WMU News

Forum tackles government contracting opportunities

Sept. 10, 2004

KALAMAZOO--Federal, state and local governments purchase millions of dollars worth of goods and services each year, and businesses of all sizes can nab a share of those dollars simply by learning the ropes of government contracting.

A Thursday, Sept. 30, Business Opportunity Forum at Western Michigan University will give local business people the lowdown on how to become a public sector vendor in an event titled "Bridging the Gap Between Your Business and Public Sector Buyers." The free public forum will be held from 9 a.m. to noon at the Southwest Michigan Innovation Center at WMU's Business Technology and Research Park on the Parkview Campus. Registration at the door begins at 8:30 a.m.

Sponsored by the Michigan Economic Development Corp. and a number of West Michigan economic development organizations, the forum is coordinated by the Southwest Michigan Technical Assistance Center. The event is designed to give those attending information about how to provide goods or services to governmental units ranging from local public school districts to federal agencies. The forum will provide opportunities for business representatives to meet one-on-one with buyers from a variety of state and local agencies, and attendees are encouraged to bring business cards and other "leave behinds" to make the most of the networking opportunities.

Information also will be available on a number of topics, including how to register with the state as a vendor; accessing electronic bidding systems; how to bid on construction projects for the departments of Transportation and Management and Budget; how state and local agencies buy goods and services; opportunities for minority- and women-owned firms; and how to become a pre-qualified construction contractor or consultant.

Additional information about the forum can be obtained by visiting the Web site <www.michigan.gov/doingbusiness> or by calling Jan Campbell of the Southwest Michigan Technical Assistance Center at (269) 372-3942.

In addition to MEDC and SMTAC, sponsors of the event include the Kalamazoo Regional Chamber of Commerce, the Minority Business Alliance, WMU and the Defense Logistics Agency.

Under the umbrella of WMU's Haworth College of Business and its Office of Business Development Services, the Southwest Michigan Technical Assistance Center offers free assistance to area companies interested in doing business with the government. Annually, center director Michael Black and his staff help businesses secure more than $28 million in government contracts.

Media contact: Cheryl Roland, 269 387-8400, cheryl.roland@wmich.edu

WMU News
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