A warm Small Business event introduction leads to hot contracting success! When Jim DuPont, owner of RescUSA, first was introduced to a PTAC (Procurement Technical Assistance Center), he was attending the Midwest Small Business Government Contracting Symposium. Like every good small business owner, Jim was in attendance to discover new opportunities, make valuable business connections, and grow his overall knowledge. After a brief conversation with Donald Pellico from the Small Business Administration (SBA), Don knew right away that Jim needed to talk to his local PTAC. Since many of the Chicagoland area PTAC's were in attendance, it was not hard for Don to find someone to work with Jim. Jim began working with Amber Gardner and the IL PTAC at College of DuPage at the conference that day, and continues to today.
On their own, RescUSA had already worked on relationships with a few National Guard Bureaus. Contract transactions had been kept small and the company mostly found success in the micro-purchase ($3,500 or less) and SAP thresholds. Once Jim started asking about larger contracts, he was told he needed to be in SAM (the federal government's vendor registration system), but wasn't given much guidance on what to do -enter the need to seek out guidance from someone like the IL PTAC at COD.
Jim had figured a few things out for himself, but there were a few areas where he could use a little assistance. The IL PTAC at COD has walked him through various vendor registrations, gave him tips to help him stand out, and provided solicitation reviews to help him quickly work on submitting proposals for work he felt confident that RescUSA could tackle. After a few proposal submissions and lots of persistence and demonstration of RescUSA's amazing expertise, contract dollars started to come in more steadily. Not everything has gone perfectly, but Jim has the spirit of someone who refuses to give up; something that is a must with contracting and successfully running a small business in general.
Most recently, there was an opportunity in Tel Aviv, Israel to represent Illinois as a DOD (Department of Defense) contractor at the International Defense and HLS Exhibition. There was a rigorous application process and only a few spots available, which Jim applied for with the expert guidance of Zach Person from the IL ITC at COD. Though we would like to brag and say that RescUSA got in, unfortunately, the competition was too fierce and Jim was turned down. Always seeking out ways to improve his company, Jim took the rejection in stride and viewed it as a valuable learning opportunity. Who knows, perhaps this experience will lead to further contract success in the near future. We are certainly rooting for him!
Jim DuPont, President of RescUSA stated, "Everyone at the "Business Development Center" are extremely helpful with assisting the small business person navigate their way through the everyday hurdles that come with operating a small business. Amber Gardner, PTAC Coordinator and Zach Person, Program Manager, ITC, were most patient, as they coached me along the way. I intend to take advantage of more of the training opportunities available at the center."
Business Development Center
Main Line: (630) 942-2600
535 Duane Street, Office 233
Glen Ellyn IL 60137
Rita Haake, Center Manager
Phone: (630) 942-2184
Fax: (630) 942-2606
Monday to Friday: 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.