The City of Knoxville’s Purchasing Department held its first Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Awards Ceremony on Wednesday, Sept. 14, to recognize small, women-owned and minority-owned businesses for outstanding performance, as well as City departments committed to reaching out to DBEs with procurement contracts.
Last fiscal year, 38.7 percent of the City’s total competitive expenditures – $31.4 million – went to small businesses.
“Small businesses are critical in driving our local economy, and it’s great to recognize some of the owners who are taking the lead in advancing the City’s core goals while creating jobs and serving the community,” Mayor Madeline Rogero said.
“We wanted to acknowledge the outstanding creativity and achievements of women and minority-owned businesses, as well as the City departments that are setting the example by reaching out to them with City procurement contracts.”
The honorees are:
n K & W Cleaning Service, Rising Star Award
K & W is a small business that won its first contract with the City about nine months ago, providing post-event clean-up services at the Civic Coliseum. One fact worth noting: Almost all of K&W’s employees live within a 10-block radius of the Coliseum.
n Quantum Environmental & Engineering Services, Above & Beyond Award
Quantum was recognized for its exemplary performance in identifying the types and amounts of hazardous materials in each building at Lakeshore Park and for developing an abatement and demolition plan for each of them.
n Eight Lane Consultants, Above and Beyond Award
Eight Lane contracted with the City to provide cross country and track & field programs for thousands of children in and around the Knoxville area.
n B & B Lawn Services, Inc., Minority-Owned Business Award
B & B has provided outstanding service to the City on various mowing and landscaping contracts over the years. A small and local company, B&B began winning City of Knoxville mowing contracts about 10 years ago. It’s grown to the point that B & B is competing for contracts with Knoxville’s Community Development Corp. and the Tennessee Department of Transportation, as well as serving many other clients. It currently mows and maintains 73 scattered sites for the City throughout North and West Knoxville.
n Scientific Sales, Inc., Woman-Owned Business of the Year Award
Scientific Sales is a trusted vendor that is customer-oriented and always diligent in responding to their needs. Located in Oak Ridge and committed to sustaining long-term growth through diversity and a willingness to adapt to their customers’ needs, Scientific Sales provides tools and supplies in a timely manner to the Fire Department, ensuring the type of efficient operations that promote active, engaged and safe neighborhoods.
n ExpoQuip, Inc., Small Business of the Year Award
ExpoQuip has distinguished itself with its ability to find the “hard to find” parts for City fleet and transit vehicles. Its aggressive efforts in opening new, responsive supply channels for Knoxville Area Transit’s bus and van replacement parts enables KAT to quickly turn malfunctioning vehicles around in the maintenance shop and place them back into full, uninterrupted transit service.
n Johnson & Galyon, Inc. & First Place Finish, Partnership Award
Partnering this prime contractor with this woman-owned subcontractor for the Public Building Authority’s Lakeshore Park and Recreation project was a tremendous success. Together, they worked to renovate Lakeshore Park, a historical structure, where the City’s Parks and Recreations Department is now headquartered. The project included demolition, framing and storm window replacement.
n Community Relations Department, DBE Advocate Award
The DBE Advocate Award is presented to the City department that’s conducted the highest percentage of business with minority-owned and women-owned businesses in FY16. Community Development conducted 49.8 percent of its total competitive spend with DBEs.
n Fleet Services, DBE Advocate Award
The DBE Advocate Award also recognizes the City department that has spent the most in actual real dollars with minority-owned and women-owned businesses. Fleet Services Department contracted $904,026 worth of business.
n City Court, DBE Most Improved Advocate Award
The DBE Most Improved Advocate Award recognizes the largest percentage increase in business with DBEs. City Court’s contracts with DBEs were up 50 percent in FY 16 over FY15.
n Community Development, DBE Most Improved Advocate Award
The DBE Most Improved Advocate Award for having the largest real dollar increase from FY15 to FY16 – an actual dollar increase of $341,705 – was presented to Community Development.
n Gwen Winfrey, Community Development Senior Project Specialist
Employee Advocate Award
Winfrey was praised for her relentless pursuit of excellence in promoting the City’s practice of employing disadvantaged businesses. She meets with all Community Development department project managers to make sure that procurement procedures include the involvement of disadvantaged businesses.
For information on the Purchasing Department and its small business and diversity outreach programs, please visit: http://www.knoxvilletn.gov/smallbusiness.