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Marlborough workshop to teach ins and outs of government contracts

METRO WEST DAILY NEWS – City officials say they want to use more local businesses for municipal contracts, and two local organizations have organized an upcoming workshop to try to explain the often byzantine process of trying to land government contracts.

During a Community Development Meeting at City Hall Thursday morning, Mayor Arthur Vigeant told the board about the workshop, scheduled for Friday, Sept. 13.

The workshop, put on by the Marlborough Economic Development Corporation and the Marlborough Regional Chamber of Commerce, will feature several panelists giving talks on ways local businesses can secure government work.

Scheduled to speak are Beverly Sleeper, Marlborough procurement officer, Doug Bushman, Marlborough Housing Authority director, Barbara Miller, director of training, outreach and marketing for the Operational Services Division of the state of Massachusetts, David Polatin, assistant district director for the U.S. Small Business Administration and Melissa Branzburg, international trade specialist at the U.S. Department of Commerce International Trade Administration.

Vigeant said on Thursday that he has been frustrated with the lack of response from local companies when the city puts out a request for proposals for municipal projects. He said the city would like to support local businesses and said there are several services the city contracts out, from legal and accounting services to dry cleaning and printing.

Vigeant said that government jobs have a reputation for being mired in paperwork and bureaucracy, so he understands why some businesses stay away. The speakers at the workshop will offer tips for navigating red tape, he said.

“I think it’s really the process that keeps people away. It’s too bureaucratic to get involved in,” he said. “Once you learn how to do it and get into it it’s not a big deal.”

The event, titled “The ABCs of Procuring Government Contracts,” will run from 7:30 to 9:15 a.m. on Sept. 13 at the Best Western Royal Plaza Hotel. The workshop is free and includes a complimentary buffet, but registration is required. Registration can be done by phone at 508-485-7746 or by emailing marlcham@marlboroughchamber.org. Registration closes on Sept. 9.

This story originally appeared