CDW-G extends small-biz consortium

CDW Government Inc. has opened its small-business consortium to state and local governments in seven states, officials of the Vernon Hills, Ill., information technology reseller said this week. CDW-G is also calling for more small businesses to participate in the consortium.

According to company officials, the consortium helps small and disadvantaged businesses win federal contracts by allowing them to draw on the large-company resources of CDW-G, a subsidiary of CDW Corp.

CDW-G started the consortium in July with 12 small businesses, allowing them to bid for federal contracts with CDW-G as a part of its team. They can use CDW-G's e-commerce, service and distribution capabilities to help them compete for federal IT contracts.

Now, the consortium serves state and local governments in California, Illinois, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Texas and Washington.

Government agencies benefit from doing business with consortium members, because they can get credit for doing business with small companies and be assured of the resources of a large company, according to CDW-G officials.

"We think it is a win-win-win proposition," said Jim Shanks, president of CDW-G.

Earlier this week, CDW-G issued a request for proposals, calling for woman-, minority- and veteran-owned small businesses, 8(a)-certified small businesses and small businesses located in Historically Underutilized Business Zones to participate in the consortium. The RFP can be found at www.CDWG.com/smallbizrfp.

The deadline for submitting proposals is Dec. 1. CDW-G officials said they want to have new consortium members in place by early 2004.

Consortium members sign an annual partnership contract with CDW-G that is not limited to any specific project. As the small businesses pursue opportunities, they work directly with their customers and bring in CDW-G when they need products to support their service engagements or when they want to offer their customers a CDW-G service, such as custom PC configuration. CDW-G will also refer business to consortium members, according to company officials.

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