Skip to main content
Default image.

Government Contracting Newswire Stories

Did You Know?” The SBA Has Expanded WOSB NAICS Codes

By Samantha Ferm If you’re a Woman-Owned Small Business (WOSB) and have applied for the SBA’s WOSB certification in the past, you might have been aware of the odd requirement a limited number of NAICS codes were even applicable to be considered as a ‘woman-owned small business.’ This eliminated hundreds of possible NAICS codes across … Continue reading Did You Know?” The SBA Has Expanded WOSB NAICS Codes

Did You Know? The SBA’s 8(a) Business Development Program

By: Justin Niceswanger In past years, federal agencies have established contracting goals to award at least 5% of their prime contract spend to small disadvantaged businesses.  In December of last year, the Biden Administration announced the goal would substantially increase. How much was the increase?  Can your company qualify as a small disadvantaged business, and … Continue reading Did You Know? The SBA’s 8(a) Business Development Program

Did You Know? The GovCon World is Ever-Changing

By Jodi Essex We’ve seen so many changes in the government contracting world in the past year it’s difficult to keep it all straight.  Here’s a quick recap of the changes that are happening or are in the works: CMMC / Cybersecurity The government has now introduced a less burdensome version of the Cybersecurity Maturity … Continue reading Did You Know? The GovCon World is Ever-Changing

Connecting with Government Buyers

Selling your products or services to government agencies begins with building a network of potential buyers. CIRAS can help with that with “Meet the Buyers” events that offer opportunities for both sides of the government procurement process to learn about each other. Government procurement officials and federal prime contractors will describe what they buy and … Continue reading Connecting with Government Buyers

Company Gets VA Certification in Record Time

An Anamosa company is better positioned to compete for government work after connecting with Julie Fagle, a government contracting specialist with the CIRAS Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC). Gregory Husmann, of Husmann Development Inc., reached out to Fagle late last spring for assistance with a bid on a new Veteran Affairs (VA) clinic. Husmann is … Continue reading Company Gets VA Certification in Record Time

Manufacturer Gets Help Navigating New Bid Process

A Cherokee manufacturer has utilized their ongoing relationship with CIRAS to understand a new bid process, expand its list of potential customers, and learn how to certify its cybersecurity protocols. Bob Simonsen, marketing manager at RJ Thomas Manufacturing, recently contacted CIRAS Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) government contracting specialist Mary Zimmerman for assistance with a … Continue reading Manufacturer Gets Help Navigating New Bid Process

Did You Know? New SBA Business Size Standards Rule

By: Mary Zimmerman Certain government programs, such as Small Business Administration (SBA) loan programs and contracting opportunities, are reserved for small businesses. To qualify, businesses must satisfy the SBA’s definition of a small business concern, along with the size standards for  small business. SBA sets the size standards for businesses by industry using either revenue … Continue reading Did You Know? New SBA Business Size Standards Rule

Prepare for Government Contracting in 2022 with Your PTAC Counselor

By Samantha Ferm There’s no better time than the start of a new year to connect with your PTAC counselor and do an audit of your goals with government contracting….and we are here to help! One thing I love to do for clients is simply work with them in updating a free market research report, … Continue reading Prepare for Government Contracting in 2022 with Your PTAC Counselor

Did you know? There is a Resource Available to Help You Understand Doing Business with Other States

By Julie Fagle In recent weeks we have been discussing doing business with state/local Governments, some specific options for the surrounding states including their direct websites, as well as the relationship driven nature of marketing and contracting with these organizations.  There is also a resource available to help you develop these potential customers even further … Continue reading Did you know? There is a Resource Available to Help You Understand Doing Business with Other States

2021 DBE Conference Debrief

A conference focused on connecting Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBEs) with numerous resource partners was held November 3 in Des Moines. The well-attended event provided opportunities for businesses to learn best practices, meet and identify potential business partners, increase their business exposure with other DBE companies, and collaborate with other contractors. CIRAS partnered with the Iowa … Continue reading 2021 DBE Conference Debrief

Grant Paves Way for Businesses to Compete for DOT Work

CIRAS has received an Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT) grant to help prepare disadvantaged business enterprises (DBEs) to compete for highway construction projects and other DOT-funded work. This $133,000 DBE Support Services grant will fund CIRAS staff to offer one-on-one assistance to DBEs, which are generally defined as small businesses that are 51 percent or … Continue reading Grant Paves Way for Businesses to Compete for DOT Work

CIRAS Helps Appraiser Get First-ever Government Contract

A Windsor Heights real estate appraisal company was awarded its first-ever government contract last February after reaching out to CIRAS for assistance with the process. Neilly & Company Real Estate Appraisals received $3,900 from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to determine the value of a facility located in Jefferson. Justin Niceswanger, a government contracting specialist … Continue reading CIRAS Helps Appraiser Get First-ever Government Contract

Did You Know? Federal Contract COVID Vaccination Requirements

By Justin Niceswanger On September 9, 2021, President Biden signed Executive Order 14042, Ensuring Adequate COVID Safety Protocols for Federal Contractors.  The order creates requirements for federal agencies to add a new Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) clause in many federal solicitations and contracts (and other contract-like instruments) which, in turn, requires many federal contractors and subcontractors to … Continue reading Did You Know? Federal Contract COVID Vaccination Requirements

Doing Business with the Iowa Department of Corrections and Iowa Prison Industries

While you might think those two sound the same, they are essentially different in not only their mission but also how they purchase items. the Iowa Prison Industries (IPI) refers to itself as the ‘work arm’ of the Iowa Department of Corrections (DOC)… essentially, the IPI helps prepare current offenders with work training opportunities to … Continue reading Doing Business with the Iowa Department of Corrections and Iowa Prison Industries

COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan

If you are a small business, nonprofit organization of any size, or a U.S. agricultural business with 500 or fewer employees that has suffered substantial economic injury as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, you can apply for the SBA’s COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL).  This loan provides economic relief to small businesses and nonprofit organizations that are … Continue reading COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan

Pareti Mobile Walls Builds Business with BidMatch

A Belle Plaine, Iowa, maker of display panel walls is looking forward to a record year after CIRAS helped the company find more than $130,000 in government contracts through its BidMatch computer service.   Kathy Kyle, owner of Pareti Mobile Walls, credits Julie Fagle, a government contracting specialist with the CIRAS Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC), for helping her company rebound after … Continue reading Pareti Mobile Walls Builds Business with BidMatch

