News | May 3, 2021

DLA takes center stage during virtual Small Business Networking Session

By Jason Shamberger DLA Disposition Services Public Affairs

DLA Disposition Services recently took part in a panel discussion for southwestern Michigan small businesses entitled Coffee & Contracting. The discussion focused on ways to ensure these businesses can stay engaged and connected with DLA and other federal opportunities. Current COVID restrictions make in-person events impossible, but Disposition Services staff like Tracy Hart, the director of contracting, stressed the importance of continuing these types of outreach events through whatever means necessary.

“The goal is to continue providing engagement activities with small businesses through the pandemic via virtual platforms,” Hart said. “It’s a win-win for everybody. It was always challenging for small businesses, but with the pandemic, there are so many new challenges. So, to me, it’s more critical than ever before.”

The goal for DLA is not just to engage and stay connected with small businesses but also to educate and provide them with useful resources and connections.

“The objective is to educate private industries,” said Chad Hankins, DLA Disposition Services Small Business Programs associate director, “Specifically small businesses, on the types of contracts that we award, solicit, and administer in hopes of either connecting them with our buying or selling office or other DLA peer activities.”

Helping small businesses benefits more than just the Defense Department – the positive effects reach the entire nation. “It helps the economy overall,” said Mr. Hankins, “it’s kind of the lifeblood of our economy, these thriving small businesses, so hopefully we can help somebody find a contract somewhere.”

The most recent event marks DLA’s second time participating in this bi-monthly networking session and is the latest example of DLA supporting our nation through innovative means.