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Governmental agency assists entrepreneurs with contracting opportunities

by Johari Hamilton

The University of Tennessee Procurement Technical Assistance Center (UT PTAC) is a program funded in part, by the U.S. Department of Defense and is administered through a cooperative agreement with the Defense Logistics Agency.

According to the website, the primary mission is “to assist businesses in competing successfully in federal, state and local government contracting.”

“Government contracts are a tremendous financial opportunity for small businesses. Federal agencies must publicly list their contract opportunities. Some of these contracts are set aside exclusively for small businesses. UT PTAC helps small businesses take advantage of government contracts also known as  “set-asides”.

“In 2018, PTAC counselors had 485 active clients that received a total of 2,211 contracts awards totaling more than $530 million, which led to more than 5,300 jobs created or retained,” stated Veronica Clark, counselor for West Tennessee.

Veronica Clark, PTAC Counselor (Courtesy Photo)

With experience in “market research and strategy,” Clark focuses on equipping small business owners with the tools they need to grow their business through government contracts.

“My word of advice to my clients is to know your target customer! This will enable you to narrow your focus. Once you know your target customer, you can build authentic relationships. Individuals will do business with people they know. Once you make the connection make sure that you follow-up,” explained Clark.

PTAC clients can expect assistance in the following areas:

  • Analyzing solicitations

  • Marketing to the government

  • Market research

  • Certifications

  • And much more

In addition to providing technical assistance and one-on-one counseling, many of the training opportunities UT PTAC offers are available to entrepreneurs and small business owners through local workshops in conjunction with the Tennessee Small Business Development Center (TSBDC).

To learn more about UT PTAC, visit the website at

Johari Hamilton is a content writer and copyeditor for Writing by Design Media. She can be reached at

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