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JWBC and English Solutions to host federal contracting forum

The Jacksonville Women’s Business Center (JWBC) and English Solutions Inc. are co-hosting a Federal Contracting Forum on Wednesday, Aug. 24, to share federal contracting opportunities available to all business owners, the process and strategy to obtain contracts, and the Small Business Administration’s Women’s Procurement Program, also known as the 8(m) contracting program.

The forum will include expert and nationally-recognized speakers. It is designed to assist local businesses with securing more federal contracts and encourage further business and job growth in Northeast Florida.

“This is a great opportunity for men and women business owners to learn how to successfully obtain government contracts,” said Barbara English, president of English Solutions Inc., a Jacksonville business that consults with and provides effective marketing strategies to small businesses to optimize their ability to win contracts with federal agencies. “We want to see more contracts awarded to businesses in our community, which creates jobs and economic prosperity for the region.”

Leila Hollis of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers who was appointed Chief of the Small Business Office in July 2004 will share the contracting opportunities available to small businesses in fiscal year 2012.

The featured speaker, Denise Farris, is a Kansas City attorney, Women Impacting Public Policy (WIPP) Partner and one of the top procurement experts in the country. Farris will discuss WIPP’s “Give Me 5,” a national program designed to educate women business owners on how to apply for and secure federal procurement contracts. This new federal program sets an annual 5 percent federal procurement goal and establishes restricted competition opportunities for women-owned businesses in 83 separate NAISC (North American Industry Classification System) codes.

“Our goal is to make businesses aware of these opportunities, so they can start their marketing efforts October 1 when fiscal year 2012 begins,” said Pat Blanchard, director of the Jacksonville Women’s Business Center. “There are enormous possibilities, and business owners should not let these opportunities pass them by.”

The forum is scheduled to run from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Jacksonville Main Library at 303 N. Laura St. in downtown Jacksonville. The cost to attend is $15 for Jacksonville Regional Chamber of Commerce members and $25 for non-members. Pre-registration and payment prior to the event is required to attend. To register, call 904-366-6623 or visit www.JaxWBC.com.

JWBC’s ATHENAPowerLink celebration, which is free and open to the public, will take place immediately following the forum.


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