Department of Transportation Annual Small Business Day Recap: Helping Small Business Connect to Federal Contracts
by Marie Johns, Former SBA Deputy Administrator
- Created: April 11, 2012, 12:33 pm
- Updated: April 11, 2012, 1:33 pm
Yesterday, I joined Secretary Ray LaHood and other senior members of the Obama Administration for the US Department of Transportation’s annual Small Business Day.
This day-long event, themed “Moving Forward,” provides small businesses the chance to discuss procurement opportunities with federal contracting officers and attend valuable workshops designed to help them reach the next level of growth. During the morning plenary session, I was able to outline some of the US Small Business Administration’s key initiatives and encourage the entrepreneurs in attendance to take advantage of the many tools SBA has to offer.
As a former small business owner, I know first-hand the challenges entrepreneurs must overcome to grow their companies. In a tough economy, it is especially important for firms to find ways to tap into resources that will enable them thrive. That is why we at the SBA work tirelessly to expand access to new markets for small businesses across the country. For example, last month, we announced the American Supplier Initiative, a government-wide effort to remove the barriers many small businesses face in offering goods and services to large private sector companies. One component of the American Supplier Initiative is Supplier Connection, a free common application that allows small businesses to simultaneously send information about their products to participating private sector buyers. With over $300 billion in purchasing power, some of the household brands in the partnership include Facebook, Bank of America, John Deere, Pfizer, and UPS.
SBA continues to build on the Obama Administration’s efforts to expand small business access to federal contracting. We maintain an online database called SUB-Net that showcase sub-contracting opportunities with large prime contractors and federal agencies. Further, SBA has numerous counseling programs including the GC Classroom—a free online training with best practices on how to do business with the federal government. And in January of this year, we kicked off our Mentor-Protégé Matchmaker conference series. These events are designed to connect 8 (a) firms with mentors to provide them with management and technical assistance as well as joint ventures and federal contracting opportunities. In the coming months, more conferences will be announced and firms interested in participating can register here.
When President Obama talks about his vision for an economy where everyone has a fair shot and can achieve the American dream, he is talking about small business. At the SBA, and throughout the Obama Administration, we are committed to offering many different paths to small business success. Working together, we will create an inclusive, robust, and resilient 21st century American economy built to last.
About the Author
Marie Johns is a former Deputy Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration.
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