Learn how to grow your small business

FREEHOLD, NJ – If you are a small business owner and have ever wondered how to bid on federal contracts you should consider attending an upcoming free seminar in April.

The seminar is sponsored by Monmouth County Economic and Workforce Development, the Monmouth County Workforce Investment Board (WIB) and U.S. Small Business Administration. It is designed to teach Monmouth County’s small business owners how to bid on federal contracts.

The seminar, entitled “Preferential Programs for Small Businesses,” will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. on April 7 at the Monmouth County Agriculture Building, 3000 Kozloski Rd., Freehold.

The event provides an opportunity for Monmouth County’s small businesses to learn how to bid on millions of dollars in federal contracts “set aside” specifically for small businesses.

“As a direct response to feedback we have received through our outreach to the business community, we are providing our small businesses with the opportunity to grow through these ‘preferential’ programs with the federal government,” said Freeholder Thomas A. Arnone, who is liaison to the county’s Economic and Workforce Development office.

“Monmouth County’s robust small business community and its proximity to major federal employers makes this a timely and important event, especially for businesses impacted by the closing of Fort Monmouth,” Arnone added. “The event will provide an exclusive opportunity for small businesses to learn how to qualify for and bid on millions of dollars in federal contracts.”

Presentations will be made by representatives from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and the Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC).

Attendees will hear from experts about the “preferential” contracting programs with the federal government, including the 8(a) Business Development Program, the Women-Owned Small Business Program (new in 2011), the Veteran-Owned Small Business Program and the HUBZone Program.

“This opportunity will not only assist in retaining businesses and jobs in Monmouth County, but will open many small businesses to new opportunities to grow by qualifying for millions of dollars in federal contracts that are specifically set aside for small businesses and, unfortunately, often go unspent,” said Amy Fitzgerald, director of the county’s Economic and Workforce Development office.

Although the event is relevant to all small businesses, the information presented may be most valuable to companies that have previously sought or are newly seeking to do business with the federal government. Service providers in the fields of technology, homeland security, environmental services, construction and other providers are welcome.

“We stand committed to our small business community, especially those directly affected by the fort closure, and want them to know that Monmouth County is working aggressively to provide new and unique opportunities for business development and job growth,” Arnone said. “We strongly encourage all small businesses to attend and take advantage of this great opportunity to grow and strengthen their business in Monmouth County.”

The event is free but registration is required due to high demand. To register online go to visitmonmouth.com/econdev. Further questions should be directed to Monmouth County Division of Economic and Workforce Development at 732-431-7470.