NC bill would help create program to help small businesses in Greensboro

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GREENSBORO, N.C. (WGHP) — A North Carolina bill would help Greensboro establish a Small Business Enterprise, helping small companies win government projects.

House Bill 303, which was approved by the House, would allow the city to carve out a list of projects that only small business owners could compete for, and create training opportunities.

“We are up against everybody,” said David Small, the chief operating officer for Skyline Video Pros.

He explained the Greensboro-based company has stiff competition when it comes to winning contracts for city or county work.

“We do a lot of progress shots for construction sites, we do surveying for zoning cases, we do commercials for the public relations department at times, depending on what the need is we are a full-service video production company,” Small said.

Small has worked with the city’s existing Minority and Women Business Enterprise and supports the similar program for small business owners.

“That really gives us a competitive advantage, as a small business, especially a local small business, where we’re not necessarily fighting off the big boys in Raleigh, we always hear ‘Charlotte’s got a lot,’ but Greensboro has those gems right here that we have access to,” he said.

Greensboro Assistant City Manager Kimberly Sowell said there would be a cap for the dollar amount on projects set aside for small companies.

“A good example would be like a smaller sidewalk project, or it could be, we have a program called participatory budgeting process where different districts can select projects they want in their community,” she said.

The program was first introduced as part of a 2018 disparity study by the city, then drafted as a bill last year.

City leaders believe they have more traction this session, and Small says the program couldn’t come at a better time.

“A lot of small businesses have extremely had a hard time just keeping the doors open, just keeping payroll together, this is going to be that lifeblood injection, that stimulus,” he said.

Other cities like Durham, Fayetteville and Charlotte already have similar programs.

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