By Joel Guge, PTAC Advisor at North Carolina State University
The government of the United States realizes the important role that small businesses play in the success of this country’s economy. Of all the agencies that make up the federal government, one of the best opportunities for assistance, and often the one that is most overlooked by small businesses, is an agency’s Office of Small Business Programs.
These offices, while going by different names such as Office of Small Business Programs, Office of Small Business, Office of Small Disadvantaged Business Utilization, have the same goal – providing guidance and support for small businesses that are doing business, or wish to do business, with that specific agency. These offices serve as a liaison between the specific agency and small business – helping a small business understand the agency’s needs (what that agency purchases), helping with communication between the agency and the contractor, providing training opportunities for contractors, just to name some of the assistance offered. By providing this support and assistance, these offices not only help the small business, but also help the agency successfully fulfill its mission.
One of these offices that provide support for the small business government contractor is the Defense Logistics Agency’s office – DLA Small Business. The DLA Small Business Office provides assistance to:
- Help small businesses get started working with DLA,
- understand what DLA buys, and what
- DLA applications are necessary to do business with the agency
DLA’s Small Business Office also provides training, facilitates communication between small business and contracting personnel, and explains procurement terminology and regulations – just to name a few areas of assistance. Additionally, the North Carolina Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) receives the majority of its funding through DLA. All of the government contracting assistance provided by the PTAC team is provided free of cost.
The federal government and the agencies of the government rely on small businesses to both strengthen the economy and successfully complete the missions assigned to each agency. The assistance opportunities provided to small business, including that provided by the Offices of Small Business, are instrumental to the success of both government agencies and small businesses.