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Posts Tagged ‘government procurement’

NH Businesses Hit it off with Government Agencies, Prime Contractors at New England Region Matchmaker

Monday, April 18th, 2016

The New England Region Matchmaker was held last week in Portland, Maine and more than 40 New Hampshire businesses were represented, taking advantage of a rare opportunity.

Matchmakers are an intense day, when small businesses, who have the kind products and services Uncle Sam needs, can meet with representatives of federal and state agencies who are in charge of procuring them.

We caught up with just a few Granite Staters at the Matchmaker. For some, it was their first time at the event; others are seasoned veterans who value the chance to meet with decision makers, saving them a lot of time and effort in figuring out with whom to connect about their businesses.

The US government is the world’s largest buyer of goods and services and in 2014, New Hampshire manufacturers and service providers met its needs to the tune of $1.7 billion. But landing a government agency is a bit more complicated than regular business to business dealings, in large part because the process has to be fair and and transparent to make sure every one has a fair chance.

The New Hampshire Government Contracting Assistance Center can help you get started on the process, as our team has done for the people we caught up with last week. We’ll stand by for your call.

And next time, we’ll include your photo in the slideshow.

Lorna Colquhoun
Communications Director
Division of Economic Development

 

Uncle Sam Wants Your Products and Services – Yes, *Your* Products and Services

Wednesday, April 8th, 2015

The US government is the world’s largest buyer of goods and services and last year, New Hampshire manufacturers and service providers met its needs to the tune of $1.7 billion.

Uncle Sam is a valuable client for any company, but it takes some patience and finesse to land a federal contract.

That’s why the upcoming DOD Northeast Regional Council Matchmaker event May 6-8 in Manchester, Vt., is an opportunity of which New Hampshire businesses should plan to take advantage.

“The government needs just about everything an ordinary business needs, from office furniture to food and clothing to specialized defense systems,” said Dave Pease, program manager for the New Hampshire Procurement Technical Assistance Program, part of the state’s Division of Economic Development. “The catch is that landing a federal contract, while beneficial to any business, is not easy. The process has to be fair and it has to be transparent.”

Next month’s matchmaker is the second of three being held in the northeast this year; Portland, Maine will be the site of the third one on Aug. 7. Matchmaker events draw scores of prime contractors; for example, BAE Systems, Albany Engineered Composites and Crane and Co., are expected to be among the primes on hand in May, ready to meet with representatives from more than 400 small businesses.

“New Hampshire small businesses are the government contracting champs of northern New England,” Pease said. “The key is having the best of something the government needs, not the size of the business.”

What do New Hampshire companies have that the government wants?

Gentex, in Manchester, produces microphones used in helmet systems for the military. C3I, Inc., of Hampton, specializes in aircraft lighting for US Navy ships. Winchester Precision Tech, of Winchester, works with the Los Alamos National Laboratory to learn more about dark matter. Mission Information Resources in Lancaster designs field notebooks for US Special Forces.

Pease notes that government contracting in New Hampshire is more than high tech and military. The process extends into places like the White Mountain National Forest, where everything from bundled wood for campgrounds to road repairs is needed.

In preparation for the federal matchmaker events, workshops will be held around the state to help businesses prepare for them.

Making the Most of the Matchmaker will be held from 9 – 11:30 am, April 16 at Manchester Community College and from 9:30 am to noon, April 20 at River Valley Community College in Keene.

One of the most important pieces of marketing for selling to the government is a capabilities statement. Capabilities Statement Coaching will be held from 9 to 11:30 am on April 29 at Manchester Community College.

For more information on the matchmaker, and government contracting, visit our website or  call NH PTAP at 271-7581; to register, visit http://www.us-ipe.org

Lorna Colquhoun
Communications Director
NH Division of Economic Development

Government Contracting: Uncle Sam Needs Your Business

Wednesday, July 30th, 2014

NHPTAPThe government is an untapped market in need of what New Hampshire businesses produce and there is assistance available for those companies who would like to do business with Uncle Sam.

