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Our Guiding Principles


We envision a thriving East Tampa, where Black-owned businesses flourish, revenues grow, and opportunities abound. We aim to create a vibrant, economically resilient community through the HOPE Program, fostering prosperity and a brighter future for all.


The mission of the HOPE Program is to empower Black-owned businesses in East Tampa by providing them with direct procurement opportunities from public and private organizations. The program aims to foster economic growth, increase revenue, and create a sustainable economic ecosystem within the East Tampa community.


What Is HOPE?

Despite the potential for growth and economic vitality in East Tampa, several challenges persist in the supplier diversity and procurement pipelines, limited access to decision-makers, an uneven playing field, network gaps, and limited resources make it difficult for Black-owned businesses to seek access to opportunities.

HOPE, an acronym for Hiring & Opportunities for Procurement in East Tampa, is more than an initiative; it's a collaboration with companies deeply committed to economic development, entrepreneurship, and the growth of small businesses. These dedicated partners pledge to allocate funds or contract opportunities directly to Black-owned businesses within the 33603, 33605, and 33610 zip codes. This deliberate and strategic approach not only benefits our partner companies by sourcing locally but also dismantles traditional barriers that have restricted smaller enterprises from accessing substantial procurement opportunities.


  • Enhanced Procurement Access: Through continual efforts, HOPE improves access to contracting and procurement opportunities for lasting benefits for East Tampa businesses.


  • Reduced Barriers, Amplified Opportunities: HOPE dismantles traditional barriers and opens doors for local businesses that have historically faced challenges. Creating increased opportunities for growth and success, especially for those who have historically faced challenges.


  • Job Creation: The surge in business opportunities directly translates to job creation, providing a substantial increase in employment opportunities for the community.


  • Economic Growth: HOPE makes a significant impact by substantially boosting the revenue of Black-owned businesses, directly contributing to the overall economic growth of East Tampa.


  • Community Prosperity: The program's success results in a thriving business community that not only attracts investments but also fosters community development, ultimately elevating living standards for East Tampa residents.

How Does It Work?

Workshop Owner

Who’s Eligible?

  • Business Ownership & Location: The business must be 51% or more owned by an African American resident whose physical home or business address is located within the 33603, 33605, or 33610 zip codes.


  • Legal Status: Businesses must be legally registered in the State of Florida with necessary licenses and permits for a minimum of one (1) year.


  • Clear Financials: Businesses may provide clear financial statements and tax return(s) for eligibility and stability checks.


  • Size & Capacity: While micro and small businesses are considered, businesses should demonstrate the capacity to deliver products or services at the required scale for procurement partners.


  • Track Record: While not mandatory, a favorable business track record or relevant experience enhances eligibility and participation in the HOPE program.


  • Commitment: Demonstrate commitment by engaging with procurement partners, participating in training, and actively pursuing opportunities.

How Do I Join?

  • Complete an application and submit the required business documents.

  • Engage in the vetting and selection process with a panel of business experts.

  • If accepted, initiate the onboarding process with procurement readiness partners to prepare your business for new opportunities.

If you have any questions please contact:

LaKendria Robinson,

Program Manager 


P: (813) 384-7630

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