I've Signed Up for the Matchmaker, What's Next?

The New England Regional Matchmaker website is up and running! Many of you have already registered and many more are getting ready to register. By the way, this is looking to be a very big and popular event, so don’t wait until the last minute. Number one, its less expensive to register early. Number two, if you wait too long, you run the risk of getting shut out if we hit capacity, or that the folks that you want to meet with run out of appointment times. You can reach the Matchmaker website directly by clicking here, or by going to maineptac.org for a link to the Matchmaker website.

Due to the large number of attendees, we will be pre-scheduling appointments. For those that are registered, you will receive a follow-up email approximately 14 days before the event requesting additional information and offering you the opportunity to request up to eight specific appointments. A detailed schedule will be emailed to you approximately 72 hours before the event. We will also have a free smart phone / tablet app that you can download.

Starting later this month, your local PTAC Counselors will be conducting “Matchmaker Prep” workshops. These will have information on how to prepare for the Matchmaker, what materials to bring and not bring, as well as how the Matchmaker will work. Look to our events page or on our Facebook or Twitter feeds for more on them.

As we’ve been saying here for a while, the Portland event will have a half day of small business training, a networking reception and a full day of small business matchmaking. It is s a joint effort between Maine PTAC, NH PTAC and the New England SBA. And its endorsed by the DoD Northeast Regional Council. If you have any questions, please reach out to Erin Severance at eseverance@emdc.org or your local PTAC Counselor. I hope to see you there!
Maine PTAC Welcomes New Counselor

I have some extra special news for you this month. We have a new team member starting with us in March. Ed Dahl is re-joining the Maine PTAC Counselor team and will be responsible for the Southwest Center (Cumberland, Androscoggin, Oxford and York counties). Ed is a former PTAC Counselor, having been with us from 2005-2012, so he brings a wealth of experience and will be a great benefit to Maine PTAC clients. He can be reached at edahl@emdc.org.
Ken Bloch
Maine PTAC Program Manager
2019 New England Region Matchmaker
Are you interested in selling your goods or services to the government?

Join us on April 25th and 26th in Portland Maine and build long lasting relationships through networking, training, and one-on-one meetings.

This is your opportunity to meet:
  • Federal/state agencies
  • Prime contractors
  • Small businesses
Learn more and register by visiting the 2019 New England Region Matchmaker website .
Federal/State Agencies
Small Businesses
$50 Early Bird / $75 Regular
Prime Contractors
Upcoming Events
Date: Tuesday, March 26th
Time: 9:00am - 11:00am
Location: TechPlace, Brunswick
Register: Click here
Date: Thursday, March 21st
Time: 8:30am - 10:00am
Location: EMDC, Bangor
Register: Click here
Date: Tuesday, April 2nd
Time: 1:00pm - 3:00pm
Location: SCEC, Machias
Register: Click here
Maine PTAC Locations

The benefit of Maine PTAC being a statewide program is being easily accessible to your local counselor. Currently, our five counselors divide the State of Maine into 5 regions: North, Central, Downeast, Midcoast, and Southwest. However, we’re not glued to one specific office location. Many times we’re on the road meeting with you, our clients, at your places of business or at one of our off-site offices. Here’s a quick list of where we can be found:

Dana Delano, our Northern Counselor, is available to meet with clients at:
  • Northern Maine Development Commission in Caribou
  • Presque Isle Industrial Council in Presque Isle
  • Southern Aroostook Development Corporation in Houlton
  • Upper Valley Economic Council in Sherman
  • Town offices of Ft. Kent, Madawaska, or Limestone.

Thomas White, our Central Counselor, is available to meet with clients at:
  • Upstart Maine in Orono
  • Eastern Maine Development Corporation’s Ellsworth and Bangor offices

Katie Bragg, our Downeast Counselor, is available to meet with clients at:
  • Sunrise County Economic Council offices in Machias and Calais

Bryan Wallace, our Midcoast Counselor, is available to meet with clients at:
  • Kennebec Valley Council of Governments (KVCOG) in Fairfield
  • TechPlace in Brunswick
  • Lincoln County Regional Planning Commission (LCRPC) in Wiscasset

Ed Dahl, our Southwest Counselor, is available to meet with clients at:
  • Androscoggin Valley Council Of Governments (AVCOG) in Auburn
  • Greater Portland Council of Governments (GPCOG) in Portland
  • Biddeford Saco Area Economic Corporation in Saco

If interested in our services, please contact your region’s PTAC counselor and schedule a meeting at one of our 18 office locations or at your place of business! To find out more visit us at www.maineptac.org or follow us on Facebook & Twitter.
Are You Considering Government Contracting? Subcontract First!

