How did it get started?

On April 10, 2001, Bexar County Commissioners Court approved Administrative Policy 8.0 - Small, Minority, and Women Owned Business Enterprise Program, which established the county's program. A very significant component of the policy is to maximize area resources without duplicating services. With that in mind, the SMWBE Program Manager worked with the SMWBE Advisory Committee to develop the program and created the conference. Since the county did not have a facility to hold such an event, the SMWBE Program Manager submitted a recommendation to Judge Wolff to request his leadership on this proposed event. He led the effort to acquire the partnership with the City of San Antonio in order for the county to use the convention center and combine resources for this event, since neither the county nor city had held such an event in the past. The SMWBE Program Manager met with several of her public entity counterparts to solicit their support and commitment to be an exhibitor. Several county departments were asked to provide support since the SMWBE Program Office was a staff of one. During the second year, the private sector certification agency was invited to join the county and city efforts. The Central and South Texas Minority Business Council (CSTMBC) expanded their administrative operations to San Antonio after the announcement of Toyota. The CSTMBC Board has members that represent Washington Mutual, Toyota, H-E-B, and Boeing. The partnership helps to assist the county staff with implementation of the Tax Phase in Guidelines, which outlines commitments from those entities to do business with local and SMWBEs. In 2006, an aggressive effort was added to outreach to the Veterans business owners.

SMWBE Conference

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1. What is the SMWVBO Conference?
2. How long has it been held? Why in December?
3. How did it get started?
4. Why does the County hold this conference?
5. What makes this conference different from other similar events held by local chambers?
6. Why should a local SMWVBO attend?