Better biz at CCC

By Jack King: CNJ staff writer

A conference for business owners on how to obtain government contracts will be held Thursday in Clovis Community College’s Town Hall.

Titled “How to Get Through the Government Contracting Door,” the conference will run from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Topics will include the state of New Mexico’s procurement assistance program, Small Business Administration Programs, and marketing and the federal supply services for the General Services Administration.

“This is a conference for people who want to do business with, or to increase their business with, the federal government. In Clovis that especially means Cannon Air Force Base. There are processes you have to go through to get that business, not only with the federal government, but with state and local governments, as well,” said Sandra Taylor-Sawyer, director of CCC’s Small Business Development Center.

“It will cover such things as how to register with government entities, how to get on a bid list and how to read a bid packet,” she said.

For example, Taylor-Sawyer said, under the federal Small Business Administration, an area of a city is designated a “hub zone.” If a business is located in the hub zone, and 35 percent of its employees live in the hub zone, the business is eligible for set-aside contracts.

Eddie West, director of business operations and a small business specialist for Cannon Air Force Bases contracting department, said the base has $5 million in contract money set aside for hub businesses.

“We’re sure a number of businesses in Clovis do qualify for the hub program and we’re encouraging people to apply. There’s no cost, just the time it takes to fill out the paperwork,” West said.

Speakers will include Col. Jeff Stambaugh, vice wing commander at Cannon; Diane Ventura, a field representative for U.S. Sen. Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M.; Edward Ybarra, a consultant with New Mexico’s Procurement Assistance Program; Geri Garcia, assistant district director of business development for New Mexico’s Small Business Administration; and Gary Cook, a contracting specialist with the federal General Services Administration.

The program is presented by Bingaman’s office and Enchantment Land Certified Development Co., a private non-profit company that provides fixed-asset financing for small businesses.

Sponsors include Clovis Community College, the Clovis/Curry County and Roosevelt County chambers of commerce and the Clovis Industrial Development Corporation.

Taylor-Sawyer said 20 people had registered for the conference as of Monday and there is a limit of 50 people. To register or for more information, call 769-4136.