When the Government awards a contract to a large prime contractor, that business is required to have a Subcontracting Plan. A Subcontracting Plan describes how that large business will utilize small businesses as they perform the project. The percentages and dollar amounts of the prime’s workload vary and can be a substantial opportunity for small business. 

What are the benefits of subcontracting to a prime?

  • Experience! If you are new to government contracting, you can learn from the prime contractor. 
  • Exposure to the reporting demands and other requirements of federal contracts. This experience is priceless and will let you see if your company can handle the paperwork required of a prime.
  • Income! Even as a prime, many small businesses continue to work as subcontractors.

What are the keys to being a good subcontractor?

  • Research companies that you want to approach. Understand their needs and current projects before attempting to contact them. Large primes will often have outreach events for small businesses which provide an opportunity to talk one-on-one and learn about opportunities.
  • Look for opportunities to subcontract on a private industry project prior to a large government project. This experience will be beneficial to both you and the prime on future applications as it demonstrates an established relationship.
  • Know your limitations. Be upfront and share them with the prime. Ask questions, get clarifications and take advantage of opportunities to learn. Have a discussion with the prime contractor about what will happen if something goes wrong on the project. In the Federal Contracting world only the prime contractor has direct access to the Federal Government. So it’s important to understand how the prime will help you, what are their policies and procedures when the unexpected happens.

Subcontracting can be a great way forward for Maine small businesses. For more information, please reach out to your local PTAC Counselor.
Calling All Washington County Businesses

Is your business in Washington County? If it is, you should think about becoming HUBZone certified. What is HUBZone? HUBZone stands for Historically Underutilized Business Zones. This is a program administered by the Small Business Administration (SBA) that helps small businesses that operate and employ people in any area designated as a HUBZone. It has been implemented to help increase economic development and bring more employment to areas that are considered distressed. In some situations, an entire county is considered a HUBZone, which Washington County is. So, why does this matter to you? The government has a goal of doing 3% of its business with HUBZone certified companies. If you become HUBZone certified, that allows you to be in the running for that work. There are often HUBZone set asides as well. This means that you can only bid on these solicitations if you are a HUBZone certified company, narrowing the amount of competition.

Plus, the big government contractors are required to subcontract 3% of their work to HUBZone firms as well. So have a product that they need AND being a HUBZone company can make you pretty attractive to them.

If you would like to know more about HUBZone certification and how to do it call Katie at 255-0983 if you live in Washington County. She can help you with the process and answer any questions. If you don’t live in Washington County but are interested in if you are HUBZone eligible, contact your PTAC counselor and they can help you.
Forgetting Your Product Service Codes Could be Costing You Opportunities

I am sure you are all familiar with NAICS Codes ( North American Industry Classification System) or NAICS. NAICS (pronounced "nakes") is a system for classifying business establishments by “ type” of economic activity. Federal agencies use NAICS Codes to search for buyers and to identify solicitation needs based on business activity classification. But there is another ‘code’ that is equally important when registering in SAM and the SBA Dynamic Small Business Search profile. That is the Product and Service Code (PSC).

Product and service codes (PSC) are used to describe products, services, as well as research and development (R&D) purchased by the federal government. They differ from NAICS Codes in that PSC Codes describe " what" is being purchased for each contract or solicitation action. Think of it this way, if an agency is conducting market research based on "what" they intend to purchase and you don't have PSC Codes listed, then you're not as likely to be "seen" as often as your competitors. Leaving out PSC Codes in your efforts to identify customers, competitors, solicitations, etc. just means you have a limited view of the field of play and opportunities that may be available to your business.

From the standpoint of visible, PSC Codes should be included in your System for Award Management (SAM) profile, and in the SBA Dynamic Small Business Search (DSBS) profile if you are a small business concern. Let Maine PTAC assist you in identifying your Product and Service Codes and include them in your government profiles.