Detroit seeks to recruit more city-based businesses and will host the Minority Business Summit

Toneka Harris patrols Chandler Park – she has worked in the security industry for 10 years – and is now the account manager at Inter City Protective Services on the east side.

“I started as a guard at a construction site and worked my way up to the city of Detroit,” she said.

Owner, Chef Randolph Hicks, has been in the business for 40 years, but only recently began to land contracts with the City of Detroit.

“We’re everywhere – city airport, DPD pounds, health department,” Hicks said.

The city’s efforts to secure contracts with Detroit businesses – minority businesses – mean a growing opportunity for people like Randolph Hicks.

“We currently have 50 employees – and 10 cars,” he said. “And I think today – there will be 10 more people and two more cars. So it’s growing – and I like this opportunity they’re giving me.”

This is an opportunity for so many entrepreneurs in Detroit – big and small – the city trying to get the word out to more local businesses – Detroit wants to do business with you.

“From public health and safety to transportation, to neighborhoods, to our parks and recreation centers, to our health care programs, and more,” Boysie Jackson said.

Jackson, the purchasing manager, said the city has about $5 billion in contracts, as well as $800 million in U.S. bailout funds. He says they are trying to make it easier for small businesses to bid for contracts – to access loans and financing and to get paid faster.

They want businesses to know which documents, forms and licenses will give them a head start.

“There are local preferences like — if you’re based in Detroit — headquartered in Detroit — if you hire more than 51% Detroit people,” Jackson said.

There’s a lot to know and now the city is hosting a Minority Affairs Summit this Saturday, which will answer a lot of questions.

“We’re going to talk to you about certification – so all you need to know to learn how to do business with the City of Detroit is a great opportunity for you to come,” Toni Limmitt said.

The event takes place Saturday at Wayne County Community College or via Zoom. And who knows – contracting with the city could be a great growth opportunity – as it has been for Long Distance Protective Services and the people who work there.

“I’m going to hire as many people as I can – because I want to see the Detroiters bring money back to their families,” Hicks said.

“We’ve been doing this for 40 years and our boss is committed to making sure the Detroiters really work,” Harris said.

“I need more Detroiters to come work for me,” Hicks said.

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