Adapted from NH SBA District Office's press release on 3/17/2023.
On March 15th in honor of National SBDC Day, New England Regional Administrator Mike Vlacich, NH SBA leadership, NH Small Business Development Center (NH SBDC), and other stakeholders joined Congressman Chris Pappas (D) for a government contracting-focused roundtable. The event was held at BAE Systems’ headquarters in Manchester NH.
Congressman Pappas discussed updates from his office on government contracting and heard from the small business attendees, who were current NH SBDC and NH APEX Accelerator/PTAC clients, about their successes and challenges with government contracting and subcontracting.
The partners discussed available local resources that support small businesses and highlighted two local initiatives that are hosted by the partners and supported by BAE Systems. The NH SBDC and NH APEX recently completed their first cohort of the Subcontractor Academy. This was a pilot program that brought together the resources of all three partners to lay the groundwork for small businesses looking to compete in this market. There are plans for another cohort beginning later this year with hopes of growing the program beyond NH.
The next initiative is a long-standing tradition in NH and a collaboration between the SBA NH office, NH Apex Accelerator, and NH SBDC – the NH Small Business Matchmaker. It has become the premier event for government contracting in the state. The upcoming 2023 NH Small Business Matchmaker is expected to bring close to 300 representatives from small businesses, large prime contractors, and federal agencies for a full day of one-on-one meetings meant to develop relationships and create more contract opportunities for NH’s small business community.
One of the highlights of this year’s event is keynote speaker Bibi Hidalgo, SBA’s Associate Administrator for Government Contracting & Business Development in Washington DC. Ms. Hidalgo oversees procurement-related policies for small business contractors nationwide working or hoping to work with the federal government. She will be sharing her insights on the landscape for small business opportunities in the federal contracting market and give an update on SBA’s initiatives to increase small business participation.