Path Home Shows 2015 Show Archive October 2015 Show 1540 Federal Help for Small Business

Federal Help for Small Business

The Oklahoma Bid Assistance Network helps Oklahoma companies cut through the red tape of selling to the government.
Federal Help for Small Business

Federal Help for Small Business

For more information visit these links:

CareerTech - OBAN

Red River Technology Center


John Shoraka - Small Business Association

Show Details

Show 1540: Federal Help for Small Business
Air Date: October 4, 2015



Rob McClendon: Well, manufacturing products for the federal government while lucrative can be complicated. That is why a group called OBAN helps Oklahoma companies cut through the red tape. Here’s our Courtney Maye.

Courtney Maye: The Oklahoma Bid Assistance Network provides marketing and technical assistance to Oklahoma businesses interested in selling products and services to federal, state, local and tribal governments. The primary purpose of OBAN is to create jobs and expand the economy in Oklahoma, by providing specific, valuable resources to Oklahoma businesses.

Courtney Maye: From plumbing to manufacturing, CareerTech’s Oklahoma Bid Assistance Network is helping a variety of Oklahoma businesses grow.

Carter Merkle: First of all, nobody has the reach into local businesses like CareerTech does. With 29 districts across the state, they all know their local businesses, and we could not possibly reach into the local business community with, with any other method.

Courtney: OBAN helps thousands of businesses across the state receive government contracting, including 10-year client Ed Gluckowski with Southwest Oklahoma Plumbing. Thanks to OBAN, Gluckowski works for schools, hospitals and fairgrounds all across southwest Oklahoma.

Ed Gluckowski: I couldn’t have began my company and got it to where it is today without OBAN, Red River, you know, Dana Harwell and Pam upfront. I mean, it’s like having my own extra company here.

Courtney: Southwest Oklahoma Plumbing focuses on local and state government jobs, working closely with Bid Assistance Coordinator Dana Harwell at Red River Technology Center. Gluckowski says OBAN and the services it provides has saved his company thousands of dollars. Specifically, the plan room at Red River Technology Center, a resource designed for OBAN, allowing Gluckowski to print the blueprints he needs before bidding on a job.

Gluckowski: I get the docs here from OBAN network. But once I get the docs here, then I go to my office, and I bid at my office and get the thing turned out.

Courtney: As a bid assistance coordinator, Harwell works with businesses of all kinds and sizes.

Dana Harwell: The most recent contracts that’s been real exciting is a manufacturing company that I’ve been working with. They started with me two years ago, a little over two years ago from the ground up. I’ve helped them get registered. I’ve helped them with marketing. I’ve helped them look at bids. I’ve, you know, helped them with plans and specs. And recently they had received a large dollar contract.

Courtney: Across town, Duncan Machine Products started in a 227 square-foot shop in Teri and Chris Billings’ backyard. Yet with work continuously coming thanks to government contracting, the company has upsized four times and is now in a 27,000 square-foot facility.

Teri Billings: It’s helped our employees have a little bit of security.

Chris Billings: Yeah, yeah, definitely.

Teri: We have some diversification.

Chris: We have been fortunate enough to never have to lay off an employee due to the fact that we didn’t have work.

Teri: Our OBAN coordinator has helped us in amazing ways.

Chris: Guidance in general.

Teri: Guidance, yeah.

Chris: I feel like you have somebody in your corner.

Teri: That knows something.

Chris: Yes [laugh].

Teri: She is so knowledgeable on almost everything.

Courtney: OBAN is successfully servicing clients with 16 offices located at 15 technology centers across Oklahoma.

Carter Merkle: It just really helps to be able to say you’re part of the local tech center. You’re able to open doors there because they know their local tech centers, major employers in their area. They know that you come from somebody who offers quality help.

Courtney: The Oklahoma Department of CareerTech started OBAN in 1986 in an effort to keep local government contracting dollars in the state.

Rob: All right. Thank you so much, Courtney. Now, if you’d like to learn more about contracting with the federal government, I do a conversation with the regional administrator for the Small Business Administration streaming on our website, and John Shoraka may answer all your questions.