Auburn University co-sponsoring small business awareness fair and business-to-business event

AUBURN UNIVERSITY – Auburn University’s Small Business Development Center, or SBDC, is co-sponsoring an all-day awareness fair and business-to-business opportunity Thursday, Aug. 2, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Greater Peace Family Life Center, 650 Jeter Avenue, in Opelika. The SBDC is an outreach unit of Auburn’s College of Business.

Minority, veteran and women business owners are especially encouraged to participate in this all-day event consisting of a Black Business Awareness Fair and a Business-to-Business Matchmaker event.

The Black Business Awareness Fair is an annual event co-sponsored by the Small Business Development Center and the Greater Peace Community Development Corporation, a faith based, non-profit organization.

One-on-one meetings will be set up between government and corporate purchasing agents and representatives and the small business suppliers of products and services of all kinds. Educational information, experts and workshops will be accessible throughout the day. Between the morning and afternoon sessions there will be lunch and a keynote speaker.

“This year the annual event has grown significantly in response to the overwhelming needs of our communities for economic survival in an unprecedented and dismal economic reality,” said Jackie DiPofi, director of Auburn’s Small Business Development Center. “Many resource partners coming together to stimulate business will make a difference. Additionally, many small business owners do not know that the federal government has established a 23 percent set-aside goal of every dollar spent to be with small businesses. That dollar amount is huge. The event on Aug. 2 is designed to help small business owners in Alabama capture their share of this market by helping them navigate the government procurement process.”

The Alabama District Office of the U.S. Small Business Administration has provided grant funding to enable Alabama Veteran business people to attend this event and receive resources specific to their needs. The Office of University Outreach has also joined in support of the SBDC to extend the reach of this program.

“This event serves the Auburn University outreach mission in many ways and to stimulate business in this economy is critical to all of us,” said Royrickers Cook, Auburn’s assistant vice president for University Outreach.

“The Greater Peace CDC focuses on the needs of the community in many ways, but especially in youth leadership, affordable childcare, affordable housing and economic growth through small business ownership,” said Rev. Clifford Jones, a founding member of Greater Peace CDC.

Among the participants who will provide expert advice to small business owners will be the United States Army Fort Benning; the United States Small Business Administration; ADECA Office of Minority Enterprise; Alabama Department of Transportation; Alabama Department of Revenue; Auburn University Center for Governmental Services; Auburn University Office of Diversity and Multicultural Affairs, Frannet; Precision Cuts and Barber of Auburn; and 4 J Construction Consultant, LLC.

Also, Small Business Development Center expert staff at Alabama State University, Jacksonville State University and and Troy University have been an integral part of the planning of the matchmaker portion of the event and will be in Opelika on Aug. 2 to provide counseling to small business owners.

The Small Business Development Center at Auburn University is a member of a statewide network, the ASBDC, and has received support for this local event from all of its members.

Key resource partners, the Opelika Chamber of Commerce and the Auburn Chamber of Commerce, have encouraged their members to take advantage of the networking possibilities offered by the program.

To register for the Aug. 2 event, call (334) 749-9487. For information, contact Jackie DiPofi, director of the Auburn University Small Business Development Center in the College of Business, at (334) 844-4220 or dipofja@auburn.edu.

Contact: Jackie DiPofi, Auburn University College of Business, (334) 844-4220, (dipofja@auburn.edu), or
Mike Clardy, Office of Communications and Marketing, (334) 844-9999 (clardch@auburn.edu)