Hogan Company LLC Gets Leg Up on Government Contracting with CIRAS Help

A new Dyersville concrete construction company landed four government contracts during its first few months of operation and began mapping a path to more ambitious efforts after working with a CIRAS government contracting specialist.  Hogan Company LLC opened its doors in early 2021 and found its way to CIRAS through the SBA–Small Business Development Center. … Continue reading Hogan Company LLC Gets Leg Up on Government Contracting with CIRAS Help

Cybersecurity Is Necessary to Secure Growth

By Jodi Essex Are you still ignoring the word “cybersecurity”? You can’t any longer.  As security breaches continue to occur in industries across the country, the need to assess your company’s level of security becomes increasingly important. Many businesses wonder where to begin with such an assessment, and this is where CIRAS can help.  Our cybersecurity … Continue reading Cybersecurity Is Necessary to Secure Growth

Aerial Services Finds Powerful Partner in CIRAS Advisor

A Cedar Falls mapping and imagery company has used valuable support from CIRAS to garner more than $11 million in government contracts over the past five years.  Aerial Services Inc. is a veteran-owned small business that provides companies and governments with a wide range of services, including aerial LiDAR, digital orthoimagery, and comprehensive mapping solutions.  Ryan Kibsgaard, … Continue reading Aerial Services Finds Powerful Partner in CIRAS Advisor

Did You Know? Rock Island Arsenal Overview

Did you know that the Rock Island Arsenal (RIA), which is an actual island situated between Iowa and Illinois on the Mississippi River, houses more than one major Army command and over 60 tenant organizations, both public and private entities? The five major Army organizations on the island each have different and unique buying needs: … Continue reading Did You Know? Rock Island Arsenal Overview

DID YOU KNOW?… Federal Certification for Women-Owned Small Businesses (WOSBs)

Federal agencies have an annual goal to award at least 5% of spend on prime contracts to Women-Owned Small Businesses (WOSBs) and, for contracts which include small business subcontracting plans, the WOSB subcontracting goal is also 5%.  To help meet these goals, agencies will sometimes set-aside or even sole-source opportunities to WOSBs and Economically Disadvantaged … Continue reading DID YOU KNOW?… Federal Certification for Women-Owned Small Businesses (WOSBs)

CIRAS Staff News: Martin and Burant Shifting Roles

Two longtime CIRAS employees are taking on new roles in an attempt to serve Iowans better.

Did You Know?… More changes coming to and

They saying goes, “The only constant in life is change.” If you have been working in the federal contract market during the past couple of years, there seems to be no truer statement.

The long-awaited, much-anticipated integration of and occurred on May 24.

As of May 24, legacy, as you know it, was retired. Its registration, excluded parties listing, and other functionalities were moved to But the “beta” also went away, and it is now called This is an entirely new, consolidated system.

CIRAS Awarded $133,000 to Develop DBEs

CIRAS has received a $133,000 grant from the Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT)to help economically and socially disadvantaged businesses develop as companies so they are better able to compete for highway construction projects and other DOT-funded projects.

As part of the grant, CIRAS will provide one-on-one assistance to companies who qualify as Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBE) – generally defined as small business that are at least 51 percent owned by women or minorities – about the best ways to position themselves for government bidding opportunities and market themselves to prime contractors and government agencies

Did You Know?…Navigating NAICS and Government Acronyms

NAICS is old news for a news email, as the system has been around for 23 years. But this topic comes up often with clients, so I thought it would be a nice refresher to emphasize the importance of NAICS and their ongoing relevancy.

NAICS – Also known as North American Industrial Classification Codes, these codes are used in federal procurements and in small business size standards. The North American Industry Classification System, or NAICS (pronounced “Nakes”), was developed under the direction and guidance of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) as the standard for use by federal statistical agencies in classifying business establishments for the collection, tabulation, presentation, and analysis of statistical data describing the U.S. economy.

Did You Know?… How PTAC Helps with Bidding

Besides helping you with your government vendor registrations and figuring out tricky interpretations of contract clauses or requirements, PTAC counselors also can help small businesses during the bidding process! But how?

LMT Defense Finds Bigger Role in Government Contracting

An Eldridge arms manufacturer won business worth more than $17 million after CIRAS helped the company wade deeper into government contracting.

Lewis Machine and Tool Company, which does business as LMT Defense, for decades has been a major manufacturer of firearms for military and law enforcement customers, many of them overseas. The company had performed a variety of U.S. government work since it was founded in 1980, but LMT leaders last year set a new goal to vastly increase the percentage of company sales inside American borders.

Virtual Matchmaking Session on April 8

Government contracting can be an excellent path for a business to diversify its customer base and build a stable source of revenue. But the pool of available opportunities can expand dramatically when large prime companies team with small businesses. How do companies of different sizes with complementary capabilities find each other? To help with that, … Continue reading Virtual Matchmaking Session on April 8

Did You Know?…Iowa DOT Small Business Development Contracts Program

The Iowa Department of Transportation offers a program specific to small business contractors where small businesses compete against each other and not against large contractors. This program, separate from the DBE Certification, is called the Small Business Development Contracts Program. To be eligible for this, a small business must become a Certified Small Business Contractor (CSBC) by meeting the requirements through the Iowa DOT’s Civil Rights Bureau. (Note: There is no ethnic or gender limitation for this program.)

To become a CSBC, and to bid on the small business contracts, follow the steps below:

DID YOU KNOW?… Optional Contract Types May Reduce Uncertainty

Although many of us are optimistic 2021 will be better than the year we just went through, the world will continue to struggle with both the short- and long-term impacts of the COVID pandemic. In addition to trying to keep ourselves and others physically and mentally healthy during these trying times, there also are concerns about the health of our economy – including volatility in the pricing and availability of labor and materials. Economic swings may impact not only the way government agencies contract for products and services, but also the amount of risk contractors are willing to accept on these contracts.

Here are a few options for you to consider:

Persistence Helps Bowe Machine Break into GovCon

A Bettendorf machine shop landed government contracts worth more than $100,000 after CIRAS helped a new supervisor delve deep into the intricacies of government bidding.

Bowe Machine in Bettendorf.

Michael Bigsby had been working at Bowe Machine Company for roughly six months when he proposed that the company pursue government contracts. Bigsby had been involved in quoting government jobs for a previous employer, but he had never played a major role in the bidding process.

So, he sought help understanding the procedures.

