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Government contract fair in Blackfoot could have potential impacts on Idaho’s economy

BLACKFOOT, Idaho (KIFI) - The Idaho Procurement Technical Assistance Center hosted its annual government job fair on Thursday, near Blackfoot.

They met with dozens of contractors and small businesses to discuss contracts, construction projects and more.

“We've got all kinds of organized issues that are here," Idaho Small Business Development Center regional director David Noack said. "And it's an opportunity for individuals to connect with these agencies and find out opportunities and pathways forward. And there are so many services that these agencies need.”

The fair gave small businesses the opportunity to network and present themselves to larger federal organizations.

Representatives for Teton Smart Security came to present their services to potential federal clients.

“We are still a small business, which is awesome go small businesses, right?" security consultant Christine Garner said. "And this could be a really great big deal for us. So a really great growth opportunity.”

PTAC was established in 1986 to give states greater access to growth and government contracts.

With the help of the organization, businesses in Idaho can take on large contracts once limited to other states.

For example, representatives of the US Army Corp of Engineers networked with contractors for construction work near Spokane.

“We're talking about construction projects," the Deputy of Office for Small Business Program James Lynn said. "A small project could be $100,000 and going on up to, you know, one to five, ten, you know, $10 million and beyond.”

Organizers say Idaho is the fastest-growing state in the nation population-wise, but industries and small businesses have a limited number of open positions.

They believe access to federal contracts could create more in-state jobs and better wages.

“Our state is getting noticeable nationally and people are moving into our city," PTAC Business Consultant Bamidele Omotowa said. "If we get more funding by reason of contract, we enhance our own living conditions as native Idahoans."

Companies in Idaho lost out on $2 Billion worth of government contracts last year, organizations like PTAC hope to reverse that trend.

Article Topic Follows: Growing East Idaho

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Seth Ratliff

Seth is a reporter for Local News 8.


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