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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. It is administered through a cooperative agreement with the Defense Logistics Agency.

UT PTAC's 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, known as "set-asides."

"In 2021, PTAC counselors had 1, 115 clients that received awards totaling more than $1.3 million, which led to more than 26,967 jobs created or retained," stated Veronica Clark, counselor for West Tennessee.

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

(L)Bernadette Fuller, Paul Middlebrooks (C) and Veronica Clark (R)|Photo Credit: Abdi Ibrahim

"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 multiple areas, including:

  • Analyzing solicitations

  • Marketing to the government

  • Researching markets

  • Completing certifications

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.

Johari Hamilton is a former intern and content writer for Writing by Design Media.

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