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$800K for Ill. tech help centers now available from government contracts

(WCAX)
Published: Jun. 5, 2020 at 6:16 PM CDT
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The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity today announced a new grant opportunity for the renewal or establishment of new Illinois Procurement Technical Assistance Centers on Friday afternoon.

A new statewide network has been established to focus on matching small business with governmental entities seeking goods and services that the businesses offer, according to the DCEO.

Through a Notice of Funding Opportunity released Friday, the state will make up to $816,000 available in federal and state funds for new or existing community-based PTAC's to offer continued support in helping small businesses become certified so they can identify and obtain contracts with local government and their contractors.

"The Illinois PTAC's are the portal for small businesses looking to enter the world of government contracting. These centers provide one-on-one counseling, technical information, market research and training to existing businesses interested in selling their goods and services to local, state, and/or federal government agencies. The Illinois PTAC collaborates with Department of Defense and other Federal, State, and local agencies working cooperatively with them to accomplish the mission of this program," according to the DCEO.

Eligible applicants will include qualified Illinois universities, colleges, chambers of commerce and other non-profit business development related organizations that are interested in hosting and operating an Illinois PTAC. All eligible organizations interested in becoming an Illinois PTAC are invited to submit an application to the NOFO, found HERE.

For interested applicants, an optional technical assistance informational meeting will take place on Wednesday, June 17 at 10 a.m. You can register by clicking the following link:

The meeting number, otherwise known as an access code, is: 285 495 267; the meeting password is: anHXKgFQ553; for call-in: 1-312-535-8110.

The DCEO claims PTAC's play a role in helping small businesses apply for government contracts. Illinois businesses won nearly 800 government contracts — worth over $1.1 billion in 2019, with the help of the Illinois PTAC program, while creating 489 and saving 693 jobs, according to the DCEO.

The matching grant will allow current and proposed new centers to provide technical assistance through the employment of advisors and may cover costs associated with salary, fringe benefits, facility and indirect costs associated with the PTAC.

The Illinois PTAC program has served as a statewide resource for businesses to obtain procurement technical assistance services for the over 35 years. There are currently cooperative agreements with seven host organizations that serve the entire state. These local centers provide procurement technical assistance at nine physical locations.

To help more businesses owned by minorities and women become certified for government work, PTAC's provide one-on-one guidance and training on the local, state, and federal minority and women business certification programs, according to the DCEO.

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