There's $787 billion in the economic stimulus pot, but it can't help you if you don't know how or where to get it. Data on stimulus money is publicly available, but pinpointing what's relevant to your business is a daunting task: $400 billion-plus is being distributed at the local and state levels, and there are more than 89,000 of these agencies around the country.

That's where organizations like National Strategies, Inc., Onvia and Business Matchmaking come in.

Three Simple Things to Do

1. Do your homework. Read up on the stimulus package at the official website. Figure out where and what type of projects you should pursue.

2. Do your research. Find the funding stream that fits your business. Go to the websites of the specific agency or department running the program and dig in.

3. Do your outreach. If you notice a potential opportunity, make your availability known. For instance, the Department of Energy recently released a list of the dollar amounts being sent to each U.S. city. If your local energy department is getting a few million, walk in that door and tell them what you have to offer.
In February, National Strategies, a business-to-government consulting firm that helps companies break into contracting and procurement markets, launched the Stimulus Oppor