A business owner who believes the federal, state or local government could use his product or service often has little clue about how and where to make a pitch.
Gil Torres found himself in this situation when he purchased Sigma Science in 2013 and wanted to expand the Los Alamos company’s reach beyond the work it did providing risk management and environmental safety and health services for Los Alamos and Sandia national laboratories.
Torres needed specific certifications to bid on certain government contracts. He began his search on the Small Business Administration website, where he discovered the New Mexico Small Business Development Center network’s Procurement Technical Assistance Program.
PTAP is a federally and state-funded organization that helps small businesses obtain certifications and develop the capabilities and sophistication needed to compete for government contracts.
Torres requested help from Elaine Palin, the PTAP adviser based in Santa Fe, to obtain 8(a) certification as a disadvantaged business enterprise based on his financial qualifications and ethnicity. He also wanted information about bid-matching services and counseling to help him market his company to the Army, Navy and Air Force.