“The U.S. Small Business Administration’s Tacoma office and the Center for Economic Opportunity’s Procurement Technical Assistance Program have teamed to bring a series of workshops on small business resources to the Tacoma Business Assistance Center in downtown Tacoma.In the photo above, SBA Commercial Marketing Representative Kevin Michael leads attendees at the latest workshop through a hands-on introduction to the SBA’s Pro-Net Internet procurement web site using the BAC’s computer resources lab. The free workshop attracted a range of participants including business people in water conditioning product and hydraulic tool sales, industrial hardware supply, environmental chemicals and cleanup, and a playground equipment inventor.Pro-Net allows small businesses to post and update a listing for their company to a central procurement site used by a variety of government agencies, large businesses and prime contractors. Michael said over 237,000 small, disadvantaged, women/minority owned, and HubZone businesses are presently listed on Pro-Net.The SBA’s Pro-Net site is free for small businesses to use, and is commonly used both as a means to attract purchasers from large businesses and government, and as a way to research industry competition either on a local, regional or national scale. Michael said. He named The Boeing Company, Fluke, Bechtel, and agencies such as the GSA as examples of entities using Pro-Net to find suppliers and sub-contractors. There is also a special site specifically for sub-contractors on Pro-Net, named Sub-Net.The small business profiles are easy to update, Michael said, and allow linkage to an outside company web site. Contracts, ratings, and detailed business information may be posted and updated frequently using Pro-Net, he said.This helps large businesses find subs, and helps subs find opportunities, Michael said.The Pro-Net workshop this week is the second in a series of free small business workshops being offered by the SBA and CEO at the Tacoma Business Assistance Center at 1101 Pacific Avenue in downtown Tacoma. The January workshop was on bonding in government contracting. For information on upcoming workshops, contact CEO at 253-591-7026 or the SBA office at 253-274-1288.”
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