Nashville, TN (February, 2017) - Small businesses comprise roughly half of private-sector employment in this country. By pursuing and landing contracts with government sectors, small businesses are able to diversify revenue streams, create and retain jobs, and bolster their local, regional, and national economic impact.
The East Tennessee Small Business Growth Conference, held Jan. 17th in Clinton, gave almost 300 small business owners and managers an opportunity to network and sit down with government entities and large prime contractors to explore contract purchasing opportunities. Tennessee’s Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC), a program of the University of Tennessee Center for Industrial Services (UT CIS), hosted the procurement matchmaking event and facilitated relationships between the parties.
The event was standing room only as agencies and prime contractors including Tennessee Valley Authority, BAE Kingsport, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Y12 National Nuclear Security Complex, the Department of Energy, UCOR, Oak Ridge Associated Universities, and Jacobs participated in one-on-one meetings at booths throughout the day.
“The opportunity for formal matchmaking was invaluable. However, the informal networking, knowledge and skill sharing made for an incredible day. The investment of sponsors and partners, along with the great work of our PTAC consultants, made the valuable opportunities of the day possible,” said Dr. Herb Byrd III, Vice President of the University of Tennessee Institute for Public Service, one of the event’s speakers.
Co-sponsors of the event included Anderson County Chamber of Commerce, Oak Ridge Chamber of Commerce, the Tennessee Small Business Development Center, the Tennessee Veterans Business Association, and Roane State Community College. “None of this would be possible without the support of the event’s sponsors,” said Tennessee PTAC Program Director Paul Middlebrooks. “Thank you to everyone here, supporting small business.”
Tennessee PTAC knows firsthand the impact these contract opportunities have on Tennessee’s economy. In fiscal year 2016, PTAC facilitated over $1 billion in economic impact by working directly with small businesses and government agencies. Tennessee PTAC is a program of UT CIS, an agency of the UT Institute for Public Service. UT CIS has provided these services since 1986. PTAC receives funding, in part, by the U.S. Department of Defense and is administered through a cooperative agreement with the Defense Logistics Agency.
The next small business conference, the USACE Nashville Small Business Industry Day, is set for March 15 in Nashville.