Original article published January 22, 2010 at Colorado Springs Business Journal
In case you haven’t heard, Colorado was recently awarded a Procurement Technical Assistance Center (“Center”) in September 2009. The Center’s office is located right in Colorado Springs, at 6 South Tejon. Getting a Center in Colorado was a long, difficult two year process led by several key members of the local business community. I have the honor of serving as the Chairman of the Board of the Colorado Center, and I wanted to tell the community more about who we are and what we do.
What is a PTAC?
You’re thinking, ‘Okay, great. Colorado now has a Center, but what is it and what does it do?’ Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (PTACs) are offices (over 300 nationwide offices) that form a nationwide network of procurement professionals working to support small businesses seeking federal contracts from the Department of Defense and other government agencies.
During the 1980s, Congress became concerned that small businesses were not able to compete effectively against larger businesses for federal contracts. The Procurement Technical Assistance Program (PTAP) was authorized by Congress in 1985 in an effort to expand the number of businesses capable of participating in the Government Marketplace.
PTACs are the bridge between buyer and supplier, bringing to bear their knowledge of both government contracting and the capabilities of contractors to maximize fast, reliable service to our government with better quality and at lower costs. PTAC counselors have backgrounds in government acquisitions, and virtually all receive ongoing training to keep pace with continually evolving acquisitions procedures and policies.
Our Colorado PTAC is a non-profit entity, and operates under an agreement between the federal agency that administers them nationwide, the DLA, and Colorado’s Office of Economic Development & International Trade (OEDIT). Both the DLA and the OEDIT allocated funds for the operation of the Colorado PTAC. Additionally, several El Paso County local businesses funded the remaining required amounts to operate the PTAC for its initial year.
The Colorado PTAC’s mission is to provide Colorado small businesses with training, support, and counseling, on government contracting, with the ultimate goal of assisting these small businesses in being awarded federal contracts. In addition, the Colorado PTAC will also help small businesses do the same for Colorado state government contracts and local government contracts. The Colorado PTAC is organized to provide this support to small businesses throughout the state.
Why is the Colorado PTAC important and how will it impact the local community?
The small business community here in Colorado that sought to do business with the federal government have been at a distinct disadvantage for many years. Small businesses in other parts of the country that have PTACs have been receiving support from their local PTAC and were better prepared to win federal contracts. Our Colorado small businesses were left without this critical support, trying to compete with small businesses outside our state that had PTAC support.
One of the reasons the Colorado PTAC was located here in Colorado Springs was the understanding of how important government contracts are to the local community. The business community in El Paso County relies heavily on federal contracts. The critical assistance provided to local small businesses by the Colorado PTAC will help increase the number of federal contracts awarded to them, by making them better able to compete with small businesses outside the state and win these contracts.
The Colorado PTAC also helps large government contracting businesses. These businesses often need to partner with small businesses as part of the contract requirements they are awarded by the federal government. So, they need small business partners who understand government contracts, have experience with government contracts and can help them meet their contract requirements. The Colorado PTAC helps these large businesses by training and supporting their small business partners.
The director and counselors at the Colorado PTAC are experienced government contracting experts. They are providing invaluable government contracting support to our local small businesses. They have been in operation for only a few months, but their results so far have far exceeded targeted expectations. We fully expect their results to continue to exceed targets, meaning local small businesses will be better at getting government contracts.
If you think the Colorado PTAC can help your business, call (719) 434-3470 or stop by their office. They are ready and waiting to help you meet your government contracting goals.