The U.S. unemployment rate dropped to 5.9%, its lowest level in six years due to an unexpected add of 248,000 jobs in September, according to the Labor Department report released Friday morning.
Government contracting is the largest employment sector in the District and accounts for about one-third of all District jobs. On Sept. 18, Isom Global Strategies (IGS) worked with the District of Columbia Procurement Technical Assistance Center (DC-PTAC) to produce “Pursuing Government Contracts: Understanding PTAC Resources,” a full-day event geared toward providing small businesses in the District with resources to pursue government contracts.
More than 100 small business owners gathered at the R.I.S.E. Demonstration Center located on St. Elizabeth’s East Campus in Southeast Washington, D.C.’s Ward 8 community to engage in workshops, networking, panel discussions and one-on-one matchmaking sessions with government representatives. Guest speakers and representatives included Jacque McDonald, the director of contracts, procurement and grants from the Executive Office of the Mayor; Antonio Doss, the district director of the Washington Metropolitan Area District Office of the SBA; James Marshall, the contract specialists supervisor for construction of the District of Columbia Department of General Services; and Guy Timberlake, the chief executive officer for the American Small Business Coalition.
Numerous government agencies, large contractors and financial institutions, including Homeland Security, the District of Colombia Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs, Northrop Grumman, D.C. Water and City First Bank, joined the dialogue by providing insight, testimonials and exhibits on how to navigate and be successful in D.C. procurement.
According to the SBA’s recent Small Business State and Territory Profiles report, about half of the District’s private workforce was employed by small businesses in 2011.
“As a D.C. small business, we welcomed the opportunity to work with the District of Columbia Department of Small and Local Business Development (DSLBD) to create a program that focused on the challenges that we as small business owners face early on,” said Towan Isom, president and CEO of IGS. “This year we were blessed to have our hard work recognized by making the Inc. 5000 and being ranked number 13 for fastest-growing businesses in Washington, D.C. We hope to continue using our growth to contribute to D.C. and act as a resource for other local small businesses.”
Prior to the event, IGS worked with the DSLBD to produce and disseminate a market survey to local small businesses that helped identify their needs and their understanding of DC-PTAC services. Upon receiving the survey results, IGS and DSLBD used this data to create a program that would help DC-PTAC better service its clients by providing clear, step-by-step instructions on how to navigate D.C. procurement and providing attendees with the opportunity to meet with DC-PTAC, as well as federal and local government thought leaders that assist small businesses in market research, procurement, proposal writing, financing, training and other services.
Isom Global Strategies is based in downtown Washington, D.C. Founded in 1996 to pioneer innovative and excellent full-service marketing, IGS' core focus areas include program management, conference planning, strategic communications and management consulting. IGS has a proven track record of providing excellent customer service, stellar management strategies and cutting-edge campaigns for government and commercial clients.
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