Oakland, CA – Approximately 125 local and small local businesses, along with community stakeholders and industry groups, will take part in the City’s first ever business matchmaking event next Wednesday at the Main Oakland Library. This inaugural event will allow small businesses the opportunity to have one-on-one meetings with larger contractors and City representatives to learn about specific contracting and subcontracting opportunities available through the City’s $500 million 2023-2025 Capital Improvement Program (CIP.)
The combined effort from the City’s Department of Workplace and Employment Standards (DWES), Department of Transportation (OakDOT), Oakland Public Works (OPW), and Economic and Workforce Development (EWDD) aims to inspire new business partnerships between small and large contractors.
“Oakland is home to so many diverse, highly skilled, small businesses that are eager to expand opportunities and grow generational wealth for their families," said Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao. "If Oakland is to maintain its rich cultural tapestry, we must ensure that the people that live here can afford to stay here. This is just one example of the ways that my administration is prioritizing prosperity for all Oaklanders.”
“We want to ensure the City’s small local businesses are able to expand their networks, increase their visibility, and establish their brand,” said DWES Director, Emylene Aspilla. “We hope the face-to-face encounters inspire new and productive business partnerships that allow businesses to grow and thrive.”
This event is part of a broader outreach plan dedicated to engaging Oakland’s most underrepresented business communities and ensuring they have access to City contracts and the small business technical assistance they need to be competitive.
Local small contractor champions, the Oakland Construction Resource Center (CRC) and Merriwether & Williams Insurance Services, are partners in this outreach, and have helped small businesses do their homework for the event through one-on-one technical assistance meetings where they’ve assisted with preparing pitches and other relevant business information. These services are always available to Oakland small businesses and can be accessed by visiting the CRC or Merriwether and Williams websites or calling 510-835-0400.
The matchmaking event is slated to take place on Wednesday, 7/26/23, from 4:30pm-6:30pm in the Main Room of the Main Oakland Library at 125 14th Street. Interested businesses and community partners can still register by emailing email@example.com or calling 510-238-7524.