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Wyoming Business Tips for Dec. 25-Jan. 7


December 19, 2011 — A weekly look at Wyoming business questions from the Wyoming Small Business Development Center (WSBDC), part of WyomingEntrepreneur.Biz, a collection of business assistance programs at the University of Wyoming.

By Natasha Stahla, Wyoming Entrepreneur Procurement Technical Assistance Center procurement specialist

"What is ‘SAM' and what changes are coming for small businesses registering to do work for the government?" Nicole, Sundance

If you are interested in doing business with the federal government there are several steps to take, different numbers to obtain and mandatory databases in which you must be registered.

Throughout the process you must keep track of different passwords and logins and the redundancy of the information collected in these databases can be frustrating. Most of the process is foreign to small business owners and can be confusing and time consuming. That's the reason the Wyoming Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) exists -- to help Wyoming firms navigate the learning curve.

The good news is that the frustrations and redundancies have not gone unnoticed. There is a solution on the way. SAM, the System for Award Management, is now be constructed. SAM will combine eight federal procurement systems including CCR (Central Contractor Registration) and ORCA (Online Representations and Certifications Application) into one new system.

The first phase, which will combine the site's "Entity Management" and "Performance Information" capabilities, will be available early next year. This means that all registration databases will be consolidated.

How will SAM benefit the small business owner?  SAM will streamline and integrate processes, eliminate data redundancies and reduce costs while providing improved capabilities. Small businesses will then only have one login and password and one area to enter data about their business.

Those already registered in CCR and ORCA expect your data to be consolidated into one location; we hope the transition of records will be seamless. The configuration of your current data feed will change to align with the consolidated data model. The PTAC team (www.ptac.wyen.biz/) is available to assist when changes occur or with any questions that you may have about the new system.

We will provide updates regarding the most current information about SAM, and what is needed to transition records during the pre-conference training session at the 2012 GRO-Biz Conference & Idea Expo. Visit online at www.regonline.com/2012grobizidea.

For more information about SAM, go to www.sam.gov or contact Natasha Stahla, Wyoming Entrepreneur Procurement Technical Assistance Center procurement specialist, at (307) 637-5029 or email nstahla1@uwyo.edu.

A blog version of this article and an opportunity to post comments is available at http://www.wyomingentrepreneur.typepad.com/blog/.

The WSBDC is a partnership of the U.S. Small Business Administration, the Wyoming Business Council and the University of Wyoming. To ask a question, call 1-800-348-5194, email wsbdc@uwyo.edu or write 1000 E. University Ave., Dept. 3922, Laramie, WY, 82071-3922.

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