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Business owners learn how to get government money

Every hour the government gives out $52.5 million per hour in federal contracts.

Tuesday, members of the Selma-Dallas County Chamber of Commerce and small business owners from across the Black Belt area came to the Selma Library to learn about how they could get some of that money.

“The Economic Development Department contacted the chamber,” said Sheryl Smedly, the director of the chamber. “Because of the amount of money that is out there, we want to make sure that this area is educated and prepared to take advantage of these contracts.”

Michael Brooks, the assistant director of research and training for the Alabama International Trade Center brought guests with him that went over the availability of government contracts for small business.

“The federal government has billions of dollars every year,” said Brooks. “And certain portions of contracts are specifically set aside for small businesses. They have to award part of the contract to the small businesses.”

Jerry D. Ellison, the chief executive officer of Staff Services Incorporated was on hand to teach about the benefits of federal contacting.

“The United States government is the largest, and best paying, government in the world,” said Ellison.

Ellison went over the very basics of federal contracting and who could help the small business further when if they decided to get into federal contracts.

“He gave a brief overview,” said Smedly. “Just the basic information of what you need to know so you don’t go out there cold turkey.”