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Small business office helps community, spurs growth

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- With the country in a state of recession, one Vandenberg agency is reaching out to the community and helping employ small businesses.

"The Vandenberg small business office is set up to put more emphasis on the small business program by meeting with businesses throughout the local community as well as the state of California," said James Mastin, the Vandenberg small business manager. "It gives me the ability to guide businesses through the program and help them attain government contracts."

The program provides small business owners the opportunity to learn if they are able to qualify for any of the small business categories that are present at Vandenberg. If there is a need for a business's services or commodities, the small business office then works directly with the 30th Contracting Squadron to try and help land the client a contract. If no current contracts are available, a mentoring program is set up with a company that already has the contract.

The program is really all about people helping people. If the small business office cannot help a company attain a contract, they will at least be set up with another company that may be able to steer them in the right direction, said Mr. Mastin.

In conjunction with meeting with Mr. Mastin, small businesses are able to bring in literature and catalogs to highlight their company.

"Sometime the visual aspects of a catalog can help a business reach out to potential clients, Mr. Mastin said. "I am always willing to display information about a company in order to help get word of their business out."

The small business office reaches out to the local agencies as well as agencies from around the country. Goals are set each year to help as many small businesses as possible.

"The information about the program is out there available to everyone," said Mr. Mastin. "Any company can submit a proposal to the contracting office; my job is to make sure they have their ducks in a row and they are a part of the small business program. It's vital to make sure that their proposal is good so that they have a chance of winning a contract."

Vandenberg's reputation is positively affected due to the small business program's community involvement.

"The program builds a great rapport with the community, which is important," said Mr. Mastin. "By working so closely with our local community, it shows that we want to assist and help guide them down the right path and make their business grow. It really benefits everyone involved."

For more information on the small business program, call Mr. James Mastin at 605-7265 to make an appointment.