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City of Knoxville, TN

06/13/2018 | News release | Distributed by Public on 06/13/2018 22:51

Business Breakfast: 'There are always some opportunities for everyone'

Rebecca Barr Rupp is a committed advocate of the City's annual Business Breakfast. The benefits of talking over the details of upcoming contracts, she says, are too great for small businesses - and especially Diversity Business Enterprises, or DBEs - to miss out on.

'The City recognizes the value of DBEs,' says Rupp, owner and CEO of Oak Ridge-based Barr Technical Services. 'A lot of people don't realize just how hard it is for small businesses. But the City of Knoxville is wonderful to work with.'

Rupp is a company of one - she's the owner and sole employee, and she specializes in procurement of supplies, project management and contracts support services.

Currently, she's partnering with Cornerstone Equipment and Supply (headed by Herstle L. Cross Jr., a Native American) on a piece of the North Central Street streetscape project. Barr Technical Services helped write the proposal for a $110,000 contract for procuring new streetlights.

More than 260 people attended the City's 10th annual Business Breakfast today at the Civic Coliseum. The business owners and managers met with individual City department directors, as well as representatives of KUB, the Public Building Authority and Knoxville's Community Development Corp., to hear details and ask questions about the $100 million in contracts that will be coming up for bid in the coming year.

'The Business Breakfast is tremendous,' Rupp says. 'You get an idea of the volume of business contracts that are available, and you get to put a face with a name.

'It's hard to sell yourself if you're small and you see the large companies, but this event makes is much easier. You just have to know your products and your expertise, and realize that there are always some opportunities for everyone who comes here.'