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Federal Agencies Join Together to Help Small Businesses

[Photo 1: Regional Director Kevin Keogh shakes hands with Senator Collins]
New England Regional Director Kevin Keogh greets Senator Collins
[Photo 2: A conference attendee discusses opportunties with a representative]
A representative of the Small Business Administration discusses contracting opportunities with a conference attendee
[Photo 3: A.Jo Baylor and Kevin Keogh awaits for people]
A.Jo Baylor, Director of the Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization, and Kevin Keogh, New England Regional Director.

Small business represents 75 percent of all new jobs in the United States, which helps to drive the American economy. Earlier this month, United States Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine) addressed more than 300 business owners from throughout New England, citing examples of how government contracts can help businesses grow and add jobs. She noted that companies doing business with the government typically find that it takes time, connections and persistence to get contracts, which often makes it intimidating for new companies. However, once small businesses establish relationships with the government, owners find the contracts are a steady, reliable source of income.

Her remarks came at HUD's New England Business Economic Development Conference in Portland, Maine, which was designed to provide small, women-owned, veteran-owned and disadvantaged businesses with the tools to participate in the government contracting process. This free conference, which was hosted by HUD in conjunction with other federal and state agencies, included workshops, information tables, and one-on-one networking meetings.

One business owner wrote to HUD after the event, "We have been trying since December to make sense of the maze in becoming a federal supplier. This conference has been the best investment we have made with our time - it was worth the two-hour drive here!"

The federal government will spend in excess of $230 billion in goods and services this year, and the law requires federal agencies to grant 23 percent of its contracts to small businesses. Since December, 2001, HUD has awarded 52 percent of its contracts to small businesses.

The successful New England Business Economic Development Conference will be followed by similar events throughout the country.

Content Archived: May 5, 2011

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