LITTLE ROCK – The Arkansas Procurement Assistance Center will celebrate the first annual PTAC Day on Sept. 26 by doing what it does best: helping small businesses grow through government contracting.

“PTAC” translates into Procurement Technical Assistance Centers, and for 33 years, PTACs have helped expand the number of small businesses that successfully compete for and win federal, state and local government contracts, according to a news release.

The Arkansas Procurement Assistance Center, or APAC, is Arkansas’ PTAC. APAC is operated by the Cooperative Extension Service as part of the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture’s community and economic development outreach.

“In Arkansas, APAC has helped 6,289 businesses obtain more than $1.2 billion in government contract work since 2001,” said Melanie Berman, APAC director. “And over the last program year, we’ve helped businesses obtain more than $122 million in contracts.

“We are very excited this year to be working closely with the Small Business Administration and the Little Rock Air Force Base to make our services more accessible to our state’s entrepreneurs,” she said.

APAC and its partners are hosting a workshop at LRAFB’s University Education Center at Jacksonville from 9-11 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 26. The workshop will take small businesses through the process of preparing a bid and knowing what works and what’s required.

This September, PTACs from around the country are coming together for one special day to celebrate the success of the tens of thousands of small businesses who have benefitted from training and technical assistance delivered by their local PTACs.

There are 95 PTACs nationwide, with more than 300 offices staffed by some 600 professionals.

In 2017, the PTAC network served more than 48,000 clients and helped them win more than $20 billion in government contracts and subcontracts.

Featured among these activities is a national webinar, “Top Tips for Finding and Winning Government Contracts,” to be held at 1 p.m. CDT. Presented by a panel of PTAC procurement experts, the live webinar will provide valuable insights and information to both newcomers and veteran government contractors.

“We want to spotlight the impact that PTACs are having across the country,” said Tiffany Scroggs, president of the Association of Procurement Technical Assistance Centers.

“By helping businesses, PTACs stimulate the creation of new jobs and economic growth in their communities,” she said, adding “and, just as importantly, PTAC clients often are new suppliers that provide products and services critically needed by the armed services and all units of government. Whether its connecting disaster or wildfire responders with agencies in times of crisis or helping train small contractors on new government requirements, PTACs are always there to help. The success stories of PTAC clients are as diverse as our country itself, and we’re glad for this opportunity to tell them,” she adds.


— Mary Hightower is director of Communication Services at the U of A System Division of Agriculture.