Editor's note: Partner Profiles is a recent feature of our blog. Over time, NH SBDC will publish Q&As with our partners across New Hampshire.
Hi Dave, tell us about the New Hampshire Procurement Technical Assistance Center (NH PTAC). What is its mission – its reason for being? Sure. Our core mission is to help NH small businesses succeed in government markets, particularly with federal contracts and subcontracts. They need support, because doing business with the government is different from B2B. Government plays by its own distinct and very complex laws and rules. Our mission has grown over the years to include assistance to large businesses, as well as encompassing state and local government markets. Our primary work remains helping small businesses with the federal sector.
How does the NH PTAC help businesses in New Hampshire? Within government markets, we are charged with providing comprehensive services. We provide free one-on-one counseling, training workshops and webinars, and a monthly advisory newsletter.
Our work often starts with helping companies evaluate their readiness for government work and providing market research to inform sound go/no go strategic decisions about government opportunities. Once a “go” decision is made, we’ll provide expert assistance with the red tape of registrations and certifications, help them find bid/proposal opportunities, and advise them on competitive strategies. We offer technical assistance on bid/proposal preparation, and with compliance strategies for the many requirements imposed on companies when they do business with government. Since the rules ae constantly evolving, we work to keep our clients apprised of changes and their likely impacts.
Tell us how NH PTAC is funded. We receive 60% of our funding from the U.S. Department of Defense, the largest federal buyer of goods and services. Most of the rest comes from the State of New Hampshire, as part of the Department of Business and Economic Affairs (BEA) budget. (We are BEA employees). A small, but very valuable contribution comes from the Community College System of New Hampshire, whose colleges allow us free use of their facilities to conduct training workshops statewide.
Is there a particular program that you would like to talk about and who does it help? One of our key services is called “mybidmatch.” Once companies have established a clear market interest in government contracts, mybidmatch provides an automated tool to search public records for government sector bid opportunities. It brings together opportunities from thousands of publications nationwide in a single daily email that links back to the original sources. It’s a tremendous time-saver, and free to our clients who can benefit from it.
As Director of NH PTAC, tell us a bit about yourself and your role. Because we’re a small, low-overhead program, I’m a bit of a jack-of-all-trades. In addition to managing the program and staff, I counsel clients, design and teach workshops and webinars, and collaborate with our counselors to write our monthly newsletter. We’re all engaged in continuing education to keep our technical knowledge up-to-date. My previous career stops as a scientist, small business owner and manager, and NH SBDC business advisor have added up to a tremendous foundation for these diverse demands. I must say that, of all the jobs I’ve had, this one is the most interesting and the most fun.
Who should business owners connect with at NH PTAC? We try to make it easy to connect with us, and any of the counselors – Jane Brezosky, Danielle Bishop or myself – can talk to companies who might benefit from our services. We have a simple, quick online intake process that allows prospective clients to sign themselves up. We respond, usually within a day, by assigning a counselor, who will reach out to schedule an initial conversation.
How does the NHPTAC partner with the NH SBDC? We have worked closely with NH SBDC and SBA to produce the New Hampshire Small Business Matchmaker for many years. Another partnership developing this year will coordinate and strengthen support provided for SBIR/STTR participants. NH SBDC is our go-to partner to provide all sorts of small business assistance to our government contracting clients, whenever their needs are broader than NH PTAC’s mission. For example, NH SBDC can help with business plan development, access to capital, or developing financial projections – services our clients may need, but are outside of NH PTAC’s scope.
Is the NH Matchmaker event open to all small businesses? Yes, absolutely! Why should a company attend the NH Matchmaker? Small businesses should attend this and other matchmakers to establish and build relationships with potential and current government agency and prime contractor customers. If that’s not enough justification, the training breakouts and the networking opportunities with other small businesses are outstanding.
Thank you for telling us more about the New Hampshire Procurement Technical Assistance Center, Dave. We at NH SBDC look forward to continuing to partner with you to help NH businesses.
For more info on the NH Procurement Technical Assistance Center, visit www.nheconomy.com/ptac.