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    Office Of The Mayor

    SMALL BUSINESS INITIATIVE ANNOUNCES NEW MENTORING PROGRAM

    (4/25/2007) Large Businesses to Partner with Small Contractors Teaching them Skills for Success

    NEW HAVEN- The city’s Small Business Initiative (SBI) announced today, the implementation of a new program aimed at helping to guide small contractors into growing their businesses and learning the skills and strategies necessary to successfully navigate and comply with the bid system.

    The Mentor/Protégé School Construction Program, as the program is titled, is also an opportunity for larger companies to teach small contractors the essentials of how to estimate the cost of a project, what forms to fill out when working on a city contract, how to properly complete paperwork, how to put together an effective payroll system and much more.

    “We want to help the little guys be successful. For the most part, they know how to complete the trade, they’re good at that. But, in many cases they need help with paperwork, payroll and the business side of things,” said Lil Snyder, Construction Resource Supervisor for SBI. “We don’t want to see them make costly mistakes and go out of business. In order for them to flourish we want to give them the resources they need to be able to make it.”

    The mentoring program is currently taking place between AAIS Corporation and the smaller contractor Allen’s Asbestos, two companies working on the construction of the Troop School.

    “I think this program is marvelous,” said Floresia Allen of Allen’s Asbestos. “Small minority businesses need the opportunity to be mentored by larger companies in their field that can help to teach them. We’re not competitors; we just want to learn to get the work done right so we become self-sufficient. SBI has always been there to help us find programs to push forward and help us to better compete in the market and get to the next level.”

    SBI has set a goal of making one or two matches at every school in the citywide construction program moving forward. Three additional contractors will soon be matched with large companies as part of this program. Snyder hopes to engage more small contractors through this program and invites interested parties to contact her office at 203-946-6550 or to email her at lsnyder@newhavenct.net.

    The next step in this program will be the opening of a full-service center for small business contractors at SBI where contractors can use computers, have access to the internet, review project plans and blueprints at no cost before bidding and have free copies made of blueprints for projects they plan to bid for.

    The service center is set to open next month. “This is a great opportunity for small contractors who might not have computers or who don’t otherwise have access to the internet,” said Snyder. “By setting up stations for them to work in right in our office, they can have all of their questions answered right on the spot.”

    [END]



    Contact Name: Jessica Mayorga

    Contact Email: jmayorga@newhavenct.net

    Contact Phone: 203-946-7660


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