Health Center Hosts Successful Small and Minority Business Outreach Expo

A photo of a business woman talking on the phone.

The Health Center recently hosted a Small and Minority Business Outreach Expo that attracted 75 business leaders throughout the state.  The event was organized by the Supplier Diversity Program for both UConn Storrs and the Health Center and was held Sept. 14 at the Cell and Genome Sciences Building in Farmington.

The Expo was an opportunity for interested small businesses to learn more about the opportunities and processes for bidding on, receiving and contracting with the University of Connecticut for products and services.

“It was an extremely worthwhile event,” said Nicole Smith, Supplier Diversity and Compliance Coordinator at the Health Center. “Business owners and leadership council were very interested in learning about State of Connecticut statutory procurement requirements and upcoming changes in both campuses.”

Members of the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) and Greater New England Minority Supplier Development Council were among those in attendance. 

NFIB State Director Andy Markowski said, “Our members are certainly looking forward to future opportunities to work together. When it comes to government contracting, small businesses are not asking for a handout. They just want the ability to have access to and compete for the goods and services that are desired.” 

According to state statutes, state agencies must set aside each fiscal year…”25 percent of their budgets for construction,  housing rehabilitation, and purchasing supplies and services to be awarded to certified small business enterprises, with 25 percent of this amount to be awarded to certified minority business enterprises. “

During the event, the business leaders were told that the University of Connecticut is committed to providing a professionally inclusive environment within which small and minority businesses are encouraged to participate in the procurement process.  Equal access is afforded through the public bid process, for the acquisition of goods and services supporting our campuses and Health Center communities.

For more information about future small business procurement opportunities, contact Nicole Smith at 860-679-2244 or