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Rhode Island PTAC Helps Businesses with Government Contracting

Rhode Island PTAC Helps Businesses with Government Contracting November 5, 2015

In honor of Veteran’s Day next week and the Rhode Island Procurement Technical Assistance Center’s (PTAC) Ninth Annual Matchmaking Event and Training  Conference for veteran business owners tomorrow, we want to give you a snapshot into our PTAC team here at the Commerce Corporation and what they do to help Rhode Island businesses. Here’s our Q&A with the team:

Question: How does the PTAC’s services contribute to the overall success of the companies it works with?

Answer: Over the years, our PTAC team has consistently helped our clients grow their market share of government business.  For example, during our last program year, which ran from May 1, 2014 to April 30, 2015, our “value add” to Rhode Island was $9.7 million in government contract awards reported by our clients.  The cash outlay by the state for the PTAC to facilitate these awards was a mere $75,900.


Question: What type of assistance is most often requested by Rhode Island companies?

Answer: Actually, it varies. PTAC provides guidance in writing business proposals, in managing awarded contracts, in performing market research, in writing capability statements, in registering in the various government systems, in obtaining Veteran’s Administration verification for veteran-owned small business, and so on. Every day is different for us. It’s a fantastic job! And, all of our services are free of charge to our clients.


Question: What types of federal, state and local contracts are available to Rhode Island companies? What type of services are required?

Answer: The types of contracts also vary. A sampling of what some of our clients do includes construction, landscaping, IT, vehicle repair, painting, cleaning, medical equipment, transportation services, fitness, boat building, renewable energy, environmental services, fuel supply, food services, office furniture, textiles, architectural, machine shops, fastener manufacturing, welding and management consulting, just to name a few. As you might imagine, the government (federal, state and local) buys these types of products and services. The potential is great for our clients.


Question: How does the PTAC help clients research the right government contract opportunities for them?

Answer: We begin the process with an initial one-on-one counseling session with the client. We ascertain the depth of their knowledge in government contracting as well as the maturity of their business and their potential for success in government contracting. Once we have this baseline framework, we then develop a bid match profile for the client based upon their product and/or service and where, geographically, they would like to sell.

Our bid match searches numerous sources including Federal Business Opportunities (FedBizOpps) for all federal opportunities greater than $25,000 in value; USABID; which monitors close to 1,500 procurement websites daily; small purchases database for those opportunities less than $25,000; and Blue Tops for Department of Defense awards greater than $5 million. And, the bid match is free of charge to our clients. We will adjust the bid match as often as necessary to ensure that it is relevant for the client. We also teach our clients how to conduct market research, including which buyers may be viable customers for their products and services, and how to market those products and services to prospective government customers.


Question: What does the PTAC do to train or otherwise help companies prepare to bid on government contracts?

Answer:  As mentioned earlier, we help our clients through a variety of methods including one-on-one counseling, our training workshops, and events that we participate in. For example, this year, as in years past, we conduct a series of workshops on topics such as analyzing government solicitations/RFP’s, cost and pricing methods, opportunities in government subcontracting, GSA Schedules, construction contracting for government contracts and proposal preparation.


Curious to learn more about RI PTAC? Want to jump in and get started on obtaining a government contract for your business? Contact PTAC at (401) 278-9100, or visit the new website!

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