Prince William Chamber Event Helps Businesses Diversify and Refocus
With sequestration no longer a question of “if,” last week’s Prince William Government Contractors Day with its theme of “Mission Possible” was well-timed. This annual event of the Prince William Chamber of Commerce is designed to provide industry-specific connections and information to the more than 250 contracting firms that do business in Prince William.
Said Robyn Snyder, Supplier Diversity Program Manager for Lockheed Martin–MST Undersea Systems Snyder, who chaired the event planning committee, “This year we have two key note speakers providing the insight you need for moving your company in the right direction during these budget constrained times.”
During his keynote presentation, Dr. Stephen Fuller from George Mason University offered
data on economic trends in Northern Virginia. He noted that here, sequestration had started months ago, as defense spending slowed. As a result, he feels that area businesses have already right-sized and are prepared for current economic conditions. “It will be ok,” he concluded.
The second keynote, Seán Crean, Director of the Office of Small Business Programs, Department of the Navy, said, “We’re really in a slowdown in spending…which I’m sure many of you are feeling.”
While the Navy is planning for the worst in term of budget cuts, Crean is hopeful that this will not come to pass. “Once the decision is made by Congress, everything will be very clear,” said Crean. “In meantime, the laws require us to give these notifications [of contracts be put in a holding pattern]…we are hoping we will be able to turn around and cancel.” He predicts that more will be known by mid to late April.
Attendees were also able to meet directly with representatives from the Department of Defense and other agencies as well as industry leaders and smaller firms in the contracting field.
“When Seán spoke of the magnitude of issues, budget cuts, I made a strategic note that this would be a good time to diversify in regards to my government work. While the contracting environment is favorable for small business, it is challenging times,” said attendee Ken Davis, president of Mainstreet Technologies.
During the conference,Davis had also participated in the “New Business in New Markets” workshop led by Jeff Brown, principal of Pangea Global. Davis spoke to Brown during the networking reception portion of Industry Day. SaidDavis, “Jeff offered strategies, provided tools [for diversifying].”
“This year, our conference focused on providing a path to adapting your business model. Through our Government Contracting Committee, we will continue to provide resources to help firms inNorthern Virginiaweather the current environment,” said Chamber President & CEO Rob Clapper.
Platinum Sponsors were Fluet, Huber & Hoang, PLC; Lockheed Martin and Tracen Technologies. Washington Business Journal is the Media Sponsor. Additional sponsors included I-95 Business Parks Management, Advanced Management Strategies Group,Airlie Center, Career Networks 360, MTCI, Prince William County Department of Economic Development. Additional coverage of the event, include PowerPoint presentations from the keynote speakers and pictures are available at www.GovConDay.com.