Nearly 200 small business representatives showed up at Santee City Hall on Friday, February 19, to attend a Government Small Business Procurement Outreach Workshop, organized by the San Diego Contracting Opportunities Center (SDCOC) (also known as the Procurement Technical Assistance Center [PTAC]), hosted by the City of Santee and the Santee Chamber of Commerce, and sponsored by the San Diego County Water Authority. The goal of the workshop was to provide small business owners with the information they need in order to compete successfully for contracts with all levels of government. From the people I spoke with, the event was very successful, with useful information and good networking opportunities.
Congressman Duncan D. Hunter (CA-52) and Santee Mayor Randy Voepel kicked off the day by welcoming attendees and speakers, before the presentation of the first annual Donald G. Preis Small Business Recognition Award. This award, given to a company that successfully puts into practice the techniques taught at previous workshops, honors the SDCOC’s long-time organizer of the event, Don Preis, who passed away last year. (For more on Don and his contribution to Santee and small businesses, click here.) His wife, Joan, was in attendance as the award was given to Advertising Edge, an East County company that specializes in branding and promotional items.
The speakers’ list read like a who’s-who of San Diego area government agencies. In addition to the San Diego County Water Authority, SPAWAR, SANDAG, the Metropolitan Water District, the County of San Diego, and several more agencies provided representatives to speak to the attendees. The day also included networking time and information tables to allow business owners to share ideas with each other or to speak face-to-face with agency representatives. Among the business owners, two I managed to speak with during break times were Chris Eader of No More Geysers (a water conservation device) and Richard Cloonan, DDS, who has developed The Answer (a patented oral care product being used at Edgemoor Hospital and similar facilities).
If you have a small business in Santee, the SDCOC has a satellite office at the Santee Chamber of Commerce exclusively to help you. The office is open on Thursdays from 9:00 am to 4:30 pm. Thanks to the City of Santee for helping to fund the office through its economic growth outreach efforts. Thanks also go out to Tim Warren, Sr. Procurement Specialist at SDCOC, Pam White, Assistant to the Executive Director at the City of Santee, and Warren Savage, Executive Director of the Santee Chamber of Commerce.