Preparing Local Businesses for Doing Work with the Government

September 03, 2020

Written By: Shiloh Francis

Posted In: Business News, Elevate Magazine

Once upon a time, there was a local business looking to contract with a company to do some painting.  There were several companies in Rapid City that could do the job.  But the local business could not find a single one.  


Because none of the companies were that local business’ magic list. And if the local companies had only known they needed to register, they could have been in line for dozens of more jobs. 

And everyone would have lived happily ever after.

Is this some fairy tale?  Not at all.  The local business is Ellsworth Air Force Base, one of the largest purchasers of goods and services in the area.

Ellsworth, the US Forest Service, Department of Energy, and other Federal agencies are often soliciting bids for business in South Dakota. But in the end, find themselves having to partner with out of state entities because there a few to no local companies even to consider. Revenue for a local company is lost. The Federal agency must pay the cost of a team coming from out of state, all the while knowing there are capable businesses right here.

The South Dakota Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED), South Dakota Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC), South Dakota Ellsworth Development Authority (SDEDA), and Elevate Rapid City have come together with a solution. We know that if given a chance, South Dakota businesses are more than able to answer the call for service. But they need a little help.

Businesses are invited to attend free, weekly webinars to learn about what is needed to sell to federal, state, and local government agencies. These workshops will provide insight and the opportunity to ask questions from the experts. Businesses can expect presentations from Manufacturing & Technology Solutions (MTS), Small Business Development Center (SBDC), Small Business Administration (SBA), and Ellsworth Corps of Engineers. There will even be a special session with Northrop Grumman in anticipation of the B21 Mission and expansion at Ellsworth.

“These webinars will be crucial not only in supporting the B21 mission but in helping our businesses grow and prosper,” says Steve Westra GOED Commissioner. “We know there are so many contracting opportunities available, and we want to make sure we get our companies connected to the entities that can help them through the procurement process.”

Tom Johnson, President and CEO of Elevate Rapid City, added: “Our goal is to elevate the region for everyone, and that means giving our businesses the tools they need to grow and expand. As local businesses can take advantage of prime opportunities such as government contracts, they can create more jobs and grow the economy.”

More information and registration for these free sessions, visit