UEA Finds Success through Proposal Process

A Waverly manufacturer of slip rings landed a $1.7 million contract from the Federal Aviation Administration after CIRAS helped the company understand government bidding requirements and learn how to write a formal proposal.

Hemen Dattani, sales director for United Equipment Accessories (UEA), was tasked last March to explore federal contracting opportunities so UEA could leverage a newly forged research and development partnership to expand design capabilities and make the company competitive in new markets. He turned to the CIRAS Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) for help.

Construction Webinars: Tips for Government Contractors

Government agencies spend an enormous amount of money each year on construction projects for the public. These projects follow their own particular lifecycle and pose unique challenges for contractors when it comes to issues things such as site conditions, scheduling changes, or wage requirements.

Wouldn’t you like some help navigating the complexities of this complicated world?

Did You Know?… 2021 is Finally Here!

Many of us are extremely grateful to put 2020 behind us and begin focusing on a more promising 2021. Our PTAC team is no different. We understand the challenges that many businesses have faced this past year and are working hard to support you virtually. I want to take this opportunity to remind you of the ways we can assist your business with pursuing government contracts:

Did You Know?… Threshold Changes for Small Business Sub Plans

Government policy says that a portion of each federal spending dollar should be used to help small businesses. Federal agencies put this into practice by requiring that large prime contractors submit a plan along with their proposals demonstrating how they will utilize small businesses in the performance of each federal contract. Historically, these plans were … Continue reading Did You Know?… Threshold Changes for Small Business Sub Plans

GovTalk: CIRAS Helps Copywriter+ Ink Contract

A Des Moines freelance writing business found financial stability in the opening months of the pandemic after CIRAS helped it pursue and obtain a government contract.

Kristi Kenyon, owner of Copywriter+, said her company was roughly three years old when she met Justin Niceswanger, a government contracting specialist with the CIRAS Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC), at a networking event.

Before that, government contracting “wasn’t something that I even knew was a possibility” for writing jobs, Kenyon said.

CIRAS PTAC: A Smart Way for Construction Companies to Build Their Teams

Building a new federal courthouse in downtown Des Moines is much more complicated than signing the paperwork and pouring concrete.

“It comes with significant challenges,” said Elizabeth Campbell, director of Emerging Business Inclusion for Ryan Companies, the Minneapolis-based firm that landed the Des Moines courthouse’s three-year, $105 million contract.

One of them is the subcontracting.

Did You Know… Understanding GSA Schedules

Businesses often hear about how lucrative it is to get a “GSA Schedule” with the federal government. Here are a few tips to know if a GSA Schedule is right for you and your business, and if so, the next steps you can take.

Schramm Electric Plants Seeds, Reaps Derecho Contract

A Sioux City electrical firm landed more than $190,000 in state contracts after their owners followed CIRAS advice to register as a vendor with the Iowa Department of Homeland Security.

Stephanie Schramm, office manager at Schramm Electric, said her company has a long history of dealing closely with the CIRAS Procurement Technical Assistance Center. So that was the first place the Schramm family looked for answers in early 2020 when they had questions about how to register for business with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). 

Did You Know?… Setting up an Effective BidMatch

Did you know that as the client, you play a very important role in helping your counselor set up an effective BidMatch profile?  The BidMatch system is a tool that PTAC counselors offer to their clients to help identify bid or proposal opportunities.

As with most things in life, feedback is important to the process.

Explaining CMMC and DoD’s ABCs of Cybersecurity

If your company works anywhere within a Department of Defense supply chain (or hopes to), the new CMMC cybersecurity standard will soon be part of your life. Are you confused by the alphabet soup and uncertain about what it all means?

Here’s what you need to know:

Did You Know?… The AbilityOne Program

Federal agencies buy a wide variety of products and services, but they’re required to try to purchase through specific sources before ordering from the open market. 

For this month’s “Did You Know?” article, we’ll take a closer look at one of these mandatory sources: The AbilityOne Program.  We’ll learn more about AbilityOne, including what products and services it makes available to agencies, what ways businesses can support its mission, and how businesses can benefit from the program.

Celebrate National PTAC Day on Sept. 16

We’re inviting you to learn more about a major part of CIRAS programming.

Ninety-four Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (PTACs), including CIRAS, form a nationwide network of more than 600 dedicated professionals who work to help local businesses sell their products and services to government agencies.

If you’d like to know more about the network, we invite you to join a special webinar on Wednesday, September 16, from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. to celebrate National PTAC Day.

ToolKeepers Finds Its Fit in Government Contracting

Understanding your business doesn’t mean you don’t need help understanding government contracting.

ToolKeepers is a Fairfield company that uses high-density foam to make custom inserts that organize and protect tools (or other valuable objects) used in military and industrial settings. Clark Plummer, ToolKeepers’ director of strategic accounts, said the company long ago “recognized its ability to provide solutions to military and government organizations, but . . . needed help making connections with government purchasers and adapting products specifically to the needs of government organizations.”

Did You Know?…Cities Can Be a Good GovCon Start

Have you considered doing business or expanding your current business with the local government?

Municipalities (aka city governments) are often overlooked by companies considering government contracting. But many times, this is where the opportunity lies for contractors that target a specific geographic area, such as state, city, and county parameters.

Did You Know?…  Everything is Changing!

There are so many changes going on in our daily lives and things are moving at such a rapid pace, it’s hard to keep up with all of the information.

In case you missed it, here is a synopsis of the recent government contracting-related changes.

Did you Know?… Adapting to Meet Customer Needs

There is no getting around it – the COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound and far-reaching effect on all of us. 

The way we interact and do business has been forced to change with very little notice. One of our mantras at CIRAS is “working at the speed of the customer” because we truly do care about everyone we serve. To accommodate our unexpected new environment, we “re-calibrated” as quickly as possible to best meet the evolving needs of our clients.

COVID-19 Causing Increased Sales in Some Industries

It’s no surprise that there is a major boost in the procurement of personal protective equipment and medical supplies amid the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the COVID-19 report on federal spending data from the Federal Procurement Data System, other industries are seeing an uptick in demand as well. The $2.2 trillion stimulus is allocating various agencies additional funds to address needs related to the pandemic, and it’s not all for medical supplies.

