Philadelphia International and Northeast Philadelphia Airports (PHL/PNE) hosted the 10th Annual Business Opportunity Forum (BOF). As advertised, small and diverse businesses from the Philadelphia area met virtually to understand the dynamics of doing business at PHL, learn about anticipated opportunities, and network with airport leadership and prime contractors.
The 2022 BOF opened with welcomes from Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenny, Pennsylvania State Representative Donna Bullock and Airport Interim CEO Keith Brune. According to Brune, over 100 companies registered for the BOF; 10 percent of those companies are considered Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBEs), which are socially- and economically-disadvantaged companies. In addition, 50 percent of businesses which registered for BOF are current contract holders or returning businesses hoping to work on projects with PHL and PNE.
During the first session, which was led by Brune, Airport CFO Tracy Borda, and Wilmington Airport Deputy Executive Director Stephen Williams discussed how PHL, PNE and most airports are still working to recover from the economic devastation the pandemic levied on the aviation industry. The panel also talked about PHL’s cargo expansion project and other projects that will benefit the airport, potential contractors, and the community.
Kimberly Fabend from C&S Companies discussed how the BOF forum is a great platform for interested businesses to learn about the opportunities that are available for contracting work with the airport. She said, “One reason the sessions were useful was because they demonstrate how others are successful at setting diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) goals. Most impressive is how they are meeting and sometimes exceeding the DEI goals that were set for their organization.”
The BOF sessions were developed to give an overview of future projects at PHL and PNE, and how DBE businesses should prepare to position themselves for what’s “coming down the runway”. The informative breakout sessions included:
1. Professional Service Updates and Opportunities for Capital Development Projects
2. Construction News and Opportunities
3. Cargo Expansion Update and Forecasts
4. Current Trends and Opportunities in Concessions
5. Prepare to Propose/Build Your Bid
6. DBEs and ACDBEs – Opportunities and Strategies for Success
7. Airport Technology – The Future is Here
The BOF ended as it would the same as if participants had met in person- by networking one- on-one. It was a nice way to meet some of the people who are interested in building or continuing professional relationships with PHL and PNE to increase their business opportunities.