06/03/04 — Small Business Vendor Fair to explain dealing with military

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Small Business Vendor Fair to explain dealing with military

By Sam Atkins
Published in News on June 3, 2004 1:57 PM

Those who are unsure of how to do business with Seymour Johnson Air Force Base will soon have the opportunity to learn how.

Wayne Community College is holding a Small Business Vendor Fair open to all businesses with products that could be purchased by the base. In 2003, Seymour Johnson Air Force Base had $57.1 million eligible for small businesses and only $33.8 million were awarded.

Lalie Cobb-Kornegay, associate director of the college's small business center, said the goal is to get people who have purchasing power on base to meet with companies that produce what they need. She is expecting 300 people from Seymour Johnson and at least 40 company booths. Any company wishing to have a booth must register by today by calling 735-5151, extension 245.

She said that when dealing with the military, companies have to understand their rules and regulations and how to fill out the paperwork. Business people will have the opportunity to meet with Seymour Johnson buyers, discuss products and services one-on-one, find out how to win bids in Wayne County and gain knowledge of how to sell to both Seymour Johnson and Pope Air Force bases.

There will be representatives from the Small Business Administration who will provide information on the basics of how government buys and about federal contracting programs including HubZones, Small Business Set-Asides and Federal Mentor-Protege Programs.

A new networking tool, called the Virtual Incubator Platform for eastern North Carolina, will also be on display that matches up government needs with small business capabilities. It was previously called TeamNC and was developed by the N.C. Global TransPark Authority to help businesses in the region capture contracts with the state's military bases.

It can assist small businesses with federal, state and commercial contracts and help them locate and use the resources of the state's military bases. It also provides free access to resources like business manuals; commercial and government business opportunities and partners; allows for job postings and displays information about companies; has a resume database; has a bulletin board to post event announcements; and is available for advertising by sponsoring the link.

The vendor fair has been in the planning stages for a few months and they hope to make it at least an annual event. It will be held on Tuesday, June 15, from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Wayne Community College. Registration begins at 7:30 a.m. The college is at 3000 Wayne Memorial Drive in Goldsboro. The event is co-sponsored by Seymour Johnson, the college's small business center and the Wayne County Chamber of Commerce.

For more information, seminar registration and booth reservations, visit www.eucsya.com/events, contact 336-549-4895, or call the small business center at 735-5151, extension 245.