Government contracting conferences planned for small businesses

The Columbia Area Small Business Development Center (SBDC) will conduct two one-day conferences, “Government Contracting – A Place at the Table for S.C. Small Business.” The July 11 conference topic is “Working with Prime Contractors.” The July 12 conference topic is “Government Set-asides.” Both conferences will be from 8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. at the Lumpkin Auditorium, 8th Floor, Darla Moore School of Business, 1705 College Street, Columbia, S.C., 29208.

Cost for attending a single-day conference is $50. Cost for both days is $75. Register at http://uscregionsbdc.com/columbia_seminars.php. Reserved parking is included in the fee.

The first day will emphasize small businesses acting as subcontractors to prime contractors. This will include finding work opportunities and marketing your business to a prime contractor. There will be a question and answer session for participants to interact with statewide prime contractors.

The second day will emphasize government set-aside opportunities and working with government contracts. This will include marketing your business to government entities and pre-solicitations. There will be a panel discussion for participants to ask government agencies about the bid and award process.

Participants from the private sector, government sector, and SC SBDC will participate. All presenters are very knowledgeable about working with prime contractors and government contracting. For the year 2011, South Carolina Small Business Development Centers assisted local small businesses receive more than $1 billion in federal contracts.

For further information, please contact Pete Oliver at (803) 777-4550 at the Columbia Area Small Business Development Center. The schedule follows:

Day 1 – Working with Primes
8:30 a.m.   Welcome
Michele Abraham, SC SBDC State Director
8:35 a.m.      Opening Remarks
Scott Adams, VP, Prysmian Group, NA
8:45 a.m.      Contracting Principles – Scott H. Bellows
Fair and Reasonable
Responsive and Responsible
9:30 a.m.      Registering as a Contractor (city/state/federal), an Overview
Scott H. Bellows
9:45 a.m.      Finding Work Opportunities – Sherry Pittinger
Prime Contracting & Subcontracting
10:15 a.m.    Marketing Your Business to the Government and Primes
Sherry Pittinger
10:30 a.m.    Break
11:00 a.m.    Working with the Prime Contractor Community
Introduction by Mr. Butch Wallace, U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson’s Office
Moderated by Greg Davis: S.C. Department of Commerce
Prime Contractors: Brad Burton, Shaw Construction Group;
Scott Spigener, M.B. Kahn Construction Co., Inc.
The panel will field questions from the audience along the following lines:
•    In the context of government contracting, how does your subcontracting program work?
•    What are some dos and don’ts for subcontractors seeking work with your company?
•    For those who have been awarded contracts with your company, what makes some stand out and others fade into the background?
•    What is your anticipation of government buyer needs (next year and beyond) and how might this affect the subcontractors you work with?
12:15 p.m.    Closing Remarks and Exhibitor Tables
Pete Oliver, Area Manager, Columbia SBDC

Day 2 – Set-asides for Small Business
8:30 a.m.      Welcome & Opening Remarks
Michele Abraham, SC SBDC State Director
Daulton Tresvant, U.S. Rep. James Clyburn’s Office
8:35 a.m.      An Overview of Set-aside Programs – Steve Taylor
Set-aside Implementation, a Matter of Consideration
8:50 a.m.      Where and How to Apply – Steve Taylor
Identifying Set-asides
9:00 a.m.      I’ve got my certification, now what?
Scott H. Bellows
Marketing to the government
Role of the Small Business Specialist, Corporate Profiles
Fair & Reasonable, Responsive & Responsible
Pre-solicitations and Sources Sought
Networking (and timing), website, etc.
Mentoring-Protégé agreements
Mike O’Neill, US SBA,
Cecil Hannibal, OBO Administrator, City of Columbia
Enhancing performance (and support services)
James Giffin
10:00 a.m.    Prime and Sub-contracting (for the certified vendor)
Scott H. Bellows
Finding Primes to Work with
The Small Business Prime Contractor
Prime Work Requirements (as a percentage)
Non-manufacturer’s Rule, Teaming Agreements
10:30 a.m.    Break
11:00 a.m.    Set-asides and Working with Your Government
Introduction by Eric Bedingfield, Deputy Congressman Mulvaney
Moderated by Greg Davis
Panelists: James Giffin, Linda Blanton,
Cecil Hannibal, OBO Administrator, City of Columbia
Chappelle Broome, Director of HR/DBE Liaison Officer, CAE Airport
Brenda Parnell, SC DOT Certification, SC Dept. of Transportation
Keith Friot, Pre-award Division Chief, Ft. Jackson,
Randall May, Dir. of Business Operations & Small Business Specialist, Shaw AFB
The panel will field questions from the audience along the following lines
- Describe your procurement operations and what you feel that you do to identify and bring on first-time contractors?
- Describe what, if anything, you do to encourage your prime contractors to bring on new sub-contractors?
- How do small businesses learn about smaller contracting opportunities that are not published in SCBO, FedBizOpps, etc.?
12:15 p.m.    Closing Remarks and Exhibitor Tables
Pete Oliver, Area Manager, Columbia SBDC

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