Tester's Small Business Opportunity Workshop now online

Senator launches resources website, video for Montana contractors

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – Senator Jon Tester today launched a new website to help Montana contractors and businesses interested in competing for projects funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

Tester hosted a Small Business Opportunity Workshop for Montana businesses in Great Falls last Saturday.

Tester invited representatives from the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA), U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Air Force and the U.S. Forest Service to explain how Montanans can find work on Recovery Act projects.

An hour-long video of Tester’s workshop, including the agencies’ presentations and highlights of questions and answers with participants, is now available online at:

Saturday’s workshop drew a standing room-only crowd at the Great Falls Civic Center.  Following the presentations, Montanans had opportunities to speak with federal agencies one-on-one.

“Sen. Tester’s workshop provided contractors with timely, valuable information on contracting with federal agencies,” said Cary Hegreberg, executive director of the Montana Contractors’ Association.  “We especially appreciate his interest and assistance in opening more opportunities for Montana companies to compete for upcoming construction projects.  While we are working with Sen. Tester to create a better system that allows Montana’s general contractors to compete for federal projects, subcontractors will have a lot of opportunity to pick up work on these federal construction projects.”

Tester’s new website also features downloadable presentations from GSA, CBP and the Army Corps of Engineers.  And it includes contact information for statewide agencies that can help Montanans compete for contracts.

“Montana businesses now have access to good resources thanks to Jon’s workshop and this new website,” said Webb Brown, President of the Montana Chamber of Commerce.  “There’s a lot of opportunities out there thanks to the Recovery Act.   Now I encourage businesses and contractors to follow through, be prepared and do their homework so they can compete, win and go to work.”

The Recovery Act is investing more than $1 billion in Montana infrastructure projects such as roads, water systems, and ports of entry.

During Saturday’s hearing, the CBP announced that Montana firms have an opportunity to compete for a prime contract for work on the Port of Del Bonita.  Prime contractors in charge of rebuilding or renovating four other ports of entry along Montana’s northern border are encouraged to use Montana businesses for up to 70 percent of the subcontracting work.

Senator Tester's efforts to include more local small businesses in Recovery Act projects prompted the GSA and CBP last week to change their contracting practices to put an emphasis on hiring local subcontractors.