Government Policy Notes

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Small Business Division Launches New Breakfast Series

Many members of NDIA these days are taking advantage of a new outreach program sponsored by the associations Small Business Division.

For the past several years, the division has held Small Business Opportunity Breakfasts, where representatives from prime contractors and government agencies can discuss their projects with interested members. In 2005, however, the division's chair and vice chair - Tyrone Taylor, of the West Virginia High Technology Foundation and Ronald Perlman, of Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney - realized that their organization had other resources it could offer.

The divisions membership, they recognized, has accumulated a wealth of knowledge about small business. Why not provide a forum for division members to share that information with each other?

That idea has grown into a new schedule of programs - the Business Solution Breakfast Series - which strives to educate leaders of small companies on a variety of business related topics.

To date, the topics have included preparing for the purchase or sale of a government contracting business, maximizing banking relationships, establishing employee stock ownership plans, the ins and cuts of contract claims and protests, and developing customer relationships in die government-contracting world.

These breakfasts - held several times a year - have featured attorneys from the private and public sectors, accountants, bankers, consultants and small businesses with real-world experience in the subjects being discussed.

The program has given NDIA members to access renowned business experts in the field of government contracting for a fraction of the normal cost. Currendy, these breakfasts cost $25 per person and last about two hours, networking time included.

Typically, the breakfasts - both the Business Opportunity Series and the Business Solution Series - take place at NDIA headquarters in Arlington, Va. The next Business Solution event is scheduled for 7:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 8. Another is planned for the same time on Wednesday, Jan. 24.

The division also is working to expand the program beyond the national capital area. A breakfast is scheduled for Thursday, Dec. 7 at the National Training and Simulation Association's Interservice/Industry Training, Simulation and Education Conference in Orlando, Fla. In addition, the organization plans in coming months to train interested NDIA chapters around the country to conduct similar events in their regions.

How Small Business Can Speed Technology Development

Small Businesses are recognized frequendy for their important role in economic growth. In April, for example, President Bush noted that "[small businesses] have played a vital role in helping our economy add more than 5.1 million new jobs since August 2003 and have helped reduce America's unemployment rate to 4.7 percent."

In addition, small businesses help U.S. military services by introducing them to innovative new technologies, often at lower costs than those charged by larger corporations. The services encourage such efforts through Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) programs and similar vehicles, which seek to stimulate technological innovation and increase competition, productivity and economic growth. …