FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 21, 2011
CONTACT: Terri Bennett
JOPLIN, MO (SNS) - Terri Bennett, Director of MSSU Heartland Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC), headquartered at Missouri Southern State University, testified before the United States Senate Committee on Small Business & Entrepreneurship on Sept. 15.
The title of the hearing was “Disaster Recovery: Evaluating the Role of America’s Small Business in Rebuilding Their Communities.” She was asked to testify regarding the government contracting assistance the PTAC gave to local small businesses and the federal government after the Joplin tornado.
Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu is the Chair of the Committee and Senator Olympia Snowe from Maine is Ranking Member.
Bennett, as a past president of the PTAC’s national association, the Association of Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (APTAC), also testified on behalf of other PTACs throughout the country regarding their assistance to small businesses after a disaster.
Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill, although not a member of the Committee, was present during the hearing. Senator McCaskill praised the PTAC at the hearing for helping local small businesses obtain federal government contracts.
Sen. McCaskill discussed the PTAC’s efforts to proactively find appropriate federal government contracting personnel to help local businesses immediately after the disaster, rather than wait for the federal government to seek out the PTAC, which it is not required to do.
According the Stafford Act, the federal government should contract with local small businesses following a disaster, whenever feasible and practicable.
Sen. McCaskill said the PTAC reached out to the federal government contracting personnel because the federal government would contract with businesses outside of the community if they could not locate small businesses within Jasper County and Newton County with the necessary capabilities to perform the contracts.
The PTAC assisted the small businesses by providing valuable information and assistance, such as expediting necessary federal government registrations, making sure businesses knew when solicitations were released, explaining the scope of work in solicitations, and other details. Because of the PTAC’s diligence, local small businesses have given the PTAC credit for assisting them in obtaining almost $52,000,000 in contract awards.
Also testifying was Sid Davis, President of Big John’s Heavy Equipment of Diamond, Mo.