The New Hampshire Procurement Technical Assistance Program (PTAP) offers free training and events to help businesses of all sizes tap into this viable market. (Click on the free training link for upcoming events).

“The US government spent over $100 billion on contracts with small businesses last year,” said David Pease, program manager of NH-PTAP.

The introductory and training seminars PTAP conducts are held in every region of the state, many aimed at the specific types of businesses in those regions that can fill the various needs of the government.

For example, in the Seacoast area, there are contracts for painting, environmental services and more. Around Keene and Claremont, there are companies that could fill the government’s needs for parks maintenance with landscaping, fuel delivery and other project opportunities. In the Manchester area, there is a constant need for companies to handle security contracts, hospitality services and more. The Lakes Region needs caterers and the North Country needs food products for the federal prison in Berlin. In all these areas, the government could do with contracts for commercial real estate.

With all these opportunities available what is holding New Hampshire businesses back from reaching for the government contacts available? For many, it is the intimidating rules and regulations that come with these contracts.

“The reason PTAP exists is because the government is a very large market and it is so different from regular business,  that it takes knowledge to be competitive,” Pease said.

This is where NH-PTAP becomes a valuable resource.

NH-PTAP assisted a company in Dover that makes strap-based products in securing a government contract to make seatbelts for shopping carts. In Epping, a fire arms training school won a federal contract to teach various classes. Up north in Dalton, Team O’Neil won a contract to instruct US Special Forces in high level driving skills.

What need can your product fill for the government? Contact NH-PTAP at 603-271-7581 or online. If you have any questions, contact Amanda Duquette or call 603-271-7581.

 

Alicia Gagne

Intern

NH Division of Economic Development

 

 

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

 

 

 

Crib Notes

Wednesday, September 5th, 2012

The Civil War-era building in the heart of downtown Keene belies the lean, green, sophisticated 21st century manufacturing operation inside the brick walls, with its state-of-the-art computer numerical controlled machinery operated by 43 skilled workers.

Whitney Brothers makes superior quality wood furniture, storage, display and educational play products for children. Their products can be found in schools, childcare centers, libraries and churches around the world.

Today, the plant hums at near capacity as it works to fulfill the largest single contract in its history and it’s an unlikely one: An order from the US Army.

It’s for a total of 3,614 cribs needed to upgrade its child development centers, located on military bases around the world. The order is a 3-year-contract, with two, one-year renewable options. The first year totals $866,000.

Production is humming at Whitney Brothers in Keene.

“Our company believes that childcare and early learning in a child’s first five years are critical to develop into productive citizens and we applaud the US Army for its support of those same values,” said David Stabler, president of Whitney Brothers. “We appreciate that the army recognized our American-made products represent better quality, safety and overall value vs. low-cost imports.”

Winning the contract took patience and perseverance and required meticulous preparation. It began in 2003, when Stabler met with Martha Keene of NH-PTAP, a program of the Division of Economic Development that helps New Hampshire companies sell their products and services to federal, state and local governments. He evaluated the government market, performed the necessary registrations and developed a strategy to generate government sales through the company’s existing network of distributors versus selling directly to the federal government.

The pivotal event in the process would not happen for another eight years. In 2011, the US Consumer Product Safety Commission enacted standards that necessitated the replacement of older cribs in public and private childcare centers with newer, safety-compliant units by the end of 2012. This included childcare facilities sponsored by the government, such as the US Army worldwide Childcare Development Centers. Whitney Brothers had prepared diligently for this opportunity, resulting in the US Army contract award in May 2012.

“We acknowledge the vital role that the NHPTAP and (the Department of Resources and Economic Development) played in helping us win this important contract,” said Brian Vaillancourt, director of sales and marketing. “These publicly funded organizations and the programs, training and assistance they provide helped us gain full visibility in front of the federal government customer and acquire this order. We advocate the current federal administration continue to support these invaluable resources.”

To fulfill the contract, Whitney Brothers hired 13 new employees – a 32 percent increase to its existing workforce.

 

Dave Pease, CCAS

Program Manager

NH Procurement Technical Assistance Program

dave.pease@dred.state.nh.us