| March 19, 2007 - The
City of Knoxville and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
are presenting the 2007 Small and Disadvantaged Business Conference
on April 10.
The conference - for businesses in Knoxville and the surrounding
area - will be held from 9 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. at the Foundry on
the Fair Site, at 747 World's Fair Park Drive with registration
beginning at 8:30 a.m.
The goal of the event is to give individuals involved in small
businesses a better understanding of the federal government contracts
available to them and how to take advantage of those opportunities.
Admission to the conference is free but space is limited to the
first 200 participants so registration will be on a first come,
first serve basis.
"We're excited to be able to offer this event with the Department
of Housing and Urban Development," said Mayor Bill Haslam.
"We believe that it will give small business people here in
Knoxville and the metropolitan area the kind of tools that will
help them better compete for federal contracts."
Valerie Hayes, Acting Director of HUD's Office of Small and Disadvantaged
Business Utilization, will be the keynote speaker and Bob Young,
HUD Regional Director will be on hand to welcome the attendees.
Speakers from HUD, the Small Business Administration and the General
Services Administration will offer presentations during the conference.
Hayes will make her remarks during lunch, which will be served
as part of the event.
"There are numerous opportunities for contracts with small
and disadvantaged businesses available in the federal government,"
said Young, HUD's Regional Director. "What we want to do at
this conference is to say this is how you can compete for those
The 2007 Small and Disadvantaged Business Conference grew out of
a series of small business workshops sponsored late last year and
in early 2007 by the City of Knoxville's Community Relations Office,
HUD, SunTrust Bank, and the University of Tennessee's College of
Those events were part of the city's Equal Business Opportunity
Joshalyn Hundley, Coordinator of the city's Title VI and EBOP programs,
said it became apparent during conversations with participants of
those workshops that, "there was a lack of a bridge to unite
contract opportunities with small businesses."
"The people in small businesses were either not aware of the
opportunities to compete for these funds or they were intimidated
by the process," Hundley added.
The conference is designed to remedy both of those problems.
To reserve a spot at the conference please email your request to
or call 865-545-4400, ext. 106 for more information.