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WIPP Board Member Sylvia Medina Testifies Before Senate Small Business Committee May 21, 2009

Sylvia Medina, WIPP National Partner and President of North Wind, Inc. statement on her testimony before the Senate Small Business Committee on May 21, 2009:

As a small business owner that contracts primarily with the federal government, I have been very interested in how the Recovery Act (stimulus funds) would be realized by my organization. North Wind is already experiencing some effects from the Recovery Act; therefore, it was a great opportunity and experience to be invited to testify at the Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee hearing on May 21st. I am honored to not only have represented North Wind, but all small businesses across the country.

On the panel in addition to me, were two other small business owners, the president of the Association of Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (APTAC), the Chief of the Procurement Assistance Divisions Office from the Office of Small & Disadvantaged Business Development for the Department of Transportation (DOT), and the Associate Administrator from the Government Contracting & Business Development for the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).

The questions from the Senators were centered around the actions and experiences of the panelists regarding small businesses development and access to federal contracting opportunities. Essentially each small business that was represented is experiencing some positive impact from the Recovery Act but in my opinion there is a much larger potential that can be realized. The Department of Transportation is a good model in proactively reaching out to small businesses and providing opportunities for business development. APTAC is also very active in reaching out and supporting small businesses in finding contract opportunities. The senators offered that the SBA could and should learn from the DoT and APTAC in making contracting opportunities more understandable and therefore accessible to small businesses.