepare to enter new global markets. The printed guide for “11 Steps to Exporting – A Roadmap to your Exporting Success!” was also published this year.
- During 2016, Broward County (then-Vice Mayor Barbara Sharief, District 8 Commissioner, OESBD and Port Everglades) participated in an international trade mission in conjunction with Enterprise Florida and representatives throughout the State of Florida to Mexico City, Mexico. OESBD provided support for nine Broward County businesses participating in the trade mission. OESBD also participated in an international trade mission to Belize in collaboration with and organized by the Belize American Chamber of Commerce and the Minister of International Trade and Petroleum, the Honorable Erwin Contreras. The mission resulted in strong prospects for participating Broward County companies. This will produce positive impacts for Broward County as a whole.
- OESBD continued its collaboration with Enterprise Florida and the U.S. Commercial Service to present a workshop series entitled “Florida Export Opportunities”. This series encompasses trade representatives from the international offices of Enterprise Florida and the U.S. Commercial Service whereby they visit Broward County to present business opportunities in the countries they serve. Through this program, OESBD was able to bring country and market specific subject matter experts together with Broward County businesses that are interested in international trade, to discuss and provide direct one-on-one information regarding the specific complexities and opportunities that exist in foreign trade. In FY 2016 OESBD hosted workshops showcasing opportunities in Mexico, South Africa and Argentina. OESBD also continued its series “Doing Business with…,” where inbound delegations, foreign chambers of commerce and international high level governments are welcomed to provide Broward businesses the opportunity to meet & greet. Workshops from this series included: Italy, Belize, Barbados and Bahamas. Lastly, another series entitled “Business Opportunities and Trends in the Marketplace” focused on business etiquette and protocol for specific countries; e.g. Singapore and Sweden. In all, OESBD hosted nine (9) workshops attracting a combined total of over 1,000 attendees.
The Office of Economic and Small Business Development is committed to the growth of Broward County and enhancing the quality of life for our community. We encourage you to contact us for assistance and we look forward to working with you.