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The Lower Manhattan Development Corporation today announced a conference of agencies involved in Lower Manhattan's redevelopment to provide minority and women owned businesses with information about contracting opportunities and the overall rebuilding effort. In cooperation with the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey, the Metropolitan Transportation Agency, the Manhattan Borough President's Office and the City and State of New York, the Opportunity Downtown conference will be held January 13, 2004 at Pace University in Lower Manhattan from 8:30am to 4pm. Governor George E. Pataki said, "The magnitude of the rebuilding and redevelopment work will generate numerous contracting opportunities in the manufacturing, service and trade industries. This conference will assist minority and women owned businesses by discussing contracting opportunities and informing businesses on how to competitively bid on all aspects of the redevelopment." Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said, "The Bloomberg Administration and the City's Department of Small Business Services is working hard to insure that minority and women owned businesses get their fair share of government contracts. The rebuilding of Lower Manhattan is a unique opportunity to bring out the best New York City has to offer and I encourage as many MWBEs as possible to attend this conference." John C. Whitehead, LMDC Chairman, said, "It is especially important to reach out to minorities and women with businesses to bring them into the broad range of contracting opportunities in Lower Manhattan. This free day-long conference will provide the details necessary to explore and participate in the economics of the rebuilding effort, as well as bring attendees together with officials intimately involved in the details of the process." Kevin M. Rampe, President of the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation said, "Lower Manhattan's rebuilding will be an economic catalyst for the City, the State and the New York/New Jersey metropolitan region. Many businesses have expressed an interest in understanding the procurement process and identifying and/or preparing for current and future opportunities. The LMDC has developed this conference with our partners in the redevelopment to help businesses better understand the processes and accurately identify contracting opportunities. This conference is the first in a series of regular events focusing on businesses directly affected by the events of September 11th." C. Virginia Fields, Manhattan Borough President said, "Despite the economic difficulties faced by New York City and the rest of the nation, there is still room for minority- and women-owned businesses to participate in the rebuilding and redevelopment work in lower Manhattan and throughout the borough, most especially in the manufacturing, service and trade industries. As we must make every effort to make MWBEs aware of those opportunities, conferences such as this are vitally important." In October, the LMDC released an economic analysis of the rebuilding of the World Trade Center. The construction of the World Trade Center site will sustain an average of 8,000 full-time jobs each year until 2015 in New York City and up to 11,000 jobs per year and up to $19 billion in cumulative economic activity throughout the New York/New Jersey region. After construction is finished in 2015, ongoing operations of the businesses and institutions at the site and spending by visitors will increase New York State's economic output by $16 billion annually, resulting in approximately 90,000 full-time jobs. The economic analysis report can be found at www.renewnyc.org/content/pdfs/Appleseed.pdf. Partners in "Opportunity Downtown" are: Battery Park City Authority, Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York, Building Trades' Employers Association, Empire State Development Corporation, Federal Transit Administration, General Contractors Association. Hudson River Park Trust, Minority Business Development Agency, NYC Department of Parks & Recreation, NYC Department of Small Business Services, NYC Department of Transportation, NYC Economic Development Corporation, NYC Mayor's Office, NYS Department of Transportation, NYS Governor's Office, The Regional Alliance for Small Contractors, the U.S. Department of Transportation and various private companies involved in the rebuilding. The day-long Opportunity Downtown conference is free. Businesses are strongly encouraged to register with the LMDC and space is limited. RSVP's can be made by mailing, faxing or e-mailing the registration form found at www.RenewNYC.org.