Did You Know?…Woman-Owned Small Business Certification Updates Coming This Summer

Last year, the SBA advised it had some changes in the works for the Woman-Owned Small Business (WOSB) and the Economically-Disadvantaged Woman-Owned Small Business (EDWOSB) certification programs. The full scope of those changes are scheduled to be announced June 30, but they will not go into effect until 30 days after that announcement. So keep an eye out for actual certification changes towards the very end of July 2020.

Government Contracting Amid COVID-19

A federal disaster has recently been declared for the State of Iowa, allowing local, state and tribal authorities in Iowa to receive federal funding in response to COVID-19.  This leaves many businesses wondering how they can get in on the action and provide goods/services during a disaster.

Did You Know?… Disaster Relief Contracting 

It’s time to begin thinking about spring floods and the emergency management responses that go with them.  How can your company participate in these relief efforts?  While many procurements are done by the local agencies affected by the disaster through their existing contracts, there is often a need for additional support.  Here are various ways you can position your company for opportunities during a disaster.

DID YOU KNOW?…Counties, Cities, and Competition

A few months ago, a contractor with a history of selling to the government shared with me an interaction they had with a county employee.  The conversation went something like this:

Contractor: “We’d like to have an opportunity to be considered for the next contract and be contacted the next time you go out for bids.”

County: “We’re not required to compete our orders, and we have a local provider we’re happy with.”

The response surprised the contractor.  When the contractor met with me later, they asked me: Aren’t counties required to compete their orders like they do at the state and federal levels?

Kimberley Construction Building New Role as Government Contractor

A year-old commercial and residential construction company is taking its first major steps into government contracting after CIRAS helped the company understand the intricacies of selling to the government.

Kimberley Construction was formed in September 2018 as an offshoot of Kimberley Development, a 41-year-old Ankeny home building company. Troy Sydow, project manager for the newer company, said the home developer realized last year that it had been turning away smaller upscale renovation jobs and decided to form a new division to capture that work.

Webinar Week – A Special Series Spotlighting Government Agencies

Government contracting is about relationships. You have to know which government entities are in the market for the particular product or service that you provide, and they have to know you – where you are and exactly how you’re capable of helping them.

But how do you get in the game if you don’t understand the players?

Did you know…What PTAC can do for You?

For many people, opening a new calendar also means creating a new set of goals. This is the time of year when many of us resolve that we’re going to accomplish a few things that we know we need to do, such as lose weight, get healthier, and/or clean the basement.

At work, this clean-basement desire may translate into an effort to get more organized or learn about an area you don’t fully understand. We’d like to suggest that you make 2020 the year you get better informed about the world of government contracting. Are you ready to resolve that this is the year you’ll grow your company’s business with the government? If so, then the CIRAS Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) is here to help.


Transit Ad Firm Sees Benefits After a Second Look by CIRAS

A Carlisle advertising company that specializes in bringing brand marketing to transit buses credits a key portion of its business to the technical expertise of a CIRAS government contracting specialist.

Jeff Lamb, co-owner of Midwest Truck Advertising, said CIRAS performed a valuable service by checking over a bid proposal he submitted to the Iowa Department of Transportation in late 2017. The fledgling company was competing with several other firms for an overarching contract to see which company would have the right to place advertising on 25 of Iowa’s 35 city bus systems.

CIRAS Staff News: Meet Behrens & McGraw

We would like to announce that two new faces joined CIRAS at the end of 2019. (And watch this space for more staffing news in the days to come.)

Here are your brief introductions to the new CIRAS additions:

Five Ways CIRAS Can Help You Grow in 2020

New years bring a time for new beginnings. To quote Charles Kettering, an inventor and the head of research for General Motors from 1920 to 1947, “Every time you tear a leaf off a calendar, you present a new place for new ideas.”

If CIRAS is a new idea for you, then why not start the new year by considering a few new topics?

Here are five ways that CIRAS can help your company grow in 2020:

CIRAS is Sponsoring Winter Conference of Master Builders of Iowa

Iowa’s leading organization of construction contractors will hold its annual meeting next month, and CIRAS plans to be there helping companies learn how to advance their businesses.

CIRAS is a sponsor of this year’s Annual Winter Conference of the Master Builders of Iowa (MBI). Founded in 1912, MBI is one of 89 chapters of the Associated General Contractors of America, the most influential and widely respected construction association in the country. The Iowa chapter’s annual gathering is scheduled for February 24-26 at the Prairie Meadows Event and Conference Center in Altoona.

Did You Know?… The Rules for Gift Giving to Public Agencies

Gift giving is often a standard business practice during this holiday season.  However, you should beware if you are giving a gift to a public agency. Most states, as well as the federal government, have rules governing this practice. 

Let’s explore the law that applies to our state, which is called the Iowa Gift Law. 

Learn the Secrets of “Writing Federal Proposals”

Government contracting is a complicated and detailed process with many precise steps that must be followed. For companies that are new to the government sector, it sometimes can be overwhelming.

Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to practice before you submitted that first bid?

We thought so, too.

Did You Know?… Subcontracting Expands your Government Sales

Subcontracting opportunities can be a lucrative avenue in the government sector, which allows businesses to participate in government contracting without dealing directly with the government.

Why subcontracting? The federal contracts that are awarded to prime contractors often come with subcontracting plans containing goals for doing a percentage of the work with small businesses.

“Meet the Buyers” Builds Relationships

No one will buy your product or service until they become convinced that it will meet their needs. But before that can happen, potential customers have to somehow learn that you exist and what you can offer. CIRAS wants to help with that. Next month’s “Meet the Buyers” event in Johnston is designed to be … Continue reading “Meet the Buyers” Builds Relationships

Did You Know… About the SBA Surety Bond Guarantee Program?

Surety bonds help small businesses win construction, supply, and service contracts by providing the customer with a guarantee the work will be completed. Many contracts require surety bonds, which are offered by surety companies. Becoming bondable is like applying for bank credit. The requirements include a review of the technical and managerial ability, financial statements, and credit resources of the small business. Small businesses often struggle to meet some (or all) of the minimum qualifications.

Did you know there is a program to help small businesses get started with bonding or increase their current bonding capacity? 

CIRAS Advice Makes Mobilis Home Medical Self-sufficient

Colleen Brabec believes CIRAS has made her smarter about government contracting. Brabec owns Mobilis Home Medical Equipment, a 17-person Council Bluffs company that sells wheelchairs, scooters, and related equipment throughout western Iowa and eastern Nebraska. Mobilis used to deliver equipment for U.S. Veterans Administration hospitals in Iowa and Nebraska, but the company lost that contract … Continue reading CIRAS Advice Makes Mobilis Home Medical Self-sufficient

Did You Know?… FedBizOpps is going away

FedBizOpps currently is the federal government’s website ( for posting all procurement opportunities with a value of more than $25,000.

