DoD, PTAC and NCMA Conference Matches Small Businesses with Government Agencies and Contractors
Dubbed "speed dating" for small businesses, the Department of Defense's Spring 2007 Matchmaking Event, held on Monday, June 11, brought together 63 government agencies and contractors with 577 New England small businesses looking to secure a piece of the billions of dollars the federal government allocates for contracts and subcontracts each year.
Partnering with the Rhode Island Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) and the Rhode Island Chapter of the National Contract Management Association (NCMA), the DoD Northeast Regional Council for Small Business Education and Advocacy hosted the four-day series of training, conferences, workshops and technical presentations at the Crowne Plaza in Warwick from June 10–13 to introduce small businesses to contract opportunities with federal agencies and prime contractors.
Local small businesses such as A2B Tracking Solutions in Portsmouth and Cranston's Electro-Standards Laboratories took advantage of the brisk 10-minute sessions during Monday's matchmaker, pitching their services and products to government agencies and prime contractors. The matchmaker put small businesses on equal footing with larger corporations, giving them the same amount of time to introduce their company as a contender for primary defense contracts.
Matchmaker events, held every six months across New England, are responsible for thousands of opportunities for small businesses to make connections with federal agencies and contractors, often securing viable contracts and subcontracts.
The event also helped government agencies meet requirements for hiring small businesses. Federal regulations encourage government agencies and contractors to hire small businesses as subcontractors, especially those run by minorities, women and veterans.
Government agencies and prime contractors meeting with small businesses included Analog Devices, General Dynamics, Lockheed Martin Systems Integration, Tyco Electronics, Raytheon Company, Sikorsky (UTC), Textron Marine and Land Systems, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Air Force and the U.S. Navy.
The defense industry contributed more than $2 billion to Rhode Island's economy in 2006 and generated more than 25 percent of the state's patents. Approximately $400 million in defense spending is concentrated in Rhode Island alone each year.
Besides the Spring Matchmaker, the four-day event included a workshop featuring a comprehensive introduction to government contracting, presentations by senior managers from Newport's Naval Undersea Warfare Center and training for prime contractors' small business liaison officers.