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

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

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