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This article appeared in the Fall 2017 issue of JAXPORT Magazine.
Brian Williams is the new coordinator of JAXPORT’s Small and Emerging Business Department, a program which continues to experience positive growth. Port contracts with companies registered with the Jacksonville Small and Emerging Business (JSEB) program have topped $12.5 million at JAXPORT since 2014, averaging 12 percent of the port’s overall yearly payments.
Williams says 2017 figures will likely be in the 18-20 percent range – signaling an increase in the value and number of port contracts awarded to small- to medium-sized companies.
Williams, whose previous experience includes similar work with the Duval County Public Schools and the City of Pittsburgh’s Economic Development arm said, “The first step for a business who wants to take advantage of these programs is to get internally organized and technically sound, which includes such things as pertinent taxes and registrations.”
Williams collaborates with regional interagency groups including the First Coast Business Alliance, the Small Business Administration, the University of North Florida Small Business Development Council (SBDC) and the Joint Agency Task Force (made up of Jacksonville’s independent agencies, CareerSource, Duval County Public Schools and the City of Jacksonville) to tap into available resources. He has also been working with local chambers of commerce to reach individuals businesses and connect them with tips and opportunities.
“We have seen a significant increase in small business participation at the port this year. More than half of our upcoming maintenance and repair work will be handled by small and medium-sized businesses,” said Williams. “Looking ahead to next year, contracts should be coming up in security, printing, promotional and janitorial, as well as ongoing engineering and construction. My main goal is to get personally connected with companies, get them registered with JSEB and get them to work.”
Connect with Brian
Brian WIlliams, SEB Programs Coordinator
(904) 357-3993 or Brian.Williams@JAXPORT.com
Learn more at JAXPORT.com/SEB.