June 2014
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A Mile High – AMAC's 30th Anniversary Conference Breaks Attendance Record

The 2014 Airport Minority Advisory Council's (AMAC's) Annual Business Diversity Conference is one for the history books. This year marked the 30th anniversary of the event, which was held June 8 - 10 at the Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel.

The organization announced record attendance, had its first-ever sold-out golf tournament, and saw overflowing attendance for the Celebrating Women in Aviation Breakfast. The silent auction brought in a record $16,000 for the AMAC scholarship program and another $4,000 was raised during the AMAC After Dark Scholarship Reception.

Denver International Airport hosted the three-day conference. Kim Day, DIA's chief executive officer, welcomed conference attendees to the Mile High City during the opening session and served on several panel discussions. Heather Barry, DIA's director of business affairs served as the local conference chair. "We exceeded every expectation with this conference, and the feedback has been overwhelmingly fantastic from our out-of- town guests and our local partners who do business in the airport," said Barry.

The AMAC Annual Business Diversity Conference is a premier educational and networking event to help minority and female-owned companies doing business or seeking business opportunities in the nation's airports. Each year the conference is held in a different city with a different host airport. The 7th AMAC Business Diversity Conference was held in Denver in 1991.

AMAC serves as an advocate to help companies become certified to do business in the nation's airports. The organization also provides a voice on Capitol Hill for key legislation impacting the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Program, which regulates participation for minority and female business enterprises in airports.

Former Denver Mayor Wellington Webb provided the keynote address during a luncheon on Monday, June 9. He reflected on his advocacy for ensuring minority participation on construction projects at DIA and on raising the percentage of minority and female participation in the airport's concessions, which at one time was below 10 percent. Current Mayor Michael B. Hancock was the Tuesday luncheon speaker. He praised Webb for his success while in office and said he followed Webb's footprint with his landmark legislation designed to improve economic opportunities for minority and women-owned businesses in Denver. In each of their speeches, the mayors agreed, "It was the right thing to do!"

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock
Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock spoke during a luncheon at AMAC's 30th annual Business Diversity Conference, held in Denver June 8 – 10.

For the first time, AMAC, in partnership with Airport Revenue News, held sessions before the official start of the conference for anyone pursuing entrepreneurship in airports. And with the launch of the Concessions Academy, AMAC is poised to usher in a new generation of business men and women and arm them with the tools for success in the industry.

Leon Audrey
Three original organizers of AMAC's Annual Business Diversity Conference address attendees at the organization's 30th conference, held in Denver. Left to right are: Clark Sharpe, former civil rights officer for the FAA's southern region; Audrey Simmons, former program specialist at the FAA's Office of Civil Rights; and Leon Watkins, former FAA director of civil rights.

Standing-room only crowds appeared for the Federal Aviation Administration's listening sessions on joint-venture guidelines, which were enacted several years ago. Comments ranged from the timeframe on compliance audits to procedures for including airport concession DBEs in the pre-bid procedures.

Throughout, attendees celebrated the 30th anniversary of the conference with three of the original conference organizers: Leon Watkins, former FAA director of civil rights; Clark Sharpe, former civil rights officer for the FAA's southern region; and Audrey Simmons, former program specialist at the FAA's Office of Civil Rights. The trio was greeted with standing ovations whenever they were recognized for their contributions to the organization. Many conference attendees could be seen drying their eyes on opening day during the showing of a video that detailed the conference history and showed the struggles and barriers trailblazers had to overcome to gain access to the airport contracting industry.

The 2015 AMAC Annual Business Diversity Conference will be hosted by the Broward County Aviation Department June 14 - 16 in sunny Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

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Airport Revenue News Features the Airport Minority Advisory Council's 30th Year

The "Making Progress" article in Airport Revenue News recaps the history of how a once-small group of government officials and airport administrator's fueled a 30-year legacy of successful placement of minority-owned businesses in federal transit projects and in airports across the nation. Three decades ago, the Airport Minority Advisory Council (AMAC) met with federal policy makers at the Federal Aviation Administration and the U.S. Department of Transportation to make business opportunities more prevalent for minority-owned businesses in aviation, and transit-related contracts. The ensuing Minority Business Enterprise Program of the DOT resulted in the very first seminar offered to small businesses aimed at increasing their opportunities in transportation enterprises. Today AMAC has grown its membership and is recognized as being the only national non-profit trade association dedicated to this purpose.

AMAC has accomplished much over its 30 years as an association dedicated to the promotion and participation of minority-owned, women-owned and disadvantaged business enterprises in airport contracting. AMAC relishes its achievements in relationship building in Washington D.C., educating legislators and its membership alike, and remaining vigilant to cultivate contract opportunities for its members in the fast-paced aviation and transportation industries. Recognizing that its work still has to be completed so all businesses (big and small) fly high in the world of aviation commerce, AMAC's current leadership honored the early efforts of the organization's founders by building on the foundation of advocacy and guidance for the years to come.

