U.S. Small Business Administration, City of Central Falls, and Navigant Credit Union Sign Agreement to Provide Contractor Training to City Businesses

CENTRAL FALLS – RI – The U.S. Small Business Administration is partnering with the City of Central Falls and Navigant Credit Union to provide free training aimed at helping small business explore federal government contracting opportunities.  The Central Falls Federal Contractor Development Program co-sponsorship agreement was signed during a ceremony today at Navigant Credit Union’s Central Falls branch office.

The agreement was signed by Seth A. Goodall, New England regional administrator of the SBA, Central Falls Mayor James A. Diossa, and Gary E. Furtado, president and CEO of Navigant Credit Union.

“The federal government is the largest purchaser of goods and services in the world.  We must do all we can to make certain that small businesses get their fair share of the contracting dollars,” said Seth A. Goodall, SBA New England regional administrator.  “The Central Falls Federal Contractor Development Program will give small businesses the tools they need to explore contracting opportunities that will potentially create more jobs and contribute to economic growth for the city.”

Under the agreement, SBA will provide training to Central Falls small businesses located in the four federally-designated HUBZones.  They are census tracts, which cover nearly the entire city.  Certified small businesses operating within one of those zones are eligible for contract set-asides by federal agencies and prime contractors. The training will include sessions on the 8(a) Business Development program certification.

“Central Falls is built on small businesses and they are vital to our growth,” said Central Falls Mayor James A. Diossa.  “As we continue to improve the quality of life and the quality of services in our city, we are proud to have in Navigant Credit Union and the SBA, partners who understand what our small businesses need to thrive. These workshops will provide our local businesses with the knowledge and skills they need to take advantage of these opportunities for success.”

The 8(a) program is a nine-year program established to assist eligible socially and economically disadvantaged individuals to start, grow and succeed in their business ventures. The program helps them gain access to federal and private procurement markets through business development, which includes one-on-one counseling, workshops, and other management and technical assistance.

“We are excited that the SBA will be hosting these important workshops in Central Falls,” said Gary E. Furtado, president and CEO of Navigant Credit Union.   “Navigating through the process of becoming a federal contractor is a daunting task and having the SBA educate our small businesses in the process is a tremendous opportunity for the Central Falls economy.”

The first HUBZone introduction workshop will be held on December 11th.  The first 8(a) training will be held on December 18th.  The introductory sessions will be followed by reviews of the documents needed to begin the online application process for certification in both the HUBZone and 8(a) programs.

“The SBA is trying to do all it can to make certain that small businesses get their fair share of contracting dollars,” said Mark S. Hayward, director of the SBA Rhode Island District Office.  “We will be working directly with small businesses in Central Falls to help them reach that goal.”

All workshops sessions will be held from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. in the Navigant Credit Union Community Room in the Central Falls branch office located at 693 Broad Street.

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