From the Office of State Senator Royce West - District 23

For Immediate Release
May 8, 2002

Spot Bid Contract Fair yields more than $1 million in contracts to minority businesses

DALLAS -- State Senator Royce West (D-Dallas) is thrilled with the results of a vendor fair designed with the goal of boosting state contracting opportunites with Texas' Historically Underutilized Businesses (HUBs). According to reports compiled during April, the event, held in conjunction with this year's fifth African American Legislative Summit, has yielded more than $1.24 million in state contracts with HUB businesses. The contract fair took place Friday, February 8, 2002 during the biennial conference that attracted an estimated 1,000 attendees from across the state.

"By far, this is the most that I've seen purchased at a state vendor fair in recent memory. I think it's the culmination of several things," said Senator West. "It's the combination of teamwork and persistence by those who have been interested or are proponents of HUB legislation. Since my early years in the Legislature, we have worked to bolster state participation with HUB businesses. A decade earlier, my predecessor former State Senator, Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson was involved in the effort to increase HUB participation."

During the 1997, 75th Legislative Session, Senator West co-authored Senate Bill 178, creating the statuatory framework to encourage state agencies with budgets in excess of $10 million to include opportunities for HUB vendors within their procurement plans. The February event was one of several contract fairs held over the past two years. The 2002 event differed from others in that unlike past efforts, some state agencies in attendance were prepared to offer contracts with HUB vendors on the spot.

"Although we have sponsored contract fairs in the past, it has taken time for the concept to catch on," Senator West added. "With the success of this event and our continued work with the various state agencies, we look forward to even greater participation in the future."

The Texas Department of Mental Health and Mental Retardation topped all state agencies in awarding a reported $629,858.85 in contracts. The Office of the State Comptroller was next with more than $345,000 awarded. A total of 23 state agencies including the University of Texas at Austin and other educational entities, Health and Human Services and the Workmen's Compensation Commission were successful in awarding contracts. The Spot Bid Contract Fair was presented through the combined efforts of the Texas Association of African American Chambers of Commerce and the Texas Association of Mexican American Chambers of Commerce.

For more information, please contact Kelvin Bass or Jennifer Wichmann at 214-467-0123.

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