Congress created the Procurement Technical Assistance Program (PTAP) to help businesses secure government contracts. There are more than 300 Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (PTACs) nationwide (find yours at http://www.aptac-us.org/new/Govt_Contracting/find.php).
According to the Association of Procurement Technical Assistance Centers, “PTACs are staffed with counselors experienced in government contracting and provide a wide range of services including classes and seminars, individual counseling and easy access to bid opportunities, contract specifications, procurement histories and other information necessary to successfully compete for government contracts.”
Your PTAC is one of the simplest, easiest, best resources for start-ups who want to work with the federal government. They exist solely to help you succeed. So what are you waiting for? Find your local PTAC and get over there!
The PTAC is similar to other resources we’ve been discussing on this blog, like the OSDBUs. They’re designed to help you, but they’re not actually customers. Their primary benefit is that they can link you up with local agencies, so they are especially useful for getting a small business in the door. But they also know about other, hidden, resources that are available from the Small Business Administration (SBA) that help you with things like acquiring capital, writing a business plan, hiring staff and meeting personnel requirements.
PTACs are excellent guides to the resources in YOUR area. And best of all, they’re familiar with everyone in your geographic locale that is a part of the Federal Government community, and usually know a bunch of the state and local folks as well.
Most PTACs also maintain some kind of bid opportunity list, although these are usually in the construction and facility services area, and not the full gamut of engineering or professional services. However, they DO know who to go to, and are happy to share all that information. If you haven’t visited your local PTAC office, you’re missing out on some really useful data.