To read the entire article, click on this link:  AMAC Marks 30 Years

Business Tip

The DIA Project Calendar is a useful tool to remain updated with the airport's construction and professional services procurement activities month by month. Contract activities, such as bid openings, open solicitations, scheduled pre-bid meetings, etc., are provided in an easy-to-find and quick-to-read layout. Stay informed about DIA's contracting business and bidding activities using this real-time schedule of contract notice postings and about the Airport Business Management Services procurement activities and timelines.

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Project LIFT
Project LIFT

As part of its commitment to encourage and support students in aviation-related careers, the Airport Minority Advisory Council (AMAC) asks each airport that hosts an AMAC conference to create a program known as Project LIFT (Leaders Inspiring Future Talent).

The mission of Project LIFT and AMAC's scholarship program is to develop educational programs and information designed to substantially increase the nationwide pool of future aviation professionals, particularly minorities and women, and to contribute to the public's understanding of the aviation industry. This mission is accomplished by offering scholarships, conducting forums, seminars, and research; and educating the general public on air transportation, airports, airport operations and facilities management.

Project LIFT Team
Denver International Airport's Commerce Hub hosted students in the Airport Minority Advisory Council's LIFT program on June 9 and gave them a tour of Jeppesen Terminal. The tour was part of AMAC's 30th Anniversary Airport Business Diversity Conference, held in Denver.

Project LIFT Denver hosted 15 local youth and four AMAC scholarship winners during AMAC's 30th Annual Business Diversity Conference held in Denver from June 8 to 10. The students received a tour of Denver International Airport and the Aviation Department at Metropolitan State University of Denver. They also received golf instruction, networking opportunities with AMAC members, and a course on social etiquette. Project LIFT Denver will continue this fall with the creation of an Aviation Club at Martin Luther King Jr. Early College in Green Valley Ranch—a Denver community.

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Keep More of What You Earn – Business Investment Program

Greetings! My name is Lynn Sargent, a business development representative from Denver's Office of Economic Development. I recently joined forces with the Commerce Hub staff and will have office hours in DIA's Commerce Hub on Mondays and Fridays. I'm delighted to be an additional resource for the Commerce Hub's dynamic team and to help Denver businesses grow and thrive.

In this article I would like to discuss one of the tax credit programs that help Denver businesses keep more of what they earn in the form of tax credits, specifically the Business Investment Program.

Yes, an application is required, but you're compiling information about your business year already, so applying for this tax credit by Aug. 1, 2014, should not be an additional paperwork burden.

A business that started or expanded anywhere within the City and County of Denver, including Denver International Airport, can now reduce its tax bill on "business personal property" by applying for the BIP tax credit. Business personal property encompasses essentially any items owned by the business — such as equipment, furniture or machinery, but excludes a firm's land and buildings.

The credit is in the amount of the Denver General Fund portion of taxes on business personal property for up to four years, starting when the property is placed in service (note: replacement equipment is not eligible). Investments made in subsequent years require a separate application, which if approved receive additional tax credits.

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For example, an eligible business investing $34,000 in new display racks, shelving and computer equipment could save more than $400 in taxes over the four-year period. In another example, a business that invests $1 million in restaurant furniture and kitchen equipment can receive an estimated $12,000 in tax credits over the four-year agreement period.

What is an eligible business? It's any business located within the City and County of Denver that is a start-up or expansion and that made significant capital investments in 2013. Eligibility for businesses established prior to 2013 requires they also meet at least one of these growth requirements in 2013:

  • the increased investment of at least 100 percent of your prior business capital level
  • the increased investment of at least $1 million in business expansion
  • an increase of at least 10 employees over the preceding 12-month average, or
  • an increase in employment by at least 10 percent over the preceding 12-month average.

NOTE: Small business owners with business personal property valued at $7,000 or less might already be exempt from business personal property tax, in which case this program is not applicable.

To confirm whether your small business is exempt, call the Assessor's Office at (720) 913-4067.

Ready to apply? It's easy, just download the pdf application from www.denvergov.org/investindenver, complete it, and submit it via e-mail or U.S. mail by Aug. 1, 2014.

Upcoming Events

DIA Commerce Hub Business Education and Support Training Presents:
DIA Concessions Request for Proposal and Financial Capacity Discussion
July 11, 2014
10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Location: DIA City Conference Room, East Level 6

DIA Commerce Hub Contractor Conversations
July 24, 2014
8:30 a.m. – 10 a.m.
Location: World Port Conference Room H
24735 E. 75th Ave., Denver

Contact & Office Location

DIA Commerce Hub
Jeppesen Terminal, Level 6, West
Open Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
(303) 342-2351
E-mail: DIACommerceHub@flydenver.com

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City & County of Denver Department of Aviation
8500 Peña Boulevard | Denver, Colorado U.S.A. | 80249-6340

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