Tuesday AM September 1st, 2009

As the economy begins to bounce back, there's never been a better time to expand procurement opportunities. That's according to the Houston Minority Supplier Development Council, which is holding its two-day expo. Ed Mayberry reports.

The Houston Minority Supplier Development Council has organized forums and a tradeshow to expose procurement opportunities with corporate, government, educational, medical and financial institutions.  The council's Richard Huebner says despite the economy, he expects some 1,500 corporate representatives will meet with about 1,000 minority business owners at the event.

"Major corporations and their prime suppliers are looking for new, innovative, cost-effective sources of service and supply.  The last five, six, seven, eight years have been tough to get in because the pace of business has been so frantic.  The way we do business was based on efficiency.  'Let's just get the order through, let's get the goods and services.'  Now that things have slowed down, people are able to take a look at their contracts--re-price them--and this is a wonderful time for minority firms to be visible." 

Huebner says forums will explore procurement opportunities in the oil and gas industry, as well as in construction, aerospace and technology.

"In a down economy, minority firms tend to do better.  They're able to bring additional value to the marketplace that sometimes, in the pace of the market, is overlooked.  So many people look at the economy and they say, 'oh, you know, I'm not going to look for the opportunity because I don't perceive that it's there.'  When in reality, this is really the time to seize the opportunity, to get out there, to be visible, let people know that you're there, to begin positioning yourself.  We know the economy's coming back, and when it gets back, it's going to do business with people that they know and trust.  This is the time to build those relationships."   

The two-day HMSDC Expo is underway at the George R. Brown Convention Center.  Ed Mayberry, KUHF Houston Public Radio News.

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Ed Mayberry

Local Anchor, All Things Considered

Ed Mayberry has worked in radio since 1971, with many of those years spent on the rock 'n' roll disc jockey side of the business...