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366th CONS hosts Vendor Fair 2017

Col. Brian P. McCarthy, 366th Operations Group commander, addresses small business owners at the vendor fair, March 16, 2017, at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho. Those in attendance were also briefed by representatives from the Small Business Administration and Idaho Procurement Technical Assistance Center.(U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Jeremy D. Wolff/Released)

Col. Brian P. McCarthy, 366th Operations Group commander, addresses small business owners at the vendor fair, March 16, 2017, at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho. Those in attendance were also briefed by representatives from the Small Business Administration and Idaho Procurement Technical Assistance Center.(U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Jeremy D. Wolff/Released)

Vendors speak with fellow small business owners about their services at the vendor fair, March 16, 2017, at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho. The fair provides a chance for small businesses to learn more about working with the government and enables networking.(U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Jeremy D. Wolff/Released)

Vendors speak with fellow small business owners about their services at the vendor fair, March 16, 2017, at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho. The fair provides a chance for small businesses to learn more about working with the government and enables networking.(U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Jeremy D. Wolff/Released)

A vendor explains what his business offers at the vendor fair, March 16, 2017, at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho. This annual event gives MHAFB the ability to get to know local businesses and what they’re capable of.(U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Jeremy D. Wolff/Released)

A vendor explains what his business offers at the vendor fair, March 16, 2017, at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho. This annual event gives MHAFB the ability to get to know local businesses and what they’re capable of.(U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Jeremy D. Wolff/Released)

MOUNTAIN HOME AIR FORCE BASE, Idaho -- “The main criteria for the companies we want to bring on base are the fact that they’re a registered small business, which is why we bring the Small Business Administration and also Idaho Procurement Technical Assistance Center onto base for these events,” said 2nd Lt. Connor Lyons, 366th Contracting Squadron contract specialist. “It’s so we can guarantee that a lot of the funding that the Air Force is spending is going to those small businesses that really need the money to keep going, and that they work specifically for government contracts.”

The morning began with an introduction from 366th Operations Group Commander Col. Brian P. McCarthy, followed by information from the 366th CONS to explain their side of federal contracting.

Next representatives from the SBA and PTAC broke down their roles as a medium for working with the government, followed by the vendor fair portion of the day where business owners met to network.

“It helps us in two ways: one, it gets us out there in front of Idaho businesses so they know who we are and the services we provide,” said Gary Moore, PTAC program manager for the state of Idaho. “Two, it also lets the contracting officials know that we are a resource for them, that they can reach out to us if they have issues they need to talk to small businesses about.”

While this event is a great way to show businesses what it’s like working with the Air Force, it’s also beneficial for organizations on base to see what the vendors services have to offer.

“The event is important for the base because it’s specifically geared to get vendors onto base to show off what they can offer our base when it comes to requirements that any squadron on base needs, from Civil Engineering to the Medical Group to the 726th Air Control Squadron, even Public Affairs,” Lyons said. “It basically gives them the opportunity to see what vendors right here in Mountain Home and right here in Idaho have to offer us.”

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