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Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (go to website)

PTAC programs offer a variety of services to small businesses to assist in the government contracting process. The first step is to make businesses aware of contracting opportunities that they could fulfill.

PTAC programs offer a bid matching service, where a business will be notified by e-mail anytime the government is looking to purchase a product or service that the business provides. With this information, the business can obtain the bid package (also known as a proposal or solicitation package). Bid packages can be rather large and intimidating. However, once a company has obtained the materials, PTAC counselors can provide bid preparation assistance. A counselor will sit down with a client and walk through the entire package, explaining definitions, acronyms (which government agencies are notorious for), regulations, clauses, representations and certifications.

Another service provided is procurement histories. The PTAC counselors can educate a business on what the government has purchased in the past, what business they purchased it from and at what price per unit they purchased it.

Government bid packages often refer to requirements (specification and standards) that are only cited by reference. PTAC counselors can provide the actual specification and standard documents necessary for bidding on these projects.

PTAC programs can educate businesses on different vendor registrations that may be required or highly recommended for government contracting. PTAC counselors can also assist in obtaining the documents online as well as filling out the registrations.

PTAC programs can educate businesses on different incentive programs as well as the certifications required to benefit from such programs. For example, on the federal level there are Small Disadvantaged Business (SDB), Historically Underutilized Business Zones (HUBZones) and Veteran Owned certifications.

State governments may have completely different certifications. For example, the state of Missouri has Minority Business Enterprise (MBE), Women Business Enterprise (WBE) and Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBE) certifications. City governments may also have different certifications. The PTAC counselors can help companies determine if they are eligible for any incentive programs and then assist in obtaining and completing the applications.

Electronic commerce has become increasingly prevalent in government contracting. PTAC counselors can help businesses become more knowledgeable with e-commerce issues, including online bidding, registrations and certifications.

Finally, PTAC counselors also offer one-on-one consulting services as well as training seminars and conferences to keep businesses educated on any new procurement topics.

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