Equal Business Opportunity Chairwoman Concerned

By Greg Fink

Photo by Wesley Martin: EBO board members from l-r: Samuel Borden, Audra Carter (chair), Dick Baker

At this week’s Community Maritime Park Associates’ Equal Business Opportunity Committee meeting, Chairwoman Audra Carter emphasized concern over some of the recurring issues in regards to the CMPA development process.

According to Carter, one important primary issue remains the short window of opportunity regarding the opening and the closing of the bid process for construction or developmental services for minority businesses.

Chairwoman Carter states, “I do think that there is an issue when we have 200 qualified minority contractors in the community and only 12 of them are prepared to work on the project according to the current guidelines.”

Carter said, “the challenge is that [smaller-sized] minority contractors are not prepared for the rapid response of getting everything together to fulfill the bid process. “Because of this, they are not being given an equal opportunity during the short timeframe of several of these bids.”

Mentioning the benefits of the EBO workshops and the continuous outreach, Carter states that it’s the EBO’s continuous mission to let minority contractors know of opportunities that they are not hearing about in any other community.

“The information we are getting out we are doing it through the minority media,” said Carter. “This is the only real way to communicate with the minority community about bids and news regarding minority contractors that the local major media will not cover.”

Also during the meeting, George Hawthorne, President of the Gulf Coast African American Chamber of Commerce, informed the EBO board that the project is ahead of schedule.
“I can guarantee that all of the work will be done on time as we are actually running slightly ahead of schedule,” he said.

Hawthorne credits a diligent workforce for accelerated work pace, “We are working long days – Saturdays and Sundays – but this project will be done ahead of schedule.”

For more information and updates about the Community Maritime Park please visit www.CommunityMaritimePark.com.

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