The U.S. Small Business Administration and the Puerto Rico Professional College of Engineers and Land Surveyors (CIAPR by its Spanish acronym) will conduct on May 10 their 11th Business Matchmaking Event, officially kicking-off Small Business Week on the island.
The Matchmaking Event’s main objective is to connect small business owners with federal procurement officials looking for suppliers to meet the US government’s contracting goals. Entrepreneurs will have the opportunity to directly market their firms’ products and services through individual face-to-face appointments with purchasing officers, helping increase their possibilities of growth and job creation.
“The federal government is the world’s largest buyer of products and services,” said SBA Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands District Director Yvette T. Collazo. “When contracting officers in Puerto Rico come together to meet with potential suppliers for their respective agencies, they are reaffirming their commitment with our island’s economic development and that of our small business community.”
“Many of our members are small business owners or consultants, which makes this joint initiative an excellent occasion for them to expand their business opportunities,” said Ralph A. Kreil Rivera, CIAPR president.
“Similarly, the U.S. government will have direct access to a number of suppliers, led by certified professionals, many of them competitive with those in other jurisdictions. This initiative reaffirms our commitment with our membership’s growth and development,” he said.
Participating at the Matchmaking Event will be such entities as the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the General Services Administration, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development Office, the U.S. Department of Justice, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the U.S. Postal Service, Puerto Rico National Cemetery, and the Drug Enforcement Administration, among others.
SBA resource partners like the Puerto Rico Small Business & Technology Development Center and the Women’s Business Institute, as well as local and state resources, will also be available to provide orientation.
Educational sessions will also take place, covering such topics as the 8(a) Business Development and Historically Underutilized Business (HUB) Zone programs, Mentor/Protégé program, and GSA Schedule, among others.
The 11th Business Matchmaking will be held at CIAPR facilities, in Hato Rey, starting at 8 a.m. The event is open to the public, but seating is limited.