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Several Web sites offer procurement opportunities

Q] How does the Small Business Administration Advocacy help small business owners?

A] America's small businesses account for 50 percent of the country's private non farm GNP (gross national product), create between 60 and 80 percent of the net new jobs and are 13 to 14 times more innovative per employee than large firms are.

Small businesses are heavily burdened by the costs of government regulation and excessive paperwork. Advocacy research shows that firms with fewer than 20 employees annually spend 45 percent more per employee than larger firms do to comply with federal regulations.

In 1976, the U.S. Congress created the Office of Advocacy within the U.S Small Business Administration to protect, strengthen and effectively represent the nation's small businesses within the federal government's legislative and rule-making processes. The Office of Advocacy works to reduce the burdens that federal policies impose on small businesses and firms and maximize the benefits small businesses receive from the government. Advocacy's mission, simply stated, is to encourage policies that support the development and growth of American small business. For further information, go to www.sba.gov/advo/index.html or contact the Office of Advocacy at (202) 205-6533 or advocacy@sba.gov.

Q] How do I find small business opportunities in the federal marketplace?

A] There are several ways to investigate procurement opportunities. Some useful Web sites for this purpose are: www.dodbusopps.com; www.govcon.com; www.fedbizopps.gov; www.input.com and www.fedsources.com.

Obtain a DUNS number and register in the Centralized Contractor Registration (CCR) System. If you do not have a DUNS number, contact Dun and Bradstreet (www.dnb.com) to obtain one. To register on the CCR, go to www.ccr.gov. CCR is a database designed to hold information relevant to procurement and financial transactions as it pertains to the Department of Defence (DoD).

Register for the Small Business Administration Dynamic Small Business Search at www.ccr.gov. The SBA manages the Dynamic Small Business Search database of small business concerns, an Internet-based database for and about small businesses. It is used by federal government buying offices as well as many large DoD prime contractors.

Register on the EDS U.S. Government Solutions Small Business site http://www.eds-gov.com/smallbiz/.

Q] What is required when hiring an employee as far as alien status?

A] The U.S. Department of Labor Employment Standards Administration staff may advise employers about employment eligibility verification and anti-discrimination responsibilities under immigration laws and review employer records for compliance with these obligations (Form I-9). The Immigration & Naturalization Service: Form I-9 Handbook outlines the required procedures for employers to follow when they are verifying the employment eligibility of all the workers they hire.

To obtain the Immigration and Naturalization Service: Form I-9 Handbook, go to www.bcis.gov/compliance.

- Phyllis Davis is a career development specialist based in Champaign for the Illinois Employment Training Center. Reach her at (217) 278-5700, ext. 237, or padavis_2001@yahoo.com.

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