New Federal Legislation Aims To Protect Small Businesses

In Northern Michigan small businesses are the backbone of what makes our communities thrive.

Unfortunately they’re also the target of many money seeking scams.

Now, federal legislation is being introduced by Michigan U.S. Senator Gary Peters and Senator Susan Collins of Maine that will help protect small businesses from falling victim.

The name of the bill is The Procurement Fraud Prevention Act, it’s goal is to better protect and educate small businesses about real federal resources available to them.

Niki Schultz is the proud owner of Cadillac’s Toy Town, a small business she tell us, was recently targeted by a virtual scam; “I was going through my emails and I got an email from what I thought was a vendor. I open the email and it encrypted out whole system, it held our files for ransom, we lost everything.”

Toy Town lost all of its files, a devastating loss to a small business.

Unfortunately fake email scams like this are far from uncommon.

Businesses are often targeted by scammers when they apply to work with the federal government.

Michigan Senator Gary Peters tells us, “When you apply to be a federal contractor, you will often get a lot of emails from folks that are going to offer you services that don’t need to be offered. They charge money and we find that often there is a lot of fraud involved. We want to eliminate that."

The Procurement Fraud Prevention Act in the works in Washington, may help better inform small businesses of their real options the minute they go online – and prevent problems.

"When you go on the website to become a future government contractor, you are immediately notified that there are free services that will help you become that contractor," explain Senator Peters.

Those services are PTAC’s or, Procurement Technical Assistance Centers.

They’re real and free options of which many businesses the Senator remarks, may be unaware; “It’s really pretty straightforward and it’s just making sure that, as a small business that wants to do business with the federal government, that they know they have access to free services that actually walk them through the process."

Small businesses are vital to a healthy community, so it’s essential we make sure they’re getting the help they need in a clear and concise way.

"I’m going to be working to make sure that small companies have access to federal contracts,” remarks Senator Peters.

“That means jobs in our local communities, that means jobs in rural communities."

For more information on small business resources that may be available to you, click here.

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