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A rendering of Bowling Green Park after a proposed beautification.
Current Opportunity Downtown Events
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Past Opportunity Downtown Events
OPPORTUNITY DOWNTOWN: Women Working
On Wednesday, March 31, 2004, the LMDC hosted 'Opportunity Downtown: Women Working' - a free informational conference highlighting construction and the construction trades for women looking to explore new careers. This free informational conference was held at PACE University from 6:00pm - 9:00pm and included several hands-on demonstrations and a panel discussion with women already in the industry. Hands-on demonstrations were presented in several trades including: painting, carpentry, tile-setting, plumbing and electrical careers. Panelists shared their experiences in the construction trades industry along with industry requirements and challenges and explained the benefits of joining a pre-apprenticeship and apprenticeship program. LMDC also provided an overview of the rebuilding in Lower Manhattan and the construction trades jobs that will result from this revitalization.
Over 700 women from around the city showed up excited to learn of the numerous opportunities in the construction industry, as well as opportunities to help in the rebuilding of Lower Manhattan.
The City and State of New York, Women's Bureau, Nontraditional Employment for Women, NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund, Building Trade Employer's Association and the General Contractors Association were also instrumental in the coordination of this event.
OPPORTUNITY DOWNTOWN: Business to Business Events
On March 16, 2004 the LMDC, in conjunction with the Alliance for Downtown New York, the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce, the New York City Department of Small Business Services, and the City and State of New York, held an Opportunity Downtown Business to Business Exchange. This free event offered an opportunity for large and small corporations in Lower Manhattan the chance to come together and identify mutually beneficial procurement opportunities. A number of civic organizations that offer assistance and work with small businesses also participated in the event to share information about their initiatives and programs.
The event began with the chance for participants to directly interact with one another and discover product and service needs and wants throughout Lower Manhattan. During the three hour exchange, 23 corporate participants, and 18 government agencies and civic organizations staffed tables with their organization's procurement contacts and other relevant materials. The 143 small businesses participants were encouraged to move throughout the tables and introduce themselves to various organizations that could benefit from their services. This exchange provided a chance for many participants to develop contacts that will be beneficial to them in the future. One corporate participant commented, "Thank you very much for allowing me to attend such a successful event. I made some valuable contacts and will be servicing some new small businesses in the near future."
After the successful morning of business exchanges, small business participants were encouraged to attend information sessions on tax and finance issues, procurement, small business financing opportunities, and marketing and media strategies. These information sessions addressed topics of interest to many small businesses trying to open, stabilize or grow in the redeveloping community of Lower Manhattan. Participants were given take-home materials and had the opportunity to ask specific questions to panels of specialists for each topic.
The LMDC provided a directory to everyone that attended of all the corporate, community/civic and small business participants that had registered prior to the event. In an effort to make the information easily accessible to interested parties a revised directory, with corrected contact information and the addition of those participants that registered the day of the event has been created and is available for download. Please select the link below for the directory you wish to access.
OPPORTUNITY DOWNTOWN: Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprise Conference
LMDC hosted a rebuilding conference for minority and women-owned business enterprises on January 13, 2004 at Pace University in Lower Manhattan. Along with the Manhattan Borough President's Office, The Port Authority of NY & NJ, The Metropolitan Transportation Authority, The State and City of New York, Silverstein Properties, Tishman Construction and various federal agencies involved in the rebuilding of Lower Manhattan, the Opportunity Downtown conference was the first in a series of quarterly events to increase the flow of information and discuss various contracting opportunities with the minority and women-owned business community.
The day-long, free event featured presentations on many of the rebuilding projects that are currently underway or in the planning stages. In addition, panel discussions on strategic joint ventures, acquiring capital, procurement opportunities, how to do business with the government, surety bonding, and purchasing and contracting needs for WTC Building 7 were conducted throughout Pace University. A Lower Manhattan Business Exposition concluded the day where business owners were encouraged to visit tables with representatives from over 30 government agencies and private firms currently involved in the redevelopment.
Within two-weeks of the press release announcing this event, the registration had to close because over 700 responses had been submitted, which was the maximum number of available seats. The Opportunity Downtown conference drew over 700 participants representing over 400 businesses.
LMDC will continue to work with the agencies and firms currently involved in the redevelopment efforts to ensure that minority and women business enterprises are represented in the vast contracting opportunities generated by the redevelopment. Beginning in January 2004, a monthly meeting will be conducted with the Opportunity Downtown organizers to discuss future events, upcoming contracting opportunities, outreach efforts and coordinated approaches to increasing MWBE participation in Lower Manhattan's redevelopment.
Additionally, LMDC and various partnering agencies will be coordinating quarterly events to inform businesses of the rebuilding progress and help identify potential contracting opportunities for commodities, services, construction and consulting. Upcoming events will continue to focus on minorities, women, small and disadvantaged businesses, Lower Manhattan's small business community and businesses directly affected by the events of September 11th.