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Posts Tagged ‘federal contracting’

Government Contracting is the New Name for NH PTAP

Friday, January 22nd, 2016

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New Name, Same Agency

The name was a mouthful – New Hampshire Procurement Technical Assistance Program.

You may have known it in its abbreviated form: NH PTAP. And if you didn’t know what ‘procurement technical assistance’ meant and were afraid to ask, fear no more.

NH PTAP has always been about government contracting and helping New Hampshire businesses navigate the process to bring Uncle Sam on board as a customer. The name, though, sort of said that, but it didn’t.

So, as of Jan. 1., we’ve changed our name to the NH Government Contracting Assistance Center. The new name gets straight to the work of our agency.

Only the name has changed. Our services are still free to New Hampshire businesses and the same award winning staff is ready to help you bid on – and win – contracts from the federal government.

We’ll call ourselves ‘government contracting’ for short — no abbreviation.

The alphabet is happy to get some of its letters back and we’re happy that our new name leaves no one guessing what we do.

Dave Pease
Program Manager
NH Government Contract Assistance Center

5 Questions with Amanda Duquette, NH PTAP

Friday, June 19th, 2015

We’ve covered some of the higher-level facets of federal government contracting in previous “5 Questions” interview pieces, and this time, we decided to dig a little deeper into the space – looking at state and local opportunities, and what it’s like for a company to actually work with a procurement service.

To guide us in this area, we interviewed Amanda Duquette, procurement specialist with the New Hampshire Procurement Technical Assistance Program (NH-PTAP). Her day-to-day work includes one-on-one counseling with New Hampshire businesses selling their products or services, either directly to the local, state, and federal government or indirectly through subcontracting, as well as performing marketing research and creating strategic plans for companies to get the training and technical assistance they need to come up to speed for government contracting opportunities.

1. You’ve been with PTAP since 2007 and have worked with many, many businesses. How vital would you say PTAP’s services are to the overall success of those companies?

Amanda Duquette

Amanda Duquette

Most of the clients that we help come to us because they aren’t sure how to best pursue government contracts.  There are many registrations and processes that need to be completed before a company can be awarded a government contract.  We help companies navigate through the red tape and we basically walk them through the entire process.  There are many rules and regulations that go along with contracting with the government – and they are constantly changing. I think PTAP’s services are vital to companies who want to successfully work for the government.

2. What kinds of assistance are requested most often by New Hampshire businesses?

Many of our clients are new to the government contracting arena.  They are looking for assistance with government registrations and how to find government contracts that are a good fit for their company.  They want us to teach them how to set their business up to work for the government and then how to find and pursue government work.

3. Much of the PTAP talk is about federal contracts, but you help with state and local contracts, too. Can you give us a sense of the variety of products and services needed at state and local levels?

There is a vast variety of products and services that are needed at the state and local level.  There is usually a need for janitorial services, landscaping/snow plowing, construction/renovation work and automotive equipment. We also see needs for medical and professional services, laboratory equipment and hardware. Our Bidmatch service helps our clients get easy access to bidding opportunities that are found on the state and individual city and town websites, or published in the newspapers.

4. What kind of market research will you perform for clients interested in exploring contracting opportunities?

PTAP counselors do a lot of market research for our clients.  We often have clients who want to know if the government is buying their products or services. We take our clients on virtual tours to show them what agencies are buying their products or services. We can show them who their competitors are and what they are selling to the government and we can also show them competitor’s prices and sales amounts. We also teach our clients how to search for government contracts. If our client isn’t ready for direct government contracts, we show them how to find subcontracting opportunities.

5. Sometimes your clients aren’t quite qualified or otherwise capable of contracting with the government. What does PTAP do to help train or otherwise help these companies get to the point of being a suitable contractor?

You are right, not every company that comes to us is ready for government contracting. When we first speak with a new client, we assess his/her company – taking into consideration, its products/services, time in business, past performance and commercial market. We often recommend that companies that are not ready for direct government work reach out to prime contractors, to become a subcontractor for a piece of the project or work.  This helps them get their feet wet with government work and helps them understand what it takes to complete a government contract.  Also, when a company is a new start-up or not ready for our services, we usually refer them to our partners at the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) and/or SCORE.

Matchmaker Links NH Small Businesses to Government Contracts

Friday, February 28th, 2014

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.

 Lorna Colquhoun

Communications Director

NH Division of Economic Development