By the end of next year, it will disappear. The system, along with several other government acquisition systems managed by the General Services Administration, are gradually being rolled into one new site. 

Did You Know?…. The DUNS® Number Is On Its Way Out

If you’ve done any work in with the federal government (either as a vendor or grantee) you most likely have been required to register for a proprietary DUNS number through Dun & Bradstreet. The DUNS number, which was created in 1962, has been the official verification number for entities to register with the Federal Government since 1998 (once it was codified by the Federal Acquisition Regulation, aka FAR).

Did you know?… How to Sell to Iowa Public Schools

Summer is ending, which means parents everywhere are beginning to shop for Back To School. Have you ever considered what may be on the school’s shopping list?

Polo Custom Products—Using CIRAS as a Compass to Grow Government Business

For Mary Phelan, it all boils down to CIRAS being a sounding board she can trust.

Phelan, program manager for government and defense at Polo Custom Products in Monticello, has been working closely with the CIRAS Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) for roughly two years.

DID YOU KNOW?… Federal Agencies use the SPA

No, this isn’t an article about spring water or hot tubs!  “SPA” stands for “Simplified Purchase Agreement,” a method of purchasing set up by the Government Publishing Office (GPO) and available to use by various federal agencies for their printing needs.  As an alternative to relying on the GPO for soliciting their opportunities, agencies typically find SPA procedures to be more relaxing (see what I did there?).

DID You Know…the Three Steps to Government Contracting?

The government contracting journey can be very challenging. Companies have to do their homework and not rest on the notion that, if they are registered on SAM or state/local agencies, they will be “discovered” by government customers. The registration system is a useful tool for a government agency to conduct market research, bid notifications, etc. But this is NOT a game of, “They’re supposed to buy from us because we’re a set-aside, a TSB, etc.”

Global Security Services Follows CIRAS, Finds Abundant Opportunities

A Davenport security company expects to take in more than $17 million over the next five years from new government contracts it landed after the firm’s newly hired business development person spent roughly five months working closely with CIRAS.

Did you know? … About NAICS

The North American Industry Classification System, or NAICS (pronounced “Nakes”), was developed under the direction and guidance of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). It’s the standard way that federal statistical agencies classify business establishments for the collection, tabulation, presentation, and analysis of statistical data describing the U.S. economy.

CIRAS PTAC Team Praised by Peers for Making a Difference

CIRAS government contracting specialists have earned praised from their peers for having a tremendous impact both on the Iowa economy and on the communities where they live.

Theisen Cleaners Grows by Systematically Soliciting Sales

Theisen Cleaners was born in 2016 when Jamie Theisen, after many years spent cleaning houses for herself and various employers, decided to launch a new residential cleaning service. Her husband, Joe Theisen, eventually joined her. By 2017, the couple was thinking of expanding the effort, possibly by branching out and cleaning area businesses.

CIRAS Seeks to Empower Government Contractors

The government sector is a vast ocean of possibility for Iowa businesses, but the waters can run treacherous if you don’t understand how it works.

To help with that, CIRAS experts have created a daylong training event to help Iowa companies take a deep dive into the world of government contracting and delve into advanced teaming strategies for business development.

Tortilleria Sonora Steps Out on Path to Food Safety Certification

Life began moving faster after Betty Garcia got the phone call.

It was the fall of 2017, and a Des Moines-area produce company was planning to launch a line of ready-to-eat meals. The company was wondering whether Tortilleria Sonora would be interested in supplying tortillas. First, there were a few questions about the business. Would Garcia mind filling out a questionnaire?

Did you know… What a Purchasing Consortium is?

If not, you might be missing important contracting opportunities. Many state and local organizations use purchasing consortia to obtain goods and services.

A purchasing consortium – also referred to as cooperative purchasing, or a “GPO” (Group Purchasing Organization) – is a mechanism by which multiple organizations with similar purchasing needs band together to better leverage their buying power and achieve more favorable terms and pricing from vendors. Such consortia also reduce the workload for their members by eliminating duplication of effort in issuing solicitations and managing contracts for the same good/service.

Claim Technologies: Finding New Opportunities in GovCon

In the beginning, it was the pursuit of higher peaks that sent Randy Brandt to CIRAS.

Brandt’s employer, Claim Technologies Incorporated (CTI) of Des Moines, audits self-funded health plans to check for overpayments and administrative oversight. The company has worked with all sizes of private companies, school districts, and municipalities, as well as 16 state governments. But before 2018, the firm had only had two federal contracts.

Government Contracting: Tips for Surviving the Shutdown

Over the weekend, the partial government shutdown passed into record-setting territory in terms of length. The CIRAS PTAC staff knows that this likely is causing some elevated blood pressure among clients which existing government contracts, and we’d like to do what we can to help.

So how worried should you be?

Winning Proposals Start with Understanding RFPs

Success in government contracting requires that you convince a government agency that you’re the best choice to fill any particular need. To get there, you have to know how the system works, who to deal with, what the rules are, and how to cast yourself in the best possible light.

CIRAS is planning a special event this spring to help you understand all of that.

Did You Know? – Week of Dec 15: Reflection, Goals, and Onward!

It’s hard to believe that 2018 is rapidly coming to a close. In a few weeks, we will be celebrating the New Year!

Do you ever take time to reflect on your successes and failures? I encourage you, during this month, to think back to goals you set for 2018. Did you achieve them? Did you fall short? What lessons have you learned?

STAFF NEWS: Justin Niceswanger is a Government Contracting Specialist

Justin Niceswanger has joined CIRAS as a government contracting specialist with the Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC). He will be based out of a CIRAS office in Clive and will serve business owners who are located inside the city of Des Moines.

Learning the Rules of the Federal Sales Game

Selling your product or service to the federal government can be a confusing prospect: You catch a glimpse of what appears to be a lucrative future sitting on the horizon, but the path to that goal is blocked by a confusing mass of questions that need to be answered before you can get there.

A Good Elevator Speech Can Help You Maximize Opportunity

All it takes is a few good seconds to make a positive first impression and grow your business.

