WLNS 6 Lansing: Sen. Peters unveils plan to protect small businesses from scammers

It’s tough enough keeping a small business alive, let alone thriving.

It’s even tougher when they fall victim to fraud when they apply for federal contracts.

That was the focus today when U.S. Senator Gary Peters visited a small business in Lansing to talk about legislation he is introducing.

The “Procurement Fraud Prevention Act” would require small businesses to be notified that free assistance is available for help in procuring government contracts through federal programs, including Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (PTACs), the Small Business Administration (SBA), and the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA).

Many small business owners are not aware that resources exist and become victims of scams that charge high fees for contract assistance.

“From defense and auto parts manufacturing to construction and catering, Michigan small businesses provide a wide variety of goods and services to the federal government while creating jobs in their local communities. It is important business owners are equipped with tools and knowledge to protect their companies against scams while taking advantage of new business opportunities,” said Senator Peters.

All businesses that are applying for a federal contract must register with the General Services Administration.

This is a public site and there are scam artists who find business contact information on that site and contact the small business owners directly asking for money in return for registration and contracting assistance.

The legislation Sen. Peters is introducing requires the General Services Administration and Office of Management and Business include information detailing information about free help with the contract process.

There are over 850,000 small businesses that account for half of the state’s private workforce.

By:  Kevin VanderKolk
Source: WLNS 6 Lansing