The Arkansas Procurement Technical Assistance Center has an additional home in the northeastern area of the state.

A ribbon-cutting and grand opening was scheduled Wednesday at the Newport Economic Development Commission Building, located at 201 Hazel St.

“We are excited to welcome the Procurement Technical Assistance Center,” Jon Chadwell, executive director of the Newport Economic Development Commission, said. “This center will provide assistance to our local and regional companies that are trying to expand their businesses by obtaining federal, state and local government contracts.”

The Arkansas Procurement Technical Assistance Center – or PTAC – is part of the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture. It offers free services to Arkansas business owners interested in expanding their respective businesses through government contracts. In 2020, PTAC’s clients received more than $204 million in federal, state and local government contracts. Of that amount, $9.4 million were from state and local contracts.

“Sometimes the most difficult part of selling to the government is understanding what each government agency’s preferred process is for vendors,” PTAC director Melanie Berman said. “We help connect our small business clients to purchasing officials within the federal, state and local government and support business through the entire process.”

PTAC program associate Debra Garcia will work in the Newport office, assisting small business owners in Jackson County and surrounding counties. She already has several clients in northeast Arkansas who can be served closer to home by using the Newport office.

“We’re grateful to the Newport Economic Development Commissions for partnering with us,” Garcia said. “This site enables us to serve more clients, particularly in Northeast Arkansas.”

The Newport site is the third location for PTAC, which serves businesses in all 75 Arkansas counties. The other sites are in Little Rock and Bentonville. County extension agents in each county help to connect the program to the local communities.

Arkansas PTAC is part of the Community, Professional and Economic Development Department of the Cooperative Extension Service, part of the Division of Agriculture. The center is funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the Defense Logistics Agency. To learn more, visit

To learn about extension programs in Arkansas, contact your local Cooperative Extension Service agent or visit Follow us on Twitter at @AR_ Extension.

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