State PTAC office to open in Springs this fall

Colorado’s  Procurement Technical Assistance Center , which will be based in Colorado Springs, is scheduled to open this fall.

Until Colorado received the PTAC approval, the closest procurement help center was in Wyoming. The Springs office is scheduled to open sometime during September or October.

Paid for by a combination of state, local and federal dollars, the center’s goal is to connect small business with state, local and federal government, helping them cut through red tape to gain government contracts.

PTACs can help small businesses in a number of ways: determining suitability for contracting, securing the necessary registrations, obtain certification, researching history of certain procurements, networking and identifying bid opportunities.

“The return on investment for these things is incredible,” said Greater Colorado Springs Chamber of Commerce CEO David Csintyan. “Once they mature, the ROI is 350 to one.”

There will be five people in the Springs office. A satellite office will be located in Glenwood Springs.

“There are about 92 of these across the country,” Csintyan said. “We’re hoping this one will share office space with the chamber, because it makes sense – we’re all about business.”

The PTAC director will be responsible for finding the money to keep the center operating. A budget of  $930,000 from a combination of sources will sustain it for the first year.

“He’s going to have to do some fundraising,” Csintyan said. “It’s a 501(c)3, but he’ll have to keep the grants coming from state and federal government. Businesses who benefit will be asked to donate as well.”

Ric Denton is doing the heavy lifting to get the PTAC up and running, serving as interim general manager until a manager is found. He said Colorado is working hard to fill the obligations of the contract.

“We’re late to the party,” he said. “And we’ve been working on getting this for the past two and a half years. But now that we’ve gotten the contract, we have to perform. That’s where hiring a good staff comes in.”

The future manager of the PTAC must have extensive experience with government contracts, as well as fund-raising experience, he said.