All veterans are invited to learn how to grow their business at the Jan. 19, 2006, procurement fair to be held at the Tropicana Hotel, Atlantic City from 8:30 a.m.-1 p.m. “Admission is free. Veterans are urged to approach representatives of agencies and corporations to market their goods and services,” said attorney Dolcey Chaplin, the executive director of the Defense Procurement Technical Assistance Center (DPTAC) at New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT). DPTAC is a sponsor of the event as well as the Mid-Atlantic Small Business Council and the Defense Contracts Management Agency.
Interested attendees will not be turned away at the door, but are urged to register prior to the event by calling (973) 596-3105 or e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Include name, address, phone, email address, and list of attendees with the correspondence.
A representative of the Center for Veteran Enterprise, Washington, DC, will speak about the process of using special veteran preferences to enhance business opportunities. A small business is defined by federal regulations to include manufacturing companies that employ fewer than 500 workers. A service company's size is determined by annual gross sales.
“The day will offer excellent opportunities,” said Chaplin. “If I was a veteran and I had one networking event to attend, this would be the one.” Among the opportunities: Networking with prime corporate representatives, agency buyers, receiving advice from procurement professionals such as Chaplin and discussing with government personnel from all service branches what they want.
“Understanding what the buyer wants is crucial for success,” said Chaplin. “Our fair is a relaxed, congenial and non-threatening way to make those contacts and reach out to that customer.”
DPTAC provides assistance to business firms through the sponsorship of free outreach workshops and seminars, the implementation of government market research in the form of bid information opportunities and one-on-one counseling sessions on all aspects of government procurement. The Center’s offerings have reflected the changes in the government marketplace. Clients receive training in e-commerce, education about the varied aspects of the bidding process and information about how to obtain certification to help them get prime and subcontracting opportunities. Chaplin’s clients have included diverse companies ranging from glove manufacturers to warehousing operations.
Since 1986, DPTAC has created $995 million in contract awards won by New Jersey businesses, $1.9 billion in economic activity in New Jersey and created or retained 29,000 jobs.