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Can You Go to National Small Business Week and Get a Federal Contract? It Could Happen!

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Can You Go to National Small Business Week and Get a Federal Contract? It Could Happen!

By TiffaniC, SBA Official
Published: May 2, 2012 Updated: May 2, 2012

Can You Go to National Small Business Week and Get a Federal Contract? It Could Happen! 

If you were to ask a small business owner to identify a top priority on his or her wish list, undoubtedly they would say “to get more business!”  Are you a small business owner looking for more business?  Are you a small business owner looking to partner with larger businesses or federal agencies on federal contract opportunities?

If your answer is “yes”, then you don’t want to miss the Business Matchmaking event that will take place during SBA’s National Small Business Week conference!  

National Small Business Week -- What is it?

Every year, the U.S. Small Business Administration honors small businesses from 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and Guam during its National Small Business Week conference. At this year’s event, one of these award winners will be selected as the National Small Business Person of the Year. Participants also will be recognized for their involvement in disaster recovery, government contracting, and their support for small businesses and entrepreneurship.

The event will be held on May 20th-26th at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Washington, D.C. and it will feature awards ceremonies, small business forums and educational and matchmaking sessions.  The event also will be webcast live at

Business Matchmaking – What is it?

The SBA will host a Business Matchmaking event that will allow small businesses to discuss procurement opportunities with major corporations and federal agencies during the Procurement Day of its National Small Business Week conference on May 22.  The event will give small businesses from across the country gathered for National Small Business Week an opportunity to have face-to-face meetings with major corporations and federal agencies to learn about specific contract opportunities.  

The face-to-face Matchmaking meetings will be 15 minutes, matching approximately 150 businesses and 20 buyers based on their compatibility and the buying needs of the federal agencies and corporations. 

SBA’s Procurement Day will also feature federal contracting panels on gaining access to federal prime contracting and subcontracting opportunities.

During these panels, small businesses will learn how to market themselves to the federal government and go after government contracting and sub-contracting opportunities.  Once a small business owner registers for Procurement Day, he or she will have the option of attending any of three sessions:

• Government Contracting 101: Small Business Contracting Programs (10:00-11:15am)

• Insights into Federal Contracting Opportunities with Federal Agency Offices of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBUs) (10:00am-11:15am and 11:30am-12:45pm)

• Improving your Business through Subcontracting Opportunities (11:30am-12:45pm)

Does Business Matchmaking Work?

Ask Andy Harold, President of A. Harold and Associates, a Florida-based, service-disabled veteran-owned, 8(a)-certified, and small disadvantaged business, specializing in engineering, training, and management services.  He’ll give a resounding “Yes!”  Harold’s company received its first large contract as a result of an SBA Business Matchmaking event in Jacksonville, Fla., in 2006.  Harold stayed in regular contact with the senior contracts manager at ARINC he met during the Matchmaking event, which led to a contract for electromagnetic environmental engineering.  Today, Harold’s company is more successful than ever. 

After Hurricane Katrina, the SBA launched a special Gulf Coast Business Matchmaking Initiative to help small businesses in the stricken areas of Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi identify and negotiate contracts to help with cleanup and reconstruction.  In November 2006, the SBA embarked on an eight-day, six-city mobile registration tour to the Katrina-affected areas using a specially equipped RV donated by Microsoft to provide instant electronic registration.  As a result, more than 700 small businesses registered for the event and small businesses received more than $39 million in contracts from federal agencies.  All told, through today, small businesses have received more than $4 billion in post-Katrina contracts. 

How can I participate?

The Business Matchmaking sessions are open to small businesses that register for National Small Business Week.  Small businesses must have a DUNS number, which can be obtained by going to the DUNS official Web site at (, and must be registered in Central Contractor Registration (, the federal government’s official database of small businesses wishing to secure federal contracts.  

Small businesses interested in participating must first register for National Small Business Week at   

Once registered, they will receive a code to allow them to complete their Business Matchmaking registration at:   Registration for the event will close on May 18, 2012.  The Matchmaking Sessions will be held on May 22nd from 10:00am-12:30pm and 3:00pm-5:00pm. 

For more information about the SBA’s Business Matchmaker event and National Small Business Week, visit: and

Read more in our full press release.

About the Author:

Tiffani Clements

SBA Official

I'm a Public Affairs Specialist in the Office of Communication & Public Liasion and the media liaison for SBA's Office of Government Contracting.


Business matchmaking is a sensational idea. I wish they had these 10 years ago when I was looking for startup capital for my small business. And I love the article, I think everyone can agree that "getting more business" is the name of the game.
thank you for this post and Thank you for the opportunity to comment.
Where do we park for the earlier matchmaking session?
It sounds like an excellent event and what a celebration a small business owner would have if they went and came home with a federal contract.

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