Special to the Item
The Picayune Item
HANCOCK COUNTY — More than 20 business owners within Hancock County attended a workshop hosted by the Hancock Chamber of Commerce to gather tips on how to secure contracts at John C. Stennis Space Center.
Speakers included Stennis Space Center Small Business Specialist Michelle Stracener and Mississippi Enterprise for Technology Project Consultant Laurie Jugan.
Some resources business owners could use to bring their business into the federal city included searching the South Mississippi Contract Procurement Center. The site will enable business owners to find opportunities that suit them. Another way to make the process easier is to become certified as a small business with the Small Business Administration, Jugan said.
Businesses working in Stennis will need to become accustomed with Federal Acquisition Regulations. To make that process smoother Jugan suggested purchasing a copy of a “Federal Contracting Made Easy” by Scott Stanberry. Business owners should also become accustomed to the government’s cost accounting standards.
Securing a contract with Stennis can take time, so business owners should keep realistic expectations, and start the process early, Jugan said. Starting early ensures the necessary steps have been finished before the contract announced. In the meantime networking can help, such as signing up for one of MSET’s Lunch and Learn, Showcase or Meet and Greet events. Signing up for the MSET email list will keep business owners abreast to those and other opportunities.
Opportunities that exist at Stennis include lab, technical, protection and administration and clerical services. Some contracts set to expire soon include operations and administration and clerical, Stracener said.
Interested business owners can get in on outreach opportunities by registering with MSET by going to their website, at www.mset.org. They can also sign up for small business counseling sessions by emailing Deborah Case at email@example.com.
Another tool involves registering with the NASA vendor database. It will not only register that business with Stennis but all space centers in the nation.
Hancock Chamber Executive Director Tish Williams informed business owners that becoming a member of Partners for Stennis is a great way to network with companies that work in Stennis. It will ensure their business name is heard within the federal city and could help with securing work inside Stennis. Any business interested in becoming a member of Partners for Stennis can attend a meeting, held the second of August, October and December. Contact the Chamber to register for a meeting at 228-467-9048.
After the workshop Hancock Chamber Executive Director Tish Williams spoke to the business owners about the importance of becoming a Chamber member.
“The best investment you can make in your business is to be a member of the Chamber,” Williams said.
Businesses that attended Wednesday’s workshop represented businesses that offer insulation installation, CPA services, electric supply, pest control, tractor sales, drywall, painting, forensic science, design, janitorial services, realty, office supply, screen printing, security, chiropractic care, energy saving consulting, records management, as well as concrete and steel construction.