Hundreds of Small Businesses Attend Senator Warrens 2nd Annual Massachusetts Business Matchmaker
Senator Warrens Massachusetts Business Matchmaker is a Program of the SBAs American Supplier Initiative in Partnership with the GSA
FRAMINGHAM, MA — United States Senator Elizabeth Warren today hosted her second annual Massachusetts Business Matchmaker event, welcoming more than 350 participants representing federal agencies, prime contractors, and small businesses from throughout the Commonwealth. This year’s event was held in Framingham, and was a program of the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) American Supplier Initiative in partnership with the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA).
“This event is about building opportunity, about giving people a chance to connect. One side has work that needs to be done, the other side wants to do that work, and this matchmaker helps get them together,” Senator Warren said. The Senator spoke about the challenges she encountered trying to identify small businesses for contracting opportunities when she was setting up the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. She said that experience “left me committed to finding ways that small business can connect directly with the government and with the large government contractors. Because if we can do that, then we give small businesses the same kinds of opportunities that big businesses already have. This is a real piece of how we level the playing field.”
"The federal government is the world's greatest buyer of product and services," said SBA New England Regional Administrator Seth A. Goodall. "Part of SBA's mission is to ensure that small businesses gain fair access to federal contracts and matchmakers create a unique opportunity for both sellers and buyers to meet face-to-face. I urge small businesses with products or services that fit the needs of the government, to consider government contracting as a way to grow your business."
"GSA is a strong advocate for small businesses. One of our major focuses is promoting increased access to the federal market," said GSA New England Regional Administrator Bob Zarnestke. "Matchmakers are an opportunity for small businesses to learn how to do business with the government and big firms already working under federal contracts."
The Massachusetts Business Matchmaker event provided a forum for contractors and government agencies to meet one-on-one with qualified small business owners, and allowed small businesses to highlight their services and goods and learn how to take advantage of business opportunities with the federal government. Additionally, workshops were offered on topics including securing federal and state small business certification, obtaining surety bonds, seeking growth capital, and developing a business pitch.
Matchmaker participants highlighted the benefits of attending the event for their businesses and organizations.
“I’m absolutely amazed with how many people are here,” said Joe Bevilacqua, President and CEO of the Merrimack Valley Chamber of Commerce, which serves more than 1,000 members in the region. “There is so much opportunity to connect, and we have met so many people that we would not have met otherwise if we weren’t here.”
“I’m really excited about today’s event,” said Mark Mahoney of Bright Language in South Easton, Massachusetts. “I’m happy to be here to network, and go to the workshops, and all the educational services to help provide us with more information on how we can get our businesses known.”
“The Matchmaker event is giving me the confidence to go out and market my company,” said Tracy Wiggins of Independent at Home in Brockton.
“It’s a great opportunity to connect with all kinds of small and growing businesses, and we’ve had some great traffic here at our table of women-owned businesses that are looking to either start growing or really have some high growth,” said Jodi Baier, Director of Growth Business Ventures at the Center for Women & Enterprise, which is based in Boston and also has offices in Worcester.
“I’m very happy to be here with a lot of our partners. The Hispanic American Chamber of Commerce is really trying to promote economic development in the community, and this event does that,” said Jesús Rosa, Chairman of the Hispanic American Chamber of Commerce, based in Boston.
Photos from the Massachusetts Business Matchmaker are below:
Senator Elizabeth Warren speaks with Cathy Messing of Colonial Life at the Massachusetts Business Matchmaker
Robert Nelson, Massachusetts District Director for the Small Business Administration, delivers opening remarks at the Massachusetts Business Matchmaker
Massachusetts Business Matchmaker participants engage in networking
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