The City of Wichita has partnered with
Qwally, developers of a software platform that helps cities support small businesses, to launch
Workwith.Wichita.gov. The City will use the site to help local entrepreneurs as they start and grow their businesses, connect them with resources in the community and provide guidance to small businesses seeking City contract opportunities.
"Qwally, through its partnership with the City of Wichita, provides a new and innovative platform to local small businesses looking to expand into government contracting and access area resource partners," said Vice Mayor Brandon Johnson. "This platform expands on the City's current efforts to engage emerging and disadvantaged businesses and reduce red tape to make our community and city vendor base more inclusive."
Workwith.Wichita.gov site reduces common procurement challenges faced by new businesses and clearly explains how to navigate the City's procurement process. The platform also streamlines the City's Emerging Business Enterprise (EBE) Certification program, a small business program the City introduced in 2005. Small businesses can now apply for EBE Certification in just a few minutes online.
Workwith.Wichita.gov can be accessed at any time through a computer or mobile device and uses a secure login system that eliminates the need for users to remember a password.
For City staff, the Qwally platform provides a centralized view of the EBE program. City users can monitor and support small businesses as they pursue City contract opportunities. City staff can review and approve applications, message with applicants, and search for EBE-certified vendors by location and industry. The platform also automates time-intensive tasks like distributing certification renewal notices.
"Working with a start-up like Qwally provided a streamlined process from selection to implementation. New technology provides the flexibility and quick deployment that are expected in today's IT environment but more challenging with larger vendors," said City of Wichita Chief Information Officer Mike Mayta. "The City's ability to deploy this technology in an agile manner provides departments the opportunity to interactively build the platform and get exactly what they need."
The Qwally platform will not only make it easier for businesses to connect with City Hall, but also with resources and organizations in the Wichita area that provide support and services to small businesses.
"This is a big step forward in facilitating information for businesses in the city of Wichita," said Magda Burciaga, Executive Director with the Wichita Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
With the launch of this new site, the City is hopeful that more businesses will seek to participate in City contracts and access the benefits of EBE Certification.