On Monday morning, small and minority-owned businesses gained insight into upcoming projects with the Dallas Fort Worth International Airport.
The public affairs firm, JBJ Management hosted the DFW Airport Business Opportunities Forum at the Marriott Dallas Las Colinas Hotel. Their partners for the free event included the DFW Minority Supplier Development Council, the Regional Black Contractors Association, the Regional Hispanic Contractors Association and the Asian American Contractors and Professionals Associations.
“That’s what we do, actually. We get you connected. We transform communities,” Noa Dowl with JBJ Management said. “We are happy to connect you with opportunities that might be right-sized for you and show you the process about how to get a certification, how to market yourself, what events you should be at.”
The global hospitality and entertainment company, Delaware North was also present to share insight, experiences, and strategies for success for small businesses interested in expanding in the airport space.
“DFW is one of the best airports in the nation, if not the best,” Sunshine White, senior director of strategic partnerships with Delaware North said. “Their technology and innovation is bar none. And I want to continue that for Dallas-Fort Worth Airport. I want to be a part of all of the good that they’re doing for the local community. And if we can continue to help the airport grow small businesses, we’ve all won.”
Kevin Butler with Butler & Butler Construction and Masonry admits bidding on a government project can be overwhelming.
“The competition is very stiff, Butler said. “We have to be very competitive on price, but we are still responsible at the same time to be able to make a profit.”
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However, his father’s example has helped his family expand their business.
“Our company is second generation, so our company is 45 years old,” Butler said. “Our dad started our company. And my brother myself, we’ve been running it for the last 17 years. So, my first project at the airport was 15 years ago”
Butler & Butler Construction and Masonry has worked on multiple projects at the DFW International Airport including, renovations of Terminal B and E.
“We worked on the ATSAC program back in 2008, and then from 2009 to 2013, we worked on the DFW Trip project,” Butler said. “And those are just basically airport infrastructure projects to redevelop the terminals out there.”
Butler said he also attributes an upcoming project to the mentorship provided by JBJ Management.
“You get the decision makers out there to have a lot of wealth of information about projects coming down the pipeline. They’re able to tell you about how to get on the front end of these projects,” Butler said. “We just got our contract with Suffolk Construction on the eCUP project, so we’ll be out there working in the next year and a half on that particular project.”
Butler said the events helped him learn who he needed to talk to. Now, his family’s company plans to also pursue contracts for the Terminal F and Terminal C renovation projects.
“One of the biggest struggles for small businesses, is for direct work with reputable clients and that pay on time,” Butler said. “They’re a great client. They’ve always paid on time for us, always provided opportunities for emerging minority contractors.”
In the next few years, the DFW Airport will add nine new terminals, which according to Dowl, equal endless opportunities for small and local business owners.
“You’ve got to look at who’s building the runways, who’s cleaning the planes, how did they get there, who puts the screws up, who does the drywall,” Dowl said. “Small businesses know about an ability they have. What we’re trying to walk them through is how they’re able to scale it and how they’re able to participate on extremely large projects like DFW Airport.”
For more information about business opportunities with airports, small business owners can call JBJ Management at 214-565-2020.