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IIRA Workshops Prep Small Business for Marketing to Govt. Agencies

October 15, 2008

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MACOMB, IL -- Whether your business sells office supplies or manufactured goods, is in the construction or graphic arts industries or provides support services to other businesses, government agencies are buying the products and services you produce. Unfortunately, businesses -- particularly small businesses -- can find the rules, regulations and purchasing practices of government agencies hard to understand. Successfully negotiating the challenges of doing business with the government takes a level of expertise that many businesses do not have.

The Illinois Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC), a unit of the Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs (IIRA) housed at Western Illinois University, is offering two workshops designed to clarify the complexities of government contracting. "Government Contracting Basics" will be held 1-4 p.m. Friday, Nov. 7 and "Introduction to Proposal Writing" will be held on 1-4 p.m. Friday, Dec. 5 at the Western Illinois Business and Technology Center, 501 N. Pearl Street, Macomb.

According to Mary Turner, PTAC program manager, "Government Contracting Basics" will focus on the methods of contracting with state and federal agencies, different types of bids and proposals and special government purchasing programs.

"Introduction to Proposal Writing" will focus on solicitations, preparing an offer, evaluation of offers and how to avoid pitfalls common in proposal writing. In addition, information will be provided on proposal writing, effectively responding to requests for proposals (RFPs), contract types, negotiations, getting an offer and finding leads.

"Each year, the federal government purchases more than $400 billion in goods and services from small businesses," said Turner. "State agencies and local units of government also purchase large quantities from small businesses. With the marketplace as competitive as it currently is, it only makes sense for businesses in Central Illinois to aggressively pursue this market."

The Illinois Procurement Technical Assistance Center was established to help small business owners understand and profit from government contracting.

Registration for both workshops is open free to the public. To register for the workshops, or for more information, contact Turner at (217) 223-5636 or Registration is also available online at the IIRA website at

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