Chattanooga Launches Effort To recruit Businesses To Bid On City Work

Thursday, May 12, 2022

The city of Chattanooga is launching a new outreach effort to encourage area businesses to bid on city contracts, amid efforts to streamline formerly arcane processes and procedures that some companies have said were overly burdensome.

Mayor Tim Kelly has directed city officials to simplify the experience of doing business with the city as part of an effort to attract more local businesses to bid on city contracts and purchases, and bring back those who may have stepped away in previous years.

The purchasing expo will be held on Thursday, May 26, from 9 a.m. to noon at the Avondale Community Center, 1305 Dodson Avenue. Register here.

Kevin Bartenfield, who joined the city in 2021 as the chief procurement officer, said he has been working to reduce the amount of time it takes vendors to get paid, and has also modernized the city’s vendor portal as part of the ongoing overhaul.

“The whole team is working hard to make doing business with the city a pleasant experience that also protects the tax dollars with which we’ve been entrusted,” said Mr. Bartenfield. “We’re excited to re-introduce the city to potential vendors and discuss opportunities.”

Event attendees will be able to meet with city purchasing decision-makers, learn more about the city’s efforts to build a more equitable and diverse vendor ecosystem, as well as sign up and register as potential suppliers and receive training to begin receiving opportunities to sell goods and services to the city. 

“We hope that our diverse community’s business owners will take advantage of this opportunity to meet our city’s decision-makers and get plugged into the city purchasing process, as we work together to create a more prosperous Chattanooga,” said Tamara Steward, chief equity officer.

Purchasing representatives from Hamilton County and EPB will also be present at the event, along with small-business support agencies such as Bright Bridge, CoLab, Score, TN Small Business Development Center, UTC Procurement Technical Assistance Center, and Pathway Lending.



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