Wyoming Business Tips for Aug. 12

August 3, 2012

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 (PTAC) procurement specialist

“I understand that there is an update for SAM -- the System for Award Management. Can you tell me more?” William, Guernsey

If you are interested in doing business with the federal government, one of the first things is that you must register and provide some basic information about your business.

The process starts with the Central Contractor Registration (CCR), which can be found at https://www.sam.gov/portal/public/SAM/. Contractors also generally are required to complete their Online Representation and Certification Application (ORCA), which can found at the CCR website or www.ccr.gov. Several different sites, password and logins for businesses to keep track of, as well as the redundancy of the information collected in these databases, can be frustrating.

The System for Award Management (SAM) will combine eight federal procurement systems, including CCR and ORCA, into one new system. The first phase will combine the “Entity Management” and Performance Information” capabilities of the site, consolidating the registration databases. The registration process for vendors also will be streamlined.

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

Those already registered in CCR and ORCA can expect business data to be consolidated into one location. We hope that the transition of your records will be seamless. The configuration of the current data feed will change to align with the consolidated data model.

If you are not yet registered in CCR and ORCA, but anticipate trying to submit an offer during late summer when agencies may have year-end funds to spend, the PTAC team highly recommends getting registered now. Small business owners can complete registrations for free.

The PTAC team has noticed an increase in Wyoming businesses that have paid hundreds of dollars for assistance completing CCR. Why pay a business to do this for you when the PTAC team can help you at no charge? The PTAC team (www.ptac.wyen.biz) is available to assist when the changes occur or with any questions that you may have about the new system.

For more information about SAM, contact Stahla 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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