There are a number of resources available to assist small businesses who wish to do business as a vendor, supplier or contractor to the U.S. Government.
The Small Business Administration (SBA) had a PRO-Net program, which is an Internet-based database of information search engine on more than 205,000 small businesses, which government procurement officers could access when looking for suppliers. PRO-Net has now been merged with the Dept. of Defense Central Contractor Registration (CCR), which provides companies desiring to sell to the US Government a central point to register.
Registration can be done through the combined website www.ccr.gov.
Every vendor who wants to sell to the US Government must have a Dun & Bradstreet D-U-N-S number, which can be obtained on the website www.dnb.com.
The SBA has a secondary website, www.business.gov, which provides a single source of information concerning 40 different federal departments and agencies,that assist or regulate small businesses.
The website www.firstgov.gov serves as a gateway portal linking and providing access to the websites for every government agency.
Most government contractors are required to post a surety bond when a government contract is awarded. For contractors otherwise unable to obtain the necessary surety bond, the SBA provides a Surety Bond Guaranty (SBG) program. Information about the SBG program, and numerous other SBA programs available to assist small businesses is available on the SBA website, www.sba.gov.
In Pennsylvania, the Bureau of Purchases (BOP) of the Department of General Services (DGS) is responsible for purchasing or contracting for equipment and supplies for the Commonwealth. The BOP has a Vendor Information and Support Division to assist vendors in doing business with the Commonwealth. For more information visit www.dgs.state.pa.us.