By Lance Cpl. Jackeline Perez Rivera
JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (NNS) -- Marine Corps Base Installations East and Naval Facilities Engineering Command have been hosting an annual outreach event for the last few years to help small business owners navigate working aboard a government installation.
This year's annual meeting was held at Coastal Carolina Community College March 19 and focused on changes over the previous year and the basics of conducting business with the base.
Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune's emphasis on small business is not new, said Jo Rozier, deputy of the Office of Small Business Programs with Marine Corps Installations East.
"The small business program utilized today traces its roots directly to small business legislation enacted by Congress in the early 1940s," said Rozier.
Their devotion has not wavered; today 73 percent of all business contracts in Marine Corps Installations East for this fiscal year were awarded to small businesses.
"Small businesses remain a vital part of our operation," said Brig. Gen. Thomas Gorry, the commanding general of Marine Corps Installations East. "It's something we are very proud of. It's something we strive for and partner with the state of North Carolina to achieve."
The outreach event included question and answer sessions, remarks from the leaders of local installations and Naval Facilities Engineering Command, panels about new legislation, resources on the federal market, legal concerns, and trends in federal contracting.
"For firms interested in doing business with the base, it is important to realize for contracting purposes Camp Lejeune is not a single entity but rather a collection of several," said Rozier. "Three tenant activities, in addition to the base itself, have contracting offices aboard the installation. Then, there are several major base tenants who represent a lot of opportunity for small business, but their principle buying offices are located external to Camp Lejeune, for example the Commissary. It is a little harder to reach them."