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Skelton says procurement conference helps small businesses and military
Skelton says procurement conference helps small businesses and military

Congressman Ike Skelton
WASHINGTON, D.C. (May 2, 2010) — Missouri’s Fourth Congressional District works hard to keep America’s military strong and well supported. In addition to the two prominent military installations of Fort Leonard Wood and Whiteman Air Force Base, many Missouri businesses supply our fighting men and women with the supplies and services they need to get the job done. This is a win-win partnership for both the local economy and the military; in fact, defense contracts brought over $12 billion and 147,000 jobs to the Missouri economy in 2008.

However, it can be hard for small businesses, especially those from small towns and rural communities, to navigate the complex world of contracting with federal departments and agencies like the Department of Defense. When I served as chairman of the House Small Business Procurement Subcommittee, I often heard from business owners who wanted to expand their business through government contracting but did not know where to start.

That is why I have held, in partnership with the Missouri Small Business Development Centers and the Missouri Procurement Technical Assistance Centers, an annual procurement conference in Missouri for over 20 years. Each year, this conference connects Department of Defense officials, representatives from other government agencies, and prime contractors with business owners who live throughout rural Missouri.

This year, the Secretary of the Army, the Honorable John McHugh, and a Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy, Rear Admiral David Baucom, are scheduled to speak at the conference. During breakout sessions, topical discussions will be held that focus on specific parts of the federal government’s purchasing process. This year’s conference will take place on Friday, June 4, at State Fair Community College in Sedalia. If you are interested in attending the conference, please go to my website, whose address is at the bottom of this column, and open the “Procurement Conference” page at the bottom of my homepage to see a brochure. Also, feel free to call my Blue Springs office at (816) 228-4242.

Small businesses are the backbone of the U.S. economy, creating millions of jobs throughout America. This is especially true in Missouri’s Fourth Congressional District, where small business jobs dominate the economic landscape. That is why I have worked through the years to strengthen small businesses and to open their doors to federal government contracting opportunities. Through forums like the Procurement Conference and my other duties in Congress, I will continue working to strengthen the Fourth District economy while it recovers from the recent recession.

Congressman Ike Skelton (D-Mo.) serves as chairman of the House Armed Services Committee. Congressman Skelton’s website is at www.house.gov/skelton.

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