Resources for small businesses seeking government contracts

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Newcomers should consider looking at Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (PTAC), located in every state and U.S. territory. To find one near you, go to www.dla.mil/db/procurem.htm. The Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU) hosts an annual Procurement Conference to foster business partnerships between the federal government, its prime contractors, and small, minority, service-disabled, veteran-owned, HUBZone and women-owned businesses.

Small businesses that don’t have the resources to market themselves can access the Department of Homeland Security Mentor-Protégé Program, which assists small businesses to successfully compete for prime contract and subcontract awards by partnering with large companies under individual, project-based agreements. Requirements for mentor and protégé businesses can be found at www.acq.osd.mil/osbp/mentor_protege.

The Small Business Administration’s 8a program helps qualified small businesses get government contracts without competition. The 8a status doesn’t last forever, but it helps a new business get up and running. Small business resources are listed at www.DHS.gov/openforbusiness, as well as www.sba.gov and other federal agencies

Barb Ernster is a freelance writer based in Fridley, Minn.

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