Conference aims to teach businesses about government contracts

The City of Cold Lake and the Cold Lake Economic Development Advisory Committee (EDAC) will be hosting a conference to educate the region’s businesses about how to do business with the government – especially when it comes to securing Department of National Defence contracts.

“The oil patch is slow, and we know that a lot of businesses are looking for new opportunities,” Mayor Craig Copeland said. “With the presence of CFB Cold Lake in our community, and the manufacturing, environmental services, and engineering expertise throughout our region, we know there are opportunities for small and medium sized businesses to capitalize on. We hope this conference sheds light on how to find out about contract opportunities and how to bid on them while developing a network of new contacts that can provide follow up support.”

The conference, called Contracting Opportunities in the Lakeland, will be held at the Lakeland Inn in Cold Lake from 7:30 am to 4:00 pm on May 22. Tickets to the event are $15, include lunch, and are available on Eventbrite.ca.

Presentations at the conference will introduce attendees to the bidding process, where to find contract opportunities, how to construct a bid and the differences between various levels of government and their procurement processes. The presentations and breakout sessions will be facilitated by Public Services and Procurement Canada, and the Western Canadian Defense Industries Association, in addition to members from Defense Construction Canada.

“Large multi-million dollar contracts for major equipment tend to get the headlines, but our region’s businesses need to know that opportunities to secure work with the government extends from the multitude of smaller contracts associated with providing local purchase items and services to much larger contracts associated with construction projects and environmental services,” Copeland said. “In many cases the government attendees are as interested to learn what the capabilities of the region are as businesses are to win their contracts.”

A recent report by the Northeast Alberta Information HUB detailed a wide variety of opportunities for businesses in the region to secure business related to the Aerospace and Defence Industry. The City of Cold Lake’s recent Economic Development Strategy also identified a number of opportunities for businesses to find work for the federal government across a variety of fields. There will also be Provincial Government representation for insights into an even larger pool of opportunities.

Bernard Lefebvre, Chairman of the Economic Development Advisory Committee, wants everyone to know that the conference is being offered to all businesses across the region. Whether your business is large or small, a manufacturer or a service provider, there are opportunities for any enterprise to benefit from.

“Whether you sell a product or a service, this seminar is the place to be if you want to open up doors to access the government market and diversify your customer base,” Lefebvre said.