Kelly Roth, a small business owner and Department of Defense contractor, ran some reports for me detailing the availability of government contracts.
It seems that at any given time there could be as much as $1 billion in DoD contracts in the request for proposal stage.
My question is: Are we as the local business community taking advantage of all of this potential? Do we have the companies in town that could go after some of this DoD business? Sure we have Lockheed, Northrop Grumman, Booz Allen Hamilton. I am sure they are on top of these contracts, but what about some of the smaller businesses in town?
There is one RFP with a closing date of April 2006 and a value of $9 million for a global combat support system for the Air Force. The business going after this contract would probably need large resources to get it.
On the other hand, there is an RFP with a closing date of October 2006 for an Army contract valued at $500,000 for the development of an interactive museum exhibit. It would seem to me that there is some company that would have the local resources to accomplish this mission.
We have many growth opportunities here in the Springs and I think that we as the business community aren’t taking full advantage of Department of Defense contracts.
So how do we go about growing this section of the business community?
Brian Binn, the new president of the Greater Colorado Springs Chamber of Commerce’s Military Affairs Council, will be focused on this. The charter of the MAC is to “enhance and provide support for the military community and advocate for growth in military missions and the defense industry.”
So if you are interested in DoD contracts, pay attention to communiqués from the MAC.
Also, Wendy Pifher of Holland & Hart and Ron Chernak of First Business Brokers are working on a breakout session about DoD contracting for the Southern Colorado Economic Forum, which is scheduled for October.
As the business community, we need to grow our own businesses, and we are responsible for growing our area. I think with more focus on the DoD contracts, we can do both.
Better yet, let’s get a smaller DoD contractor to grow its business in the downtown area.

Speaking of downtown

Lana Yeakel, president of U.S. Bank downtown and a very active participant in the Downtown Partnership, is leaving the southwest corner of Pikes Peak Avenue and Tejon Street.
She won’t be going far though. She will be moving across the street (southeast corner) to Academy Bank, where she will serve as regional sales manager and senior vice president.
I fully expect Lana to remain active with the partnership and her other board positions. I guess I won’t be able to bang on her corner window anymore. Well, I guess I could, but the new person in that office might think I’m crazy.
Lon Matejczyk is publisher of the Colorado Springs Business Journal. He can be reached at lon.matejczyk@csbj.com or 329-5202.