Frequently Asked Questions

Have questions about our services? Read our FAQ below to find the answer. If your question isn’t included, call or e-mail us. We’d be happy to help.

Who is "the government?"

In Northwest Louisiana, the government includes Barksdale Air Force Base, Fort Polk Joint Readiness Training Center, Red River Army Depot, General Service Administration, U. S. Army Corps of Engineers, VA Medical Centers, State of Louisiana, City offices and purchasing departments along with regional school boards, colleges, and universities and local parish offices.  In addition, NWLA APEX clients respond to bids from all branches of the military as well as other entities, such as FEMA, the Army Corps of Engineers, and Louisiana’s Department of Transportation and Development which are required to follow state or federal purchasing requirements and guidelines.

What does the government buy?

The government buys EVERYTHING!  We have seen the government advertise bids for grounds maintenance, janitorial services, construction projects, American Sign Language interpreters, forklifts, PPE – personal protective equipment, armadillos, office supplies, and much more.  As a vendor, consider how you can solve the government’s need with your quality product or service.  How can you make it easy for them to buy from you?  We help you through every step of this process.

How much do your services cost?

All of our services are provided at no cost to our client.  While many of our events are also free, luncheons and special events may carry a nominal fee to cover costs.

How soon can I come in for counseling?

New clients must complete and submit the online NWLA APEX New Client Application. After completing the application, you will be contacted by a NWLA APEX consultant to set up an initial appointment.  For your convenience, appointments may be by telephone, email, in-person, or via Zoom.

If I become a NWLA APEX client, am I guaranteed that my business will receive government contracts?

No. Our services will help you complete registrations, improve your bids, and locate opportunities, but we cannot guarantee your business will receive contracts. We are a resource for education, inspiration, and collaboration as you work to gain government contract business.

Does NWLA APEX create or write proposals for clients?

No. NWLA APEX will work with you as you create your proposal and will review your bid for accuracy and search for areas of improvement, but we do not create or write your proposals.

Does the NWLA APEX award government contracts?

No. NWLA APEX is not a purchasing agency. We do not award government contracts, nor do we have any influence with the decision-making process. We assist companies with developing their program to do business with the government, developing bids, and locating opportunities.

My company is struggling financially, is government contracting a good way to fix this?

Working for the government requires dedication of resources to ensure compliance. Additionally, government agencies may consider your ability to perform work when bidding on projects. The government does not pay for contracts in advance, so companies will require the necessary cash flow to finance ongoing projects.

How do I gain experience with the government, if I can’t win bids for government contracts because of a lack of experience with them?

There are several ways to gain experience with the government.
1. Subcontracting to a prime contractor. This establishes a work-history, which may be used for future prime contracts.
2. Bidding on small contracts, which may not require history with the government.
3. Credit-card selling of small items to the government.

What type of effort does it require to do business with the government?

Government contracting can involve significant commitment and may distract your business from other important opportunities. A good analogy is to compare your business dealings with the government as you would any other potential revenue stream. You have to make sure you have the time and resources to commit. You will be required to contribute a modest amount of effort to the initial paperwork and registration, reviewing opportunities, and creation of bids. Also, it may be necessary to have access to loans and financial resources, so a good credit history is important. When successful, the benefits of participating frequently make the effort worthwhile, with long-term contracts and payment guarantees as results.

Does the NWLA APEX certify companies as Small Disadvantaged Business, HUBZone, 8(a) and other federal certifications?

No. However, the Small Business Administration – a separate entity – is responsible for the federal certification of businesses. We work closely with the SBA in many areas and can assist you in filling out the appropriate paperwork.

Can the NWLA APEX assist me with State and Local opportunities?

Yes. The NWLA APEX staff work closely with the state and local purchasing agents. We can assist you with vendor database registration and certifications.

Why am I required to report my awarded contract dollars?

The funding for the NWLA APEX comes in part from the U.S. Department of Defense. To continue receiving funds, we need to show the U. S. Department of Defense that we are working hard and are helping our clients receive contracts. Your award information is kept confidential. The NWLA APEX consolidates the award amounts reported by clients and reports only the total number.

Must I be a member of the Chamber of Commerce to receive APEX services?

No. APEX services are free of charge whether you are a Chamber member or not.

Upcoming Events

November 2024
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Experienced Professionals

We are staffed with experienced professionals who makes the success of your business their number one priority.

I would like to take this moment in time to thank our NWLA APEX Counselor and the entire staff of the NWLA APEX for all that they do and have done for us at Shir-Omar, Inc. (Communications One).  With their help we have been able to provide a top level of service to the governmental community.  We thank you NWLA APEX.

Arthur Walker

President, Communications One

Ready to get started?

Call (318) 677-2500 or reach out today to schedule your appointment! Contact us now.