Calendar of Events
City of Knoxville: Diversity Business Expo
The City of Knoxville, with fellow members of the East Tennessee Purchasing Association, will host the Diversity Business Expo on Thursday, March 4, 2021, from 8:30 - 11 a.m. via the Lunchpool online conference platform.
This annual event is designed to connect minority-owned, women-owned, service-disabled veterans-owned and small businesses — collectively known as Diversity Business Enterprises (DBEs) — with area agencies that purchase goods and services ranging from $100 to $25,000. Participating agencies include several City of Knoxville departments, including Knoxville Police and Fire, plus the county governments of Knox and Blount, Knoxville Utilities Board, Knoxville’s Community Development Corporation, University of Tennessee, Metropolitan Knoxville Airport Authority and many others.
In the most recent fiscal year, the City of Knoxville spent more than $4 million with minority-owned businesses — 5.71 percent of the total expenditure.
The virtual Expo will allow participants to join each other at “tables,” make presentations about upcoming contract opportunities, speak directly with agency decision makers, and exchange contact information through virtual business cards.
“COVID-19 has left many feeling uncertain and financially strapped,” said Mayor Indya Kincannon, who will welcome guests by video. “Our efforts to support DBEs must be more robust than ever because we know as a community that we are all stronger when we work together.”
Continuing the Expo in a virtual format is part of that ongoing outreach.
"The Expo is multi-faceted and can benefit businesses in a number of ways,” says Pamela Cotham, head of the City's Small Business and Diversity Outreach Office. “Businesses will also be able to talk with small-business resource agencies like the Knoxville Area Urban League, SCORE and the Knoxville Chamber, as well as several general contractors interested in subcontracting on large projects.”
Admission is free, but registration is mandatory at https://2021dbexpo.questionpro.com by March 1. An optional orientation session will be held Feb. 24 via Zoom webinar for participants who would like to get familiar with the many functions of the Lunchpool platform before the Expo. Anyone with questions should contact Diversity Business Specialist, Luis Garcia, at 865-215-2293 or at DiversityBusiness@knoxvilletn.gov. Anyone needing a disability accommodation to attend the expo should contact the City’s ADA Coordinator, Stephanie Cook, at email@example.com or 865-215-2034. For an English interpreter, contact Title VI Coordinator Tatia M. Harris at 865-215-2831.