However, those few seconds can require hours of preparation to look natural, confident, and enthusiastic. And even then, it doesn’t always work. For example, at most meetings, conferences, and networking events, people are asked to introduce themselves and talk about their company. This is their time to shine! But many miss their chance at free advertising because they are uncomfortable or have trouble explaining what they do or sell.

Sept. 26 is National PTAC Day to celebrate GovCon success

For 33 years, Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (PTACs) have helped expand the number of small businesses that successfully compete for and win federal, state, and local government contracts. This month, PTACs from around the country are coming together for one special day to celebrate the success of the tens of thousands of small businesses who have benefitted from training and technical assistance delivered by their local PTACs.

Blue-9 Celebrates One-year Anniversary of New Iowa Headquarters

A small Maquoketa company that sells dog training equipment around the world is boosting production and expanding its product offerings—all after CIRAS helped the company arrange important testing and other steps to get it off the ground.

DID YOU KNOW?: Building Relationships While Prospecting for Business

There are many things affecting your business that you can’t control. Did you know that your personal attitude is something you can control? Your attitude affects the way you approach people and circumstances in business. Choosing to approach potential customers positively, confidently, enthusiastically, and with a helpful attitude – even when you’re tired, stressed, or frustrated – may help improve your sales and grow your business.

Did you Know…?: Hurricane Disaster Contracting

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Climate Prediction Center (CPC) is forecasting a 35% chance of above-normal hurricane activity in the Atlantic for the 2018 hurricane season (June 1 – November 30).  The disastrous 2017 hurricane season had companies scrambling to position themselves for a piece of the “recovery” pie.  

HUBZone Firms Seek to Seize Attention of Agencies, Prime Contractors

Steve Belland and Moe Abu-Nameh have gone the extra mile to give federal government agencies and their prime contractors a reason to work with the duo’s Hiawatha trucking company.

Now, the Iowans just need to find the right match.

STAFF NEWS: Samantha Ferm is a Government Contracting Specialist

Samantha Ferm has joined CIRAS as a government contracting specialist with the Procurement Technical Assistance Program (PTAP). She will be based out of Iowa City and will serve the southeast portion of the state.

Advanced Media Production Firm Seeks Certifications, Growth via GovCon

Terrence Thames wants to play a larger role in his profession and his community.

That’s one of the reasons Thames (at right in photo above) is pressing to grow his small Des Moines advertising agency into a major creative provider for private brands and public organizations around the country.

Did you know?… How to Sell to Iowa Public Schools

Have you ever thought of selling your goods and services to an Iowa public school system?  A lot of money is spent in education, and districts take their spending responsibilities very seriously. There are 367 school districts throughout Iowa. Selling to a school district may be a potential opportunity for your company, but first you need to know your customer.  

CIRAS PTAP—Link to National Network of Contracting Expertise

Government contracting is a byzantine business—a long and plodding trek through a jungle filled with complicated regulation, documentation requirements, and new marketing challenges.

Sound impossible? Not if you have help.

Did You Know?…. Contracting with Local Governments

One key market for selling your products/services involves local governments – the host of towns, cities, and counties located throughout Iowa.

Normally, the first step in doing business with local governments is to contact the municipal clerk, the county auditor, or the city Procurement Office/county Purchasing Department. This can be accomplished by personally visiting their offices to learn about their bid opportunities. If that’s not practical, you can research their websites for notices and submit your bid online/email. Or, you can simply email your company capability statement to each government’s Point of Contact (POC). 

CIRAS Helps Avoca Surface Take Smooth First Steps into Government Contracting

It was a quest for help with the paperwork that sent Patrick Richards to the Flying J truck stop in Avoca.

In 2016, Richards was in the beginning stages of creating what would become Avoca Surfaces, a countertop business owned by Richards, his son, and another father-son team. Lori Holste, executive director of the Western Iowa Development Association, suggested that Richards meet with Andy Alexander, a government contracting specialist with CIRAS’ Procurement Technical Assistance Program (PTAP). And a long-term partnership was born.

SAM Suspects Fraudulent Activity in the System

If you’re a government contractor, you may have recently received a suspicious-looking email with the subject line “ALERT: Bank Account Change Detected for COMPANY NAME / DUNS / CAGE  in the U.S. Government’s System for Award Management (SAM)”?

The first thing you need to know is that the email was legit.

EVENT ALERT: Midwest Government Contracting Symposium, May 23-24

Are you a business in Construction, IT, Manufacturing, Manufacturing Support or Professional Services who is interested in strengthening its Government Contracts footprint?  Are you interested in connecting with government agencies situated on the Rock Island Arsenal?

Then you should be at the 11th Annual Midwest Government Contracting Symposium, May 23 and 24 in Moline, Illinois.

UPCOMING: Veterans Breakfast, Corridor Business Development Expo

Attention veterans, business owners, and veteran business owners in the Cedar Rapids area: CIRAS would like to help fill both your minds and bodies on April 11.

CIRAS is hosting a special Veterans Breakfast on that day beginning at 7:30 a.m. at the Kirkwood Hotel in Cedar Rapids – immediately preceding the Corridor Business Development Expo.

Upcoming Webinars: Successful Conferences and Capability Statements

Are you showing potential customers the best version of your company?

Capability statements are a key component of any government marketing plan and should be one of your main marketing materials for government customers. Capability statements act as a resume of your business, including all important information that a potential government customer would rely on for market research. 

IMPACT: CIRAS and its Partners Sparked Improvement by the Billions

CIRAS projects have a big impact on Iowa and its communities.

Over the last five years, we’ve helped Iowa companies invest, expand sales and avoid costs to the tune of more than $2 billion.

Did You Know? Elevator Speeches Matter

At most meetings, conferences, and networking events people are asked to introduce themselves and talk about their company.  This is their time to shine – it’s like free advising!  But because they are uncomfortable or have trouble explaining what they do or sell, they miss a perfect opportunity to position themselves for success.  The answer to this is to have a prepared elevator speech.

CIRAS PTAP—Iowa’s Local Link to a National Network of Contracting Expertise

Government contracting is a byzantine business—a long and plodding trek through a jungle filled with complicated regulation, documentation, and new marketing challenges.

Sound impossible? It’s not. But no smart explorer launches a trip through the jungle without finding a good guide. CIRAS exists to serve as that guide for Iowa businesses. Many Iowa businesses have known this for a long time.

What Iowans may not know, however, is how much knowledge and experience is available to back up the CIRAS government contracting team if the way proves complicated for your particular business.

