USDOT launches connections marketplace platform to help small businesses in government contracting

March 1, 2022
The Connections Marketplace is set to provide thousands of annual business connections and bridge the gap between small business vendors and procurement officials.

The Connections Marketplace (CMP) was launched Feb. 23 by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (USDOT) Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU) with a Buyer Side Chat featuring USDOT’s Federal Railroad Administration.  

The CMP will present a new, free platform to help connect small businesses to USDOT procurement officials across all modal administrations. 

Historically, small businesses have had a challenge building relationship with federal agency representatives and large prime contractors. Through the CMP, USDOT aims to bridge this gap and build new conversations that will lead to enhanced small and minority businesses engagement with federal agencies and prime contractors. Constructing meaningful connections through trainings, industry exposure and resource deployment will in turn create more contracting opportunities for small businesses and help to fuel the nation’s economy. 

The CMP platform will include a series of monthly virtual events, aimed at engaging attendees, in order to assist in demystifying the government contracting landscape. These sessions will include roundtable discussions, one-on-one matchmaking, information driven breakout sessions and regional contractual opportunities. During these sessions, the audience will have the opportunity to engage with federal, state and local government procurement officials such as contracting officers, program managers and other subject matter experts. 

Also, large prime contractors will be presenting on the CMP platform on roundtable “Teaming Talks” sessions to connect with small business teaming partners. This platform is centered around the flexibility it brings to small business owners across the nation to be able to connect virtually anywhere with decision makers. The CMP will also assist in hosting hybrid events where attendees can physically be in the audience or live stream their round table, break out and/or matchmaking sessions. 

The mission of the OSDBU is to ensure small business policies and goals of the secretary of transportation are implemented in a fair, efficient and effective manner. In addition, the office provides technical assistance and capacity building activities through a network of Small Business Transportation Resource Centers.