By Aida Alvarez, SBA Administrator
In June, the Small Business Administration took a step toward easing the government's hunt for small businesses seeking procurement opportunities with a new pilot program called Pro-Net. The Pro-Net database allows government agencies to tap into a large source of small businesses (6,500 during the pilot stage) to fill contracting needs--and allows small firms to find out what federal agencies are looking for. The new database should be of particular help to small, disadvantaged businesses that may not have other means of attracting government agencies' attention.
Pro-Net is not taking on any new businesses during the initial two-month pilot phase; once the program becomes permanent, however, all small businesses will be allowed to participate. For more information, go to the Pro-Net section of the SBA's Web site at http://www.sba.gov or call (800) 8-ASK-SBA.
Stephen Barlas is a freelance business reporter who covers the Washington beat for 15 magazines.