Small business owners from across New Hampshire will have the opportunity to meet one-on-one in two weeks with large government contractors, which, even at a time of budget cutbacks, still need goods and services provided to them.
The 2014 New Hampshire Small Business Matchmaker will run from 8:30 am to 4 pm, March 13, and is hosted by Rivier University in Nashua, with contributing support from BAE Systems, which is also an exhibitor. Over 30 prime contractors are expected, including the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, the US Environmental Protection Agency, the New Hampshire National Guard and the US Army Corps of Engineers.
“For businesses that have products and services the government needs and wants, it is always a good time to pursue a contract,” said David Pease, program manager for the New Hampshire Procurement Technical Assistance Program. “It is a particularly good time now if you have a product or service that can save money, while meeting an established need.”
Government purchasing is a $2 billion market in the state and the NH-PTAP assists about 900 companies, of all sizes, doing business with the government and agencies that are prime contractors for government.
“Matchmakers are very important to us,” said Susan King, the executive administrator of supplier diversity for BAE Systems, Electronic Systems, headquartered in Nashua, which sponsors more than 25 small business events around the country and spends about $400 million buying goods and services from small businesses. “It lets us meet face-to-face with small businesses and to talk with them about what they offer.”
The New Hampshire Small Business Matchmaker is the only one scheduled this year and Pease said it is a rare opportunity for businesses to meet with decision makers in one place, rather than spend time trying to connect with the right person. Government agencies need to purchase the same kinds of goods and services as private businesses do, Pease said. With its own set of goals, statutes and procedures that must be followed, government procurement can be an intimidating process to those who are new to it.
In addition to meeting with the prime contractors, businesses attending can network with others, meet with and get advice from a business mentor and attend information sessions.
Those interested in attending can register online at www.NHSBDC.org. The cost is $50 and includes lunch. For more information, call Heidi Edwards Dunn at the New Hampshire Small Business Development Center at 603-271-0417.
The 2014 Matchmaker is sponsored by NH-PTAP, the New Hampshire Small Business Development Center, the US Small Business Administration, SCORE and the Center for Women’s Business Advancement and hosted by Rivier University.
NH Division of Economic Development