Growing small business through federal contracting

Growing small business through federal contracting

LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) -Most small businesses would love to have a well-established, new customer to help them build wealth and grow their business.

Well, one possibility is the federal government.

If you operate a small business, you may be missing out on opportunities contracting with the federal government.

Donna Little is the director of the Louisiana Small Business Development Center at McNeese:

“The federal government spends billions of dollars every year with small businesses. Through U.S. Small Business Administration, or SBA. federal agencies are committed to buying from small businesses. So, there is an opportunity to sell all kinds of things from office supplies to cleaning services to engineering services at Fort Polk,” said Little..

But to get in on the action, there are certain steps to take. First, register at what they call SAM.gov (System for Award Management) which is the bid process used. Little says it’s free to register. All that’s required to register is a DUNS number which is also free and takes a couple of days to process.

“Register and poke around. Try to find some opportunities. It’s a way to extend your sales beyond your local market,” said Little.

Sonya Dicks operates a successful bail bonds business called Bonds-4-Less, is a notary, offers information technology services and is a veteran.

She says signing up gets you started.

“They send out emails for all the positions you would be qualified and interested in. Contracts you would be interested in. They also send you the RFP (request for proposals) and the requirements for the contracts, deadlines. They also send you all of the forms and everything you need to know what the qualifications are," she said.

Dicks is interested in providing services to advance criminal justice reform.

"I can offer monitoring services, tracking services for juveniles," she said.

Though she has not yet won a government contract she's getting experience and is convinced she will one day reach her goals and contribute to the local economy.

For help with registering and more on the path toward contracting with the government call the LSBDC at McNeese Seed Center at 337-475-5529 or email Little at dlittle@lsbcd.org

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