New Hampshire businesses continue to drive the State’s strong recovery from the negative economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. But, it may surprise you, that during 2020 and amidst one of the most unpredictable economic and public health crises of our generation businesses across the Granite State generated $4 billion in activity with what may be a unsuspected partner: the U.S. Government. After all, there was and continues to be a need to provide goods and services of all types to and through the federal government to keep the United States up-and-running, even during a health crisis.
In fact, the U.S. Government is the largest purchaser of goods and services in the world, and hundreds of businesses in New Hampshire are contracted with it in a wide variety of capacities. From manufacturing highly technical equipment, to landscaping and snowplowing services at local government facilities, there is a surprisingly long list of projects, programs, and services that fill specific needs at the federal level, require contracts with local companies, and generate significant revenue that helps those local companies and in turn helps our State’s economy.
Why does any of this matter? October 12 is National APEX Day – a day designated to raise public awareness about APEX Accelerators. Formally known as the Procurement Technical Assistance Program (PTAP) but going under a new name now, APEX Accelerators exist to help build strong, sustainable, and resilient U.S. supply chains by assisting a wide range of businesses that pursue and perform under contracts with federal agencies. Such contract opportunities (and there are many) open new avenues and opportunities to businesses of all sizes and backgrounds.
The federal government buys many of the same goods and services as private industry. The major difference is the way in which those goods and services are procured. There are specific rules and regulations overseeing the process, but local businesses do not have to go it alone – there is a local APEX Accelerator here to help.
Once a company makes the decision to pursue government contracting, working with the NH APEX Accelerator can be seamless. The process begins with an assessment and simply requires that a business have a physical location in New Hampshire. Meaning, just having a home office could qualify for consideration for this program. Local businesses can get advice, direction, and confidential assistance without any cost, and they will get help navigating all the facets of government contracting. Experienced staff have worked with a range of companies, from multi-national corporations involved in aerospace and defense systems, to a catering company that provides meals for the NH National Guard. There is potential opportunity for everyone.
The NH APEX Accelerator also offers training for businesses just getting started in federal procurement, to those needing specialized information about federal labor laws, Women-Owned Small Business Certification (WOSB), Historically Underutilized Business Zones or “HUBZones,” and cybersecurity compliance. And there are specific opportunities for veteran-owned businesses and opportunities to subcontract with other companies that have already agreed to work with the federal government on certain projects.
“Matchmakers” can also bring together small businesses and the contractors who need them to fulfill federal contract requirements, as the NH APEX Accelerator partners with the US Small Business Administration (SBA) and the NH Small Business Development Center (SBDC) to host events each year to facilitate face-to-face meetings with small business specialists from government agencies and with small business liaison officers (SBLOs).
Nearly a quarter of all contract dollars spent by the U.S. Government are with small businesses nationwide. Opportunities abound for New Hampshire businesses, and they should connect with the local APEX Accelerator to see where they could benefit.
The NH APEX Accelerator operates as part of the New Hampshire Department of Business and Economic Affairs (BEA) and is an available asset for local companies to explore the multi-billion-dollar activity of federal contracting. For more information, visit https://www.nheconomy.com/apex