Helping businesses find, win and perform on government contracts •
Contracting Locally
Bryan Wallace, Senior Procurement Counselor

Selling to local cities and counties is a good way to get your feet wet in government contracting and gain some past performance experience.
Websites within Maine are too numerous to list; did you know Maine has 488 municipalities consisting of cities, towns, and plantations? Neither did I, Google just told me. Sometimes you can locate a specific towns purchasing website by Googling [Name of City] purchasing or [Name of City] procurement. For example, a search for "City of Biddeford procurement" and the first result takes you to the City of Biddeford’s Purchasing Rules page for RFPs, RFQs, RFBs and Contracts. A link on that page takes you to further to a list of their current opportunities.
Some websites will let you subscribe to receive notices by email, hopefully your Bid Match profile is already doing that for you. All this to say that government contracting isn’t all multi-year million dollar Federal contracts. There are many worthwhile contracting opportunities right up the road.
Resiliency in 2021
Michael Ludwig, Business Development Specialist
Supply chain risk management was a hot topic in 2020. 2021 will be the year of implementation. The Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC), launch of the Federal Acquisition Security Council and second part of the Section 889 acquisition rule are measures to secure vulnerabilities internally and within the government supply chain.
Your business should evaluate your vulnerabilities and take measures to secure protect data, technologies and the chain of custody. You should be able to assure your contractors and suppliers have done the same. This will make you more resilient and is increasingly becoming a requirement. Think about your systems and processes as well as any new processes you've implemented or plan to implement. This includes security measures for those working remotely - not only at your place of business but at your suppliers and their suppliers, etc.
Regardless of whether you are in the government market, implementing safeguards for your company and your supply chain protects your business. Some customers and potential customers will require you to demonstrate the measures you have implemented and it will reassure others. Most importantly, it will protect you from unexpected attacks, delays and loss of revenue (or worse).
Not to worry, your Maine PTAC Counselor can guide you through all this. Many measures can be implemented by simply implementing new procedures with minimal expense. In addition to our one-on-one counseling we offer no-fee training sessions at We are here to help you become more resilient in 2021.
Selling Food to the USDA
Dana Delano, Procurement Counselor

Did you know that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) purchases food directly from farmers, both large and small business ventures? The USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) purchases a variety of 100% domestically produced and processed commodity food products. These purchases support American agriculture by encouraging consumption of domestically produced foods. The high-quality products purchased by USDA—collectively called USDA Foods—are delivered to schools, food banks and households in communities across the country, and are a vital component of our nation’s food safety net.
The AMS works closely with the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), which manages the food and nutrition assistance programs, including the National School Lunch Program and the Emergency Food Assistance Program. They also work with state and Native American entities to fulfill specific programs. AMS issues solicitations and Awards contracts for over 200 different USDA Foods on an ongoing basis, such as beef, lamb, chicken, pork, vegetables, fruits, nuts, beans, grains and more. If you are interested, you would have to go through an application process to become an Approved Vendor for the USDA and would then have access to solicitations specific to this program. Also, many Approved Vendors utilize sub-contractors to help fulfill bid award commitments. As an Aroostook County native, I have seen the success of this program in our area for both Approved Vendors and their sub-contractors.
If you want additional information on this valuable program, contact your PTAC Counselor… it is what we do.
Calling All Veterans
Katie Bragg, Procurement Counselor
If you are a veteran and primary owner of your business, you should think about becoming a Certified Veteran Owned Small Business (VOSB). Becoming a certified VOSB or if you qualify, a Certified Service-Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business (SDVOSB), means that you may qualify for advantages when bidding on government contracts—along with access to other resources and support—through the Vets First Verification Program. This program is run by the Office of Small & Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU).
There are some qualifications that you must meet in order to become a certified VOSB:

  • Own 51% or more of the company
  • Must have FULL control of the day-to-day decision-making and management of the company
  • Must be the highest paid person in the company (or provide explanation as to why taking lower pay)
  • Work full time for the company
  • Hold the highest position in the company
You also need to work with a Certified Verification Assistance Counselor. In Maine we are lucky enough to have three of these certified verification assistance counselors: Bryan Wallace, Miranda Pelkey, and Katie Bragg. These counselors have been trained to assist any veteran or service disabled veteran owned companies that are interested in becoming verified with the application process. 
If you would like to know more about this program and if you qualify, please feel free to reach out to Bryan, Miranda, or Katie and they will be happy to help you. March 30th Katie will be presenting a webinar on VOSB certification if you would like to find out more.
Keeping Your Government Registrations Up to Date in the New Year
Miranda Pelkey, Procurement Counselor
We have officially made it through 2020! While all of us have felt the impact of the virus in our own way, small business owners have been hit especially hard. With mandated closings and limited capacity guidelines in place to keep us safe, economically the repercussions of the pandemic have been serious. Fortunately, when local businesses are forced to be closed there is one buyer that remains open, the government. Here at PTAC, we have tailored our services to meet the needs of each individual business owner. Our PTAC Counselors have assisted small businesses in keeping revenue coming in through government contracts even when commercial sales went down.
While the start of the New Year signifies what we all hope is the beginning of the end of this pandemic, small business sales are projected to be impacted for many months to come. Keeping that in mind, government contracts are an excellent way to supplement the income you may be losing and the first step in becoming a successful government contractor is obtaining and keeping current your government registrations. For business owners who seek contracts in the federal sector, registration in must be maintained by renewal every year. As a PTAC Counselor, I encounter business owners who allow their SAM registration to lapse until they find a solicitation they are interested in bidding on. Unfortunately, the often delayed processing time of SAM renewals can result in those businesses losing out on opportunities they were qualified for. I recommend clients contact their PTAC counselor about a month before their SAM registration is to expire. This way, there is time to meet with your counselor, complete and submit your renewal and wait for the processing to be completed. Many times, business owners are unaware of the date their registration is set to expire but luckily your PTAC Counselor can help you find that information. For business owners who might not be interested in federal work but are interested in doing business with the state of Maine, having a current registration is Advantage VSS is crucial.
The New Year is a terrific time to take stock in what will help your business survive the upcoming months and plan ahead for the necessary steps it will take to reach your goals. Contact your local PTAC Counselor as soon as possible to check on existing registrations or discuss establishing them for the first time.

What Does Your Capabilities Statement Say About Your Business?
Morgan Rocheleau, Procurement Counselor
We all know the saying “you only have one chance to make a first impression.” A strong capability statement is the best way to make a great first impression, especially in the government marketplace. The best way to think of a capability statement is it is your business’s resume. This document should be a one page showcase that highlights all that your company has to offer and how it will set you apart from the competition in bid opportunities.
There are 5 basic components to an effective capability statement; Core Competencies, Differentiators, Past Performance, Company Data, and Contact Information. It’s recommended to keep your capability statement to one page, which might make it difficult to fit all of the information you want to share into this document. So look at your capability statement as a living document that changes depending on the target agency and opportunity you’re pursuing. Take the time to make the adjustments to the statement to the specific needs of the opportunity or customer. A well written capability statement will be that great first impression and help separate your business from the competition to hopefully to win that next contract.
As we start the New Year it is a good time to take a look at your Capability Statement to see what sort of updates or highlights you can pull from 2020 to get you ready for an even better 2021. Your PTAC counselor would be happy to help you with developing, revising and proofreading your capability statement, so reach out today. Happy New Year!
Maine PTAC 40 Harlow Street, Bangor, Maine 04401