Lehigh University
Small Business Development Center
Helping Businesses Start, Grow, and Prosper

Government Marketing Assistance Program

The Government Marketing Assistance Program (GMAP) is a government funded procurement information and assistance center administered by the SBDC and the Defense Contract Management Area Office. The GMAP helps provide local businesses information and technical assistance in locating the appropriate government buyers and potential contracts. This initiative is accomplished through various programs and services offered at the GMAP including:

  • Collecting and distributing information on product list procedures for obtaining prime contracts or subcontracts.
  • Preparing bids for bidder lists.
  • Assisting clients to be placed on the appropriate Bidder's Mailing Lists.
  • Assisting with bid bonding and financing.
  • Helping businesses identify key government buying officers.
  • Assisting in obtaining the codes and specifications necessary to contract with the government.
  • Providing counseling and technical assistance necessary to successfully market and compete for government contract.
  • Providing daily bid/solicitation announcements through the BidAlert program.
  • A special feature of the GMAP is BidAlert, a computer-driven system which matches government bid opportunities with qualified SBDC clients.

Resources To Help You Get Started

To become eligible for Federal Government marketing you need to have certain information about your business on hand so you can register as a Federal Government contractor. The government buys almost $500,000 in products and services every 20 seconds, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. It should not take much imagination to picture what a tiny fraction of this volume could mean for your small business.

PTAC Selling to the Government Newsletter

We provided these links with a brief explanation to connect you with both background and essential steps. At the Lehigh SBDC Procurement Technical Assistance Center (‘PTAC’), we can help you with the mechanics, process and art of winning government business. Contact us if you would like our assistance.

As a business, you can be a sole proprietor or a corporation. In our region, you should register with the State of Pennsylvania. Once you are registered, you should:

  1. Get your TIN (Taxpayer Identification Numbers) (EIN or SS#): From IRS records or
    http://www.irs.gov/businesses/small/article/id=97860,00.html
    TIN is an identification number used by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in the administration of tax laws.
  2. Get your DUNS# (Data Universal Numbering System) by applying for:
    www.dnb.com
    A DUNS# assigns a unique numeric identifier, referred to as a "DUNS number" for a single business entity. A DUNS# is required for government contracting.
  3. Find your NAICS (North American Industry Classification System) and PSC codes:
    http://www.naics.com/
    NAICS is used by business and government to classify business establishments according to type of economic activity. When you register as a government contractor, your NAICS code will be used by you and government contracting officers to connect you to opportunities.

To register as a Government Contractor, you need to go to:

  1. Register your business on the Central Contractor Registry, also known as ‘CCR’: www.ccr.gov
    A CCR registration requires a significant amount of business information including your Corporate Name, DUNS#, banking information, points of contact, etc. Once you successfully complete this application, you will receive your Commercial and Government Entity unique id, or ‘CAGE’ code. This is your Federal Government contracting identification id.
  2. After you complete ‘CCR’ you need to complete the governments Online Representations and Certifications ‘ORCA’ process:
    https://orca.bpn.gov
    ORCA is used to certify you Federal Government Central Contracting Registration information.

Note: In mid-2012, the Federal Government will consolidate these registration sites under one website calls the System for Award Management or ‘SAM’. This site can be found at: www.SAM.gov when it becomes active.

An important aspect of understanding exactly what products and services the government consumes is to conduct research on who buys what, where and how it is purchased. With over 2,400 Contracting Officers, you will need to focus on your best opportunities within your competitive capabilities. To do that, we have provided a number of interesting government contracting research websites:

To Define your Market and Conduct your market Research, go to:

  • https://www.acquisition.gov/index.asp
    This Federal Agency home page provides small Business contacts and procurement opportunities
  • www.usaspending.gov
    This site provides a history of federal procurements.
  • https://www.fpds.gov/fpdsng_cms/
    The Federal Data Procurement System (FPDS) is a single source for US government-wide procurement data. The GSA maintains this site and it is an excellent source of data and information on everything the government purchases over $3,000 from FY2004 and later.
  • www.gsa.gov
    The GSA assists with procurement work for other government agencies. As part of this effort, it maintains the large GSA Schedule, which other agencies can use to buy goods and services in smaller quantities. The GSA Schedule is often a great source of visibility and opportunity for small businesses. Contact our office for more details about how you can procure a contract on this site.
  • www.fbo.gov
    This site will link you to all current open Contract Solicitations and information on possible purchases for products and services in excess of $25,000. It is often referred to as ‘fed biz opps’. You can register here to find specific opportunities for your business using your NAICS code and other advance search tools. It is important to recognize that only about 1/3 of all federal contracting opportunities are shown on FBO! You will need a marketing plan to reach the buyers of the other 2/3 of the $400 billion purchased every year. Contact us for assistance with your marketing plan.
  • http://www.dla.mil/Pages/default.aspx
    the Defense Logistics Agency provides links to all procurement centers, all RFQ/RFP’s and link to specifications and standards specifically for all the branches of our military.
  • http://www.vetbiz.gov/library/toolkit.htm
    The Veterans Administration provides a tool kit that serves as a starting point for business owners to create their own marketing and contracting documents.

