If you are a business owner and you would like to do business at the new ExxonMobil plant coming to the Coastal Bend, it's not too late. A deadline was extended today in order to get more local businesses involved in the huge project.
The project managers, Gulf Coast Growth Ventures, launched a Local Business Initiative. It is a pre-screening process that allows local companies to get into competitive bidding for work on the ExxonMobil plant.
More than 400 Coastal Bend businesses have successfully completed pre-screening, and will now be considered for work on the ExxonMobil plant coming to San Patricio County.
"We got notification that we were approved. We're pretty excited about that," said Vance Dawson, owner of Dawson's Recycling & Disposal in Gregory. "That doesn't mean we actually get the job, but what Exxon did by forming this initiative basically was it gave some of us smaller companies an opportunity to actually get on the bid list that sometimes won't ever happen."
That list will go to project contractors, and then businesses on it can bid for work.
Business owners like Dawson applied through an online portal run by Gulf Coast Growth Ventures. That portal was open May through June.
"We've had more interest expressed than we anticipated," said John Mabry, Operations Manager.
Because of overwhelming interest from Coastal Bend companies, the portal opened up again today, and business owners can now apply through December 29th of this year.
"We hope to see more interest and more people apply, and become available to compete for the work," Mabry said.
Dawson says it is a unique opportunity for local businesses to get involved in the project, which is expected to have a $50 billion dollar economic impact on the region.
"This is pretty much out of the norm," he said. "A lot of the companies come in, they bring their workers from out of town and everything else. And this is a way for the local companies to get out there and have a shot at getting a job."
Del Mar College's Small Business Development Center has partnered with the project.
Tomorrow morning Del Mar and other organizations are hosting The BIG Event. Interested business owners can meet Exxon representatives, network with vendors, and learn more about getting involved.
Registration for that event begins at 9:30 a.m. at the Del Mar Center For Economic Development, 3209 S. Staples Street. Online registration is also available. The program begins at 10:15 a.m.
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