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05/13/2008 Contact: 850-413-6482

Big Bend MatchMaker Creates Opportunities for Florida's Minority Businesses

TALLAHASSEE — More than 300 minority vendors connected with potential business partners at the 2008 Big Bend MatchMaker today at the Leon County Civic Center in Tallahassee.  A partnership of the Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) and Department of Management Services, the annual MatchMaker event is designed to help small and minority business owners throughout Florida “match up” with government agencies and companies needing their services.  

“Promoting diversity in business relationships is important to Florida’s economic success. This MatchMaker offered attendees opportunities to enhance their business skills, network, and build lasting business partnerships,” said PSC Chairman Matthew M. Carter II.  “When Florida’s small businesses succeed, economic security and prosperity flourish in local communities across the state.”

Energizing Supplier Diversity through Communication: A Utilities and Telecommunications Initiative was the theme for the 2008 Big Bend MatchMaker.  Highlighting Florida’s major utility companies will benefit Florida’s economic development and business growth.

Tallahassee Mayor John Marks welcomed attendees to the day-long event that included an informational program on “Doing Business with the State of Florida:  Responding to Bids and Navigating the Purchasing Process” and a panel discussion on “Economic Opportunities for Women and Minority Business Enterprises in the Utilities and Telecommunications Industries.”  Following a luncheon, with a keynote address from PSC Chairman Carter, attendees had the opportunity to meet with the utility companies or state agencies of their choice for one-on-one 15-minute sessions.

Across the state, regional MatchMaker workshops are recognized as signature events for Florida’s minority/women business entrepreneurs.  The culmination of the statewide regional workshops is the larger Annual MatchMaker Conference and Tradeshow, which will be held in November 2008 in Orlando. 

The PSC is committed to making sure that Florida's consumers receive their electric, natural gas, telephone, water, and wastewater services in a safe, affordable, and reliable manner. The PSC exercises regulatory authority over utilities in the areas of rate base/economic regulation; competitive market oversight; and monitoring of safety, reliability, and service.