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Small business panel looks to inform, connect

Small business panel held

Jeff Emmons, Air Force Life Cycle Management Center Small Business Office-Hanscom director, speaks during a small business panel discussion in Newton, Mass., in 2019. The office will host a small business panel March 9 at 10 a.m. at the Marriot Hotel in Newton where attendees can learn about support and assistance available in providing products or services to the government. (U.S. Air Force photo by Todd Maki)

HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. – Industry representatives from small and nontraditional businesses can learn about available support and assistance on how to provide their products or services to the government during an upcoming small business panel.

The Air Force Life Cycle Management Center-Hanscom Small Business Office will host the panel March 9 from 10 a.m. to noon in the Charles River room at the Marriot Hotel in Newton, Massachusetts.

“The way the Air Force and Hanscom are doing business now is very different, especially with events such as pitch days and virtual industry days,” said Jeff Emmons, Hanscom Small Business Office director. “This year’s panel will focus on what assets are available to assist small and nontraditional businesses.”

Emmons added that the panel will impart information on processes and available tools and assistance. Topics to be covered include the Procurement Technical Assistance Center support; Small Business Administration programs, including the 8(a) Business Development Program; General Services Administration contract vehicles reserved for small businesses; and the Small Business Innovative Research, or SBIR, program.

In addition, as in the past panel members will entertain questions on topics such as small business legislative and regulatory updates.

At least three of the panel members will be from Hanscom; representatives from the Command, Control, Communications, Intelligence and Networks and Digital Directorates, along with Emmons himself. Also represented will be the Small Business Administration, Procurement Technical Assistance Center and GSA.

“We want to inform industry representatives of what is available to them to help them through their initial stages of doing business with the government,” said Emmons. “We want to demystify for small businesses some of the procedures and processes involved in federal acquisition, saving time, effort and expense on the front end so more of their resources can be concentrated on delivering innovative products and services.”

The panel is open to everyone, but Emmons said he believes representatives from the following organizations would benefit the most on this year’s focus areas: non-traditional businesses with innovative technology that are not registered or certified for federal contracts; small businesses that operate as first- or second-tier subcontractors that are now considering becoming prime contractors; and small businesses interested in SBA assistance and support programs and SBIR information.

There is no cost to attend the session and registration is not required. Another notice will be forthcoming at https://beta.sam.gov/.

Emmons said previous panels focused on specific acquisition program opportunities and strategies, but after discussions with various industry members and associations, all felt this format would benefit small businesses given the implementation of new acquisition initiatives.

“We want this to be an introductory and informative session,” he said. “We’re letting them know what resources are out there and who can provide them assistance and answers.”

He added that the panel members will provide contact information at the event to attendees for follow-up discussions and engagements.

The Hanscom Small Business Panel is separate from the AFCEA New Horizons conference March 9 to 11 at the same location.