To find and connect to the right Federal buyers of your products and services, choose these sites:

  • www.sba.gov/content/procurement-center-representatives
    Connect with SBA Procurement Center Representatives (PCRs) who assist small businesses in obtaining federal contracts. PTA Centers are a local resource available at no or nominal cost that can provide assistance to business firms in marketing their products and services. The Lehigh SBDC is a PTAC.
  • http://www.dla.mil/smallbusiness/pages/ptap.aspx and
    http://www.osdbu.gov/members.html
    The Office of Small Disadvantaged Business Utilization is an informal organization of Federal small business program officials that comes together monthly to exchange and discuss information related to small business program initiatives and processes.

Beside the Federal Government, the State of Pennsylvania purchases over $2 million in products and services every day! Your company can sell its product and services to them. Investigate these sites:

Most Commonwealth purchases are handled by the PA Department of General Services or by purchasing agents in other departments. Those departments with branch sites may have a purchasing office at each site to help businesses keep track of contracting opportunities. You can market to these offices through the addresses and links below.

Send a letter Office of administration stating the goods/services your company provides to

Office of Strategic Services
Finance Bldg, 613 North Street
Room 310
Harrisburg, PA 17120-0400

www.oa.state.pa.us
717-787-6303

Send a letter to the department of agriculture stating the goods/services your company provides to

Bureau of Administrative Services
Procurement Division
206 Agriculture Bldg
2301 N Cameron St, Harrisburg, PA 17110

www.agriculture.state.pa.us
717-772-4221 or 787-5647

Send a letter to the department of Community & Economic Development stating the goods/services your company provides to

Purchasing & Contract Compliance Officer
Dept. of Community & Economic Development
Administration, Budget Office, 4th Floor
Commonwealth Keystone Bldg., 400 North St
Harrisburg, PA 15120-0225

717-720-1445
www.newpa.com

Send a letter or literature to the department of Labor & Industry stating the goods/services your company provides to

Labor & Industry
Bureau of Administrative Services
Procurement, Contracts & Property Management
Labor & Industry Bldg, Room 205,
651 Boas Street, Harrisburg, PA 17121-0750

or fax the information to 717-787-0688

www.dli.state.pa.us
717-783-0326

Send a letter to the department of Education stating the goods/services your company provides to

Department of Education
Bureau of Management Services
Procurement & Payables Section
333 Market Street, 15th Floor
Harrisburg, PA 17126-0333

www.pde.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/community/procurement/8681
717-787-8037 or 787-5174

Department of General Services

Register at www.pasupplierportal.state.pa.us

www.dgs.state.pa.us
717-787-5733

Department of State System of Higher Education (Individual Facilities)

The Pennsylvania System of Higher Education General Web site can be found at: www.passhe.edu

Send a letter to the department of Transportation stating the goods/services your company provides to

Department of Transportation
Finance & Travel Operations
Materials & Services Mgmt
Commonwealth Keystone Bldg, 5th Floor
400 North Street
Harrisburg, PA 17120-0211

www.dot.state.pa.us
717-705-6476

In Pennsylvania, you can find previously awarded contracts information at: www.patreasury.org

As you can see, you must perform a significant amount of research and work to be able to qualify, find and win Federal and State contracting opportunities. We can help you create a plan, register and find bid opportunities. We have a program that will automatically search 82 databases and send you opportunities based upon your NAICS codes and certain ‘keywords’.

We can also help you create and implement an effective marketing plan once you are registered. Contact us. Our services are free in exchange for your business completing bi-annual surveys. Take the first step, contact us and register for assistance at: www.lehigh.edu/sbdc

News You Can Use

Lehigh University SBDC Aids PA Company to Bring Jobs Home

When the owners of Kempton, PA-based Tree Armor contacted the Lehigh University SBDC for assistance in marketing their coiled protective tree wrap to government agencies, they opened the door to a broad range of services to assist their small business.

The SBDC's Government Marketing Director David Dunn learned of Tree Armor's quality and production issues with their overseas manufacturer, leading to staff assistance in value-engineering their product and bringing the manufacturing back to the U.S.

Read more about this growing company and the SBDC services' impact as reported in The Morning Call.]

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