Did You Know?  Information is Power   

Did you know that CIRAS has access to several training resources, systems, and databases that can assist you and your business with government contracting free of charge?  We’ve also just acquired access to a new system that allows us to see city/county/state spending data, similar to how we can see federal data. 

Here’s a recap of some of these resources:

CIRAS Helps Avoca Surface Take Smooth First Steps into Government Contracting

It was a quest for help with the paperwork that sent Patrick Richards to the Flying J truck stop in Avoca.

 In 2016, Richards was in the beginning stages of creating what would become Avoca Surfaces, a countertop business owned by Richards, his son, and another father-son team. Lori Holste, executive director of the Western Iowa Development Association, suggested that Richards meet with Andy Alexander, a government contracting specialist with CIRAS’ Procurement Technical Assistance Program (PTAP). And a long-term partnership was born.

GROWING YOUR BUSINESS: All-Small Mentor-Protégé Program can Open New Doors

Small businesses that sell products or services to the government received a new tool for growth last fall when the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) launched its new All-Small Mentor-Protégé Program.

The program, which expanded on capabilities that previously existed for Certified 8(a) disadvantaged businesses, essentially put all small businesses on a higher level of competiveness by making them viable bidders for larger-scale federal contracts.

CIRAS Networking: A New Focus in 2018

As the old saying goes, it’s not what you know but who you know.

Thanks to Google, online forums, and social networking sites, a lot of people will tell you that old saying is out of date. Our experience at CIRAS is that it is more true than ever. Searching the web for solutions to problems is great, but sometimes it is the personal connection that makes it real, and helps you implement real change within your business.


It seems that one term is hot on the minds of government contractors these days: CYBERSECURITY!!

How to Create Your Own Elevator Speech

A quick, easy way to create your elevator speech is to review your capability statement, drawing ideas from your core capabilities and differentiators. Or you could perform the following steps:

Season’s Greetings from CIRAS

Hope you and yours have a joyous holiday season. Here’s a message from our director:

HUBZones – Everything you need to know

Did you know that at the end of 2016 and in early 2017 there were map changes to the qualified HUBZone areas throughout the U.S., including Iowa?

Iowa has a number of counties that have increased areas that are now HUBZone qualified!

Clark Boats Uses GSA Schedule to Buoy Government Sales

Kristy Carrier looked around one day and realized she was drowning.

CIRAS’ Second Annual Iowa Holiday Gift Guide

We make some really cool things in Iowa.

Most of them (like a robotic system from Acieta) aren’t very practical gifts. But when you produce as much as we do here in Iowa, there are tons of great gifts.

American Coating and Welding Growing Rapidly—With CIRAS by Its Side

CIRAS government contracting specialist Andy Alexander was eating breakfast in downtown Onawa one morning in 2014 when he suddenly came face-to-face with the aspirations of a Monona County sheriff’s deputy.

“He walked in and wanted to know if that was my government car out there,” Alexander recalls. “I thought he was going to give me a ticket.”

CIRAS Networking Helps Express Employment Make Good Matches

Connections created through CIRAS networking events and hands-on assistance have helped a Cedar Rapids-based recruitment company grow during the past year.

Express Employment Professionals is a full-service staffing agency specializing in the industrial, administrative, IT, and engineering fields. Michele Oswood, owner of the Cedar Rapids franchise, said her company’s client base has doubled since she purchased the business in February 2016.

GOVTALK — Meeting With Government Agencies

Many government contracting professionals operate at arm’s length so they can remain unbiased and avoid the appearance of impropriety. But building relationships is critical to securing government business, especially on smaller-dollar purchases that don’t require public bidding. Face-to-face meetings are the perfect way to establish a relationship with an agency.

Want help finding your “competi-mate”?

Sometimes, if the business is too big to handle, you just need to find a partner.

Iowa Vendor Conference: Helping Businesses Start/Step-up Their Government Contracting

C.J. Sparks came to the Iowa Events Center on Thursday get to the lay of the land.

“My company doesn’t currently do anything in government contracting, but we always talked about it,” said Sparks, head of a software firm named The Sparks Solution. “This seemed like a good way to get started.”

B Fabulous BBQ Uses Government Contracts to Grow Gracefully

For one Iowa restaurant and catering business, the recipe for success so far has included a side of government contracts.

B Fabulous BBQ in Slater has cooked up nearly $100,000 in business from public-sector clients over the last two years, said Deanna Faubus, who owns the company with her husband, Billy. “For a small joint like us, that’s a significant amount of sales.”

SAM Serves as Key Step in Selling to Government

The government must keep going, in good times and in bad.

Many small businesses that are involved in government contracting have learned that this stability means federal, state, and local government agencies can be a tremendous and steady source of income. And it’s a market that exists for more than just major-league defense contractors. Small business owners are sometimes astonished when they realize they are capable of supplying a product or service that the government needs.

ALERT: Early Bird Registration Rate for Iowa Vendor Conference ends June 30

CIRAS’ next Iowa Vendor Conference is scheduled for Thursday, August 10 in Des Moines. 

Wondering whether it’s worth your time? Don’t just take our word for it. Here are some of the reviews from business leaders who attended last year’s conference:  

CIRAS Assisting Effort to Improve Iowa’s Targeted Small Business Program

Iowa officials are working to streamline and improve a state preference program for small businesses to make it easier to understand and quicker for companies to access.

Iowa Vendor Conference Plants the Seeds for Government Contracting Success

Shawn Frey saved everything the speakers handed out at last August’s Iowa Vendor Conference, eventually creating his own training binder filled with various tips and shortcuts for navigating the byzantine world of government contracting.

It was valuable stuff.

Attending that conference, an annual event sponsored by CIRAS’ Procurement Technical Assistance Program, “definitely was a catalyst for me learning to talk to government entities about tool-kitting,” Frey said.

Nearly one year later, Frey, director of business development for Tool Keepers Foam and Etch, a tool kit manufacturing company in Fairfield, has grown more aggressive in pursuing government sales. Subcontract work that used to come in re-actively is now being proactively pursued. Tool Keepers has developed key relationships and made connections that they expect to lead to valuable opportunities in the future.

A Sample of CIRAS Knowledge

CIRAS’ mission is to improve Iowa industry through research-proven best practices. To do that, we have to stay up-to-date on what’s out there and what works.

