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Looking to receive a government contract?

Area businesses welcome to attend meeting

Published: Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012 1:15 a.m. CST • Updated: Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012 1:48 a.m. CST

SAVANNA – Businesses that want to do business with the government – like, for instance, at Thomson prison – can attend a free workshop Monday to learn to do just that.

Illinois and Iowa Procurement Technical Assistance Centers will present the workshop. Business are asked to register by Friday, but may attend without registering in advance.

Betty Steinert is administrator of Whiteside County Economic Development, which is helping organize the event.

Any business that might be able to provide goods or services to any local, state or federal government agency should consider attending, Steinert said.

“We want to get people thinking ‘How can we do business with government agencies?’” she said. “This is beginning to give them ideas of what kind of services are out there, what they have to go through to be ready to hit the ground.”

The recent sale of Thomson Correctional Center to the U.S. Department of Justice was the main reason for the event, Steinert said. The sale might provide expansion possibilities for local businesses, she said.

Businesses that secure contracts with the prison might find they have so much demand for their goods or services that they might co-op, Steinert said.

“[Maybe] they’ve got to provide a number of ink cartridges and can’t do it all ... they’ll have to buy so many dozens of eggs ...” she said.

Even if the prison is not in their sights, “businesses ought to to be looking at [securing approval for government contracts] anyway, because there are always a lot of good contracts out there,” she said.

Providers of medical or computer services or businesses in the food industry are among those that might secure government contracts, Steinert said.

Those who attend Monday will learn about the training process, which consists of three 3-hour sessions. A price has not been determined, but it was about $20 when it was offered 3 years ago, Steinert said.

“We’ll make it as cost-effective as possible to cover expenses,” she said. “I don’t want to discourage anybody from participating.”

No dates have been set for the training, she said.

During training, businesses learn how to use the online system to be approved to have contracts with state or federal government agencies. After completing the online system, businesses are put on a list of businesses that may work with government agencies.

To attend

The Illinois and Iowa Procurement Technical Assistance Centers will present a free workshop on obtaining government contracts from 10:30 a.m. to noon at Manny's Pizza, 211 Main St. in Savanna.

Business are asked to register by Friday, but may attend without registering in advance.

To register, call 815-772-5182, email sprescott@whiteside.org or fax 815-772-5249.

Attendance will be capped at about 45 businesses; 20 had signed up as of Wednesday.

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