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Strengthening Our Communities: Government Contracting

The U.S. Government is the world’s largest purchaser as it contracts out for all types of products and services – both large and small. It is also required by law to set aside opportunities for small businesses.

Between October 2017-September 2018, there was approximately $895 million available in federal government contracts for work to be done in the state of Arkansas.

To bid for a government contract, small businesses must complete an intricate registration process and wade through lengthy solicitations.

Support organizations such as the Arkansas Procurement Technical Assistance Center provide business owners with free support through the entire government contracting process. The center, which is based at the Cooperative Extension Service in Little Rock, has helped Arkansas-based businesses apply for and receive over $145 million dollars in contracts in the past year for work or goods in the state and around the world.

The variety of awarded contracts has included dental equipment provision, eyeglass frames and lenses for veteran hospitals, building and road construction supplies and work, lawn maintenance, and chicken starter kits, as well as many more other goods and services.

To learn more about government contracting, you can visit uaex.edu/ptac.

Dr. Julie Robinson, PhD is Associate Professor in the Community, Professional, and Economic Development Department with the University of Arkansas System Division Of Agriculture Cooperative Extension Service. As a program and staff development specialist, Julie develops and delivers online courses and face-to-face sessions for Extension employees and clientele across the state, in the areas of professional and leadership development. Julie has a BS from Arkansas State University, MS from the University of Arkansas – Fayetteville, and PhD from The Ohio State University. Reach out to Julie at jrobinson@uaex.edu or 501-671-2082.