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CBP Brings Roadmap for Small Business Contract Opportunities to Montana

(06/18/2009)
Now, small businesses, engineers, builders and general contractors from Montana and beyond know more on how to bid for American Reinvestment and Recovery Act projects, along with other CBP contracting opportunities.

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CBP Land Port Modernization PMO Director Trent Frazier and Senator Jon Tester at the Small Business Outreach Session in Great Falls, Mont.
CBP Land Port Modernization PMO Director Trent Frazier and Senator Jon Tester at the Small Business Outreach Session in Great Falls, Mont.

On Saturday, June 13, CBP’s Program Management Office small business outreach and procurement experts traveled to Great Falls, Mont., to participate in the Small Business Outreach Session hosted by Senator Jon Tester, along with the U.S. General Services Administration and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers who presented on land port modernization and other contracting opportunities. Local representatives from the Forest Service and the U.S. Air Force also joined the panelists to discuss their organization’s regional stimulus projects.

Participants ranged from Texas-based regional construction outfits, with long histories working on federal contracts, to independent Montana carpenters, to a local seamstress—all with an interest in providing their services to the federal government.

As the session’s first presenter, CBP Land Port Modernization PMO Director Trent Frazier highlighted that CBP is promoting small business participation for the modernization effort, along with fostering a relationship with the small business community for not only ARRA projects but other regional and national opportunities with CBP.

As promised during a local newspaper interview earlier in the week, Frazier unveiled that of the five Montana port modernization projects, competition for Del Bonita will be a direct contract opportunity for small business.

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Contractors in Great Falls, Mont., attended a Small Business Outreach Session on how to bid on upcoming ARRA projects.
Contractors in Great Falls, Mont., attended a Small Business Outreach Session on how to bid on upcoming ARRA projects.

Approximately $77 million of ARRA funding is slated for Montana, with port modernization projects at Scobey, Morgan, Whitetail and Wild Horse, along with Del Bonita.

Before a standing room only crowd of roughly 200 people, small business owners posed many questions for Frazier after his presentation, all with a general theme: how can they best navigate the contracting process and start doing business with CBP.

For those desiring one-on-one time, participants spent more than an hour after the session with CBP’s contracts and procurement experts, John Ely, Dian Sahakian and Kerri Bishop, along with Small Business guru Clarence Abernathy.

All the participants were able to emerge knowing that CBP is striving to uphold the goal of ARRA to quickly infuse funds into the economy while rebuilding and renovating 23 ports of entry. To meet this goal, CBP will target 17 construction and renovation contracts to be awarded under the umbrella of previously competed GSA and USACE contracts, with an emphasis on small business participation. Additionally, CBP will seek to have six port jobs set aside for direct contracts with small businesses.

Construction is to begin as early as Spring 2010.

Under the ARRA of 2009, Congress appropriated $420 million dollars for the Department of Homeland Security for land ports of entry owned by CBP that must be expended quickly in the spirit of the economic stimulus. CBP owns 43 small land ports of entry, with the remainder of the 163 land port inventory owned or leased by GSA.

CBP ports, like those in Montana, are characteristically the small, rural, low-traffic volume ports, with severe dilapidation driving the facility needs. The average age of CBP-owned land ports is over four decades old, with some having gone untouched for over 70 years old. Port modernization, facilitated through ARRA funds, will not only boost local and regional economies, but will also allow CBP to fulfill its ultimate mission of securing our nation’s border, while promoting legitimate travel and trade.

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