Monday, May 1, 2017

Proposed Legislation to Notify Small Businesses of Free Procurement Assistance

Senators Gary Peters (D-MI) and Susan Collins (R-ME) have introduced legislation to help protect small businesses from falling victim to fraud when they register to procure federal contracts. The "Procurement Fraud Prevention Act" would require small businesses to be notified that free assistance is available for help in procuring government contracts through federal programs. Free assistance is available through the various Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (PTACs) the Small Business Administration (SBA) and other organizations.

Many business owners are unaware that these resources exist and fall victim to scams that mislead them into paying high sums of money for contract procurement assistance. Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (PTACs) provide local, in-person counseling and training services for small business owners. They are designed to provide technical assistance to buisnesses that want to sell products and services to federal, state, or local governments. The Procurement Technical Assistance Program is administered by the Defense Logistics Agency.

PTACs can help determine whether a particular small business is ready for government contract, help register them in the proper places (e.g. SAM or System for Award Management). They can help determine eligibility for small business certifications such as woman owned, disadvantaged, veteran-owned and HUBZone. The PTACs also have the resources to search prior contracts to see what kind of contracts have been awarded to similar business.

You can find your local PTAC from SBA's Website. There are also specialized PTAC such as Native American PTACs who focus on businesses owned by native Americans.

Whether this bill passes or not, businesses interested in selling to the Government should make a point of visiting their local PTAC. Can't hurt, its free.

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