Here’s a wrap-up of just some of the things we’ve learned over the past year:

Government Contracting Specialist Spotlight: Beth White

CIRAS government contracting specialists know a lot about Iowa businesses. Here are a few questions and answers to help you learn a little more about them:

Iowa Vendor Conference Answers Questions, Offers Guidance

Mark Baker eventually concluded that government contracting was worth a shot.

No, the CEO of Des Moines-based Endless Supplies Corporation acknowledged, it was probably not going to become his company’s primary business strategy. Becker still has difficulty reconciling the fast-moving, products-always-changing world of information technology with sometimes-lengthy government procurement processes. But after a full day at the Iowa Events Center last fall spent hopping between educational presentations and asking questions of the speakers, Becker concluded that Endless Supplies ought to at least get certified so his company can show that it’s ready and able to do business with the government.

Government Contracting Specalist Spotlight: Andy Alexander

CIRAS government contracting specialists know a lot about Iowa businesses. Here are a few questions and answers to help you learn a little more about them: 

ePATHUSA pursues Government Contracting on the Path to Growth

Hari Nallure views his relationship with the CIRAS Procurement Technical Assistance Program (PTAP) sort of like he’s found a trusted advisor.

CIRAS Service Highlight: Growth

You hear it a lot around Iowa:  

      “I want to double in size in the next 5 years.” 

     “I just need one new OEM customer.”     

Iowa Vendor Conference Answers Questions, Offers Guidance

Mark Baker eventually concluded that government contracting is worth a shot.

No, the CEO of Des Moines-based Endless Supplies Corporation acknowledged, it’s probably not going to be his company’s primary business strategy. Becker still has difficulty reconciling the fast-moving, products-always-changing world of information technology with sometimes-lengthy government procurement processes. But after a full day at the Iowa Events Center spent hopping between educational presentations and asking questions of the speakers, Becker concluded that Endless Supplies ought to at least get certified so his company can show that it’s ready and able to do business with the government.

CIRAS has Economic Impact of $424 million for 2015; $2 Billion over five years

AMES, Iowa  –  The numbers are in, and they continue to show a strong value received by Iowa businesses who have built a relationship with Iowa State University.

Third Annual Conference Showcases Opportunities to Grow Through Government Contracting

Want to better understand how to do business in the government sector? The third annual Iowa Vendor Conference on August 23 at Hy-Vee Hall in downtown Des Moines is a full-day event that can help you and leaders in your business tap into the wealth of opportunities that federal, state, and local government contracting offers. Through a variety of workshops, you can learn to identify new potential customers, find opportunities called Simplified Ac­quisitions, actually understand the various questions in registration, and network with key contracting personnel, buyers, and exhibitors. Key­note speaker Guy Timberlake, chief visionary officer and CEO of The American Small Business Coalition, will discuss “Getting Your Foot in the Door” dur­ing the conference and will provide a free half-day “Competitive Intelligence Bootcamp” on August 24.

Award-winning CIRAS Road Map Helps Companies Navigate Government Contracting

Want to get the most out of CIRAS’ government contracting expertise? A new training schedule launched in January provides companies a step-by-step guide for getting the maximum benefit from CIRAS offerings.

CIRAS Helps Small Business Land More than $329K in Government Contracts

From the beginning, when Jeanie Waters launched 3rd Degree Screening in Council Bluffs in 2012, she knew that its success would require both commercial and government contracts. Waters, whose company provides background checks, drug tests, and field investigation services for clients worldwide, turned to CIRAS for help with the government part.

“The overall value [of CIRAS] is in learning the process and having educated support throughout,” Waters said. “You keep building on what you know and you build off your CIRAS representative.”

PTAP TIPS: Tell Us What You Can Do

The specialists in CIRAS’ Procurement Technical Assistance Program (PTAP) exist to help Iowa businesses understand what it takes to sell to the government.

One of the key things necessary to succeed in to government contracting is a capability statement. A good one includes the following information:

With CIRAS’ Help, Air Control Seeks to Breathe New Life into Government Sales

By all accounts, it was a successful first date.

Mary Connell, president of Clinton-based Air Control/ACI Fab­ricators, attended an annual Midwest NDIA (National Defense Industrial Association) conference because CIRAS asked her to in its capacity as the company’s “matchmaker.” And she found a new business opportunity.

GOV TALK: How the Government Saves a Place for Small Businesses

Small businesses are expected to always have a place in government contracting.

United States policy, per the Small Business Act and other subsequent legislation, says the maximum practical op­portunity must be provided to all small business categories. The president annually establishes government-wide goals declaring the minimum percentage of prime contracts that should go to businesses in the following categories:

PTAP TIPS: New Options May Be on Horizon for Small-Business Mentoring

(ICYMI, here’s another in CIRAS’ series of “Did You Know?” informational guides authored by the experts with our Procurement Technical Assistance Program. Their purpose is to help guide businesses through the world of government contracting. Check the end of the story for contract information.)

Did you know that the U.S. Small Business Administration is working on a new program that will allow all types of small businesses to have a mentor protégé agreement (MPA) and potential joint ventures with other businesses, even large businesses?

So you want to sell to the government? Then, come see us April 7.

Have you ever wonder what it would be like to sell to the government? Wonder who to contact or how that process works?

If so, you may want to attend CIRAS’ 2nd annual Iowa Vendor Conference, which is coming up next week. It’ll be April 7 in Ankeny from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Ten Myths of Government Contracting – by Beth White

Government Contracting, or stated more simply “selling to the government” at any level; Federal, State and Local, is enough to make many business owners cringe at the thought.  “Too much red tape, good ole boy’s club” are some common thoughts, but all in all it is many times thought of as being a market that is just not worth the perceived headache. 

While selling to the government, just like any business endeavor, may not be for everyone, it is certainly a market to consider if you want to diversify your revenue stream.  To assist in the initial consideration of the market, we would like to take a stab at some of the myths surrounding working with the government. Some are promoting working with the government, some provide a more “realistic view” and some are taken straight from the government’s mouth…but all will provide an honest perspective that will help you make informed decisions about working with these customers.

Government Contracting Tip: Meet the U.S. Defense Commissary Agency


Did you know that there is a littler known agency within the Department of Defense that provides food and other household products for military families, with the major mission to improve their quality of life?

Government Contracting: It’s not just a bidding thing

(ED. NOTE: CIRAS’ government contracting specialists try to offer their clients weekly tips for boosting business. This latest is from contracting specialist Beth White.)

Did You Know that there are a lot of ways to do business with an agency other than just waiting for a bid opportunity?