Wisconsin Department of Commerce Newsletter
August 2005
Business Matchmaking - A Partnership between the Small Business Administration and HP

This fall, small businesses in northeast Wisconsin will have a unique opportunity that is normally relegated to distinct geographical areas such as the Washington DC Beltway, or a city where a major corporation is located. The Small Business Administration (SBA) is co-sponsoring a regional Business Matchmaking event in Milwaukee on September 14, 2005. Business Matchmaking combines education and training with face-to-face meetings between small business owners and managers with procurement representatives of large companies and federal, state and local agencies.

To participate in the Matchmaking event, a business needs to spend time ensuring it is adequately prepared. It must be registered with the Central Contractor Registration (CCR), the federal government's database. In addition, many companies succeed in the Matchmaking program because they are certified as an 8(a), Minority, Disabled Veteran and/or HUB Zone company. Small businesses with two or more years' experience and ten or more employees are most likely to be successful at securing contracts through the Business Matchmaking event.

There is no charge for attending the Business Matchmaking event. Registration Pass Codes are available on a first come, first serve basis from the host SBA district office and its resource partners. For more information about Business Matchmaking, go to www.businessmatchmaking.com. In addition to the information on that website there are other informational websites linked from the Business Matchmaking site. Please register in the CCR database if you haven't already done so. Contact the SBA or the FVTC/UWO Venture Center (920-735-2594) for more information about Business Matchmaking.

Here are some comments from small business owners and representatives who have attended past Business Matchmaking events:

  • "John Sturtevant's advice to a small business considering participation in an upcoming Business Matchmaking event is simple: "Don't hesitate. Just do it. It's a fantastic experience." He cites the efficiency and smoothness of the event as "impressive, wonderfully organized and well run. "The types of buyers there were the kind it's hard for a small business to get exposure to. It was wonderful to meet people and have their individual attention."

    With a project gained on the spot and additional potential business resulting from follow-up contacts, Sturtevant is definitely glad he persisted in learning more about Business Matchmaking. "It seemed like a great idea when I first heard of it. I just didn't know how great it was until I participated and experienced it first hand," he said.
  • Bonne Lenoil said, "The event was so well-organized. I was able to secure seven appointments with agencies and companies specifically looking for linens. The buyers were also extremely helpful and referred us to other companies that could use our services even if they couldn't."
  • "Marcus Mosley said, "If they attend, they will get business. Business Matchmaking is a great experience, but you need to be prepared to go the extra mile. Follow up with due diligence. You have to do the work in order to get the work."
  • "I wasn't really interested in making appointments at first, because I didn't feel the program would attract buyers for the kinds of products we sell," Luis Bautista said. "I planned to go to hear the speakers-who turned out to be outstanding, by the way."

For more info about Matchmaking, contact the SBA or call Amy Pietsch at the Venture Center, 920-735-2594.

--Amy Pietsch

The newsletter is issued electronically every other month.

Please send comments or questions to Barbro McGinn, editor.

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