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Small business outreach to provide options for VAFB personnel

The Santa Maria Valley Chamber of Commerce will host a Small Business Outreach Event and Government Purchase Card Vendor Faire, April 15, Santa Maria, Calif. The half-day event provides an opportunity for companies to connect with base personnel and small business experts, and also gives base employees a chance to speak with more than 50 businesses about their services and products. (U.S. Air Force graphic by Jan Kays/Released)

The Santa Maria Valley Chamber of Commerce will host a Small Business Outreach Event and Government Purchase Card Vendor Faire, April 15, Santa Maria, Calif. The half-day event provides an opportunity for companies to connect with base personnel and small business experts, and also gives base employees a chance to speak with more than 50 businesses about their services and products. (U.S. Air Force graphic by Jan Kays/Released)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- The Santa Maria Valley Chamber of Commerce will host a Small Business Outreach Event and Government Purchase Card Vendor Faire, April 15, in Santa Maria.

The half-day event provides an opportunity for companies to connect with base personnel and small business experts, and also gives base employees a chance to speak with more than 50 businesses about their services and products.

"The Small Business Outreach is an annual event held by the 30th Space Wing Small Business Office and 30th Contracting Squadron where we meet with local small businesses and vendors," said Jeffrey Powell, 30th CONS director of business operations. "The purpose of the event is to help connect with local small businesses and provide information on how to do business with the government and receive local contracts."

In its fourth year of existence, the event annually sponsored by the Santa Maria Valley Chamber of Commerce hopes to continue to exceed their projected attendance.

"This is the fourth year the Santa Maria Chamber has hosted the event," said Tina Mercer-Mirich, 30th SW SBO director. "Last year, more than 400 people came from companies throughout California and Nevada. This year we hope to exceed that number."

During the event, attendees will be shown how to become eligible for these business opportunities through numerous avenues.

"Attendees will learn how to sign up and register at www.sam.gov in order to be eligible to receive contracts and find out about subcontracting opportunities," said Powell. "Vendors will also learn how the government advertises commodity and service requirements on USAJOBS and General Services Administration, including government purchase card procedures."

Outreach events like this are pivotal to the long-term growth of small businesses at Vandenberg and local communities.

"This annual event is key to helping our local small businesses thrive and grow," said Powell. "In the 2014 fiscal year, of the $163 million spent at VAFB, 78 percent of all purchases were awarded to small businesses. If we can award contracts to local small businesses, it will be a win-win for both the local vendor base and the community."

Another key component is maximum participation for the event, which will spark an even bigger interest in the future.

"Please show the local business community your support and come spend some time at this event to meet the participating vendors and see what they have to offer," said Mirich. "The more support and interest we can provide, the better we can make future events!"

For more information about the Small Business Outreach Event and Government Purchase Card Vendor Faire, please contact Tina Mercer-Mirich at 805-605-7265.