Tampa International Airport wants to hear from women- and minority-owned businesses

Published Jan. 15, 2014

TAMPA — Tampa International Airport is planning to spend millions to remake its concessions in the next few years, and the airport wants to make sure that women- and minority-owned businesses have a chance to join that future roster of shopping and dining options.

The airport will host a workshop from 9 a.m. to noon Thursday in the main ballroom of the Tampa Airport Marriott to brief women- and minority-owned businesses on the process.

They'll learn how they can be certified as an Airport Concessions Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (ACDBE) under airport rules. They'll also get to meet fellow business owners, concessionaires, architects, store designers and others crucial to the process of opening up shop in the airport.

Thursday's workshop is entitled "Concessions 102." Last year, the airport held two "Concessions 101" workshops to explain to local, national and international firms how they can open in the airport. Later this year, the airport will hold another workshop on the solicitation and procurement process.

Instead of letting just one concessionaire bid on the new concessions contract, the airport is allowing a variety of bidders to pitch different combinations of eating, drinking and shopping options. The airport is also looking for local brands to join its lineup. Local options like the Columbia Restaurant Café and Cigar City Brewing already operate out of TIA.

The airport's current concessions contract has been ongoing since 1971 but is set to expire in 2015.

The new concessions contracts, the airport said, will be worth an estimated $1.3 billion in gross sales over 10 years.

The workshops are open to the public. To find out more, go online and check out: