(Office of the Governor) — The Commonwealth Bureau of Military Affairs announces the grand opening of the CNMI Procurement Technical Assistance Center to begin providing services to the business communities in the Commonwealth.

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The CNMI PTAC aims to walk businesses through the complexities of contracting with the federal government. Through counseling services, developing winning businesses strategies, providing training events and resources, and navigating the various channels for locating opportunities, the CNMI PTAC will be an active partner for businesses to take advantage of the federal contracting opportunities available in the region and expand the sources of funds available to Commonwealth businesses.

“This past year has been a challenge for us all. The threat of the global pandemic has shifted so much in our lives and the loss of tourism arrivals has impacted the opportunities for success among existing businesses and aspiring entrepreneurs,” said Gov. Ralph DLG Torres.

“Over the decades since our Commonwealth was established, leaders in the public and private sector have sought out the elusive goal of diversifying our economy. The CNMI has achieved some success toward this goal, but this last year has reinforced the fact that we need to refocus our efforts and strengthen our pursuit of diversification to shield our economy and our community from the many global threats out of our control and the CNMI PTAC aims to support our businesses in achieving that goal,” Torres said. 

A glimmer of light shines even in the darkest of times and this is very true for the Northern Mariana Islands, regionally known as a resilient tight-knit community and of its ability to rebound even from the hardest of times.

“I firmly believe we have the tools to achieve our objectives in diversifying our revenue sources, shared Lt. Gov. Arnold Palacios. “We have truly world class talent among our businesses and within our entrepreneurs. Throughout our community we have the passion and skills to compete at all levels of commerce. What we need is a pathway to enter into the arena and this is why I am so excited for the work that will be performed for our businesses and our aspiring next generation of private sector leaders in our new CNMI Procurement Technical Assistance Center,” Palacios said.

This PTAC is a first of its kind. “Among all centers around the nation the CNMI PTAC is the first to be a part of the services and programs provided directly by the local government,” shared Glenna Sakisat Palacios, special assistant for military affairs. “This is the level of commitment the Torres-Palacios administration is placing into seeing this program succeed. We encourage our communities across the Commonwealth to enroll and become clients to take full advantage of the services the PTAC has to offer,” said Palacios.

The CNMI PTAC reside within the Commonwealth Bureau of Military Affairs and is staffed by a director, procurement counselor, and an administrative officer.

“We welcome our new director for this great endeavor, Sixto Igisomar, who will build upon his depth of experience as a former secretary of the CNMI Department of Commerce and his years of distinguished service as a senator for the Third Senatorial District,” the governor and lt. governor said.

“Under his leadership, we look forward to a new chapter of opportunity and success in the CNMI economy as we tap into the possibilities and resources required to support the needs of our nation’s government.”

Director Igisomar expressed his commitment to do what it takes to support the CNMI business communities in gaining greater access to the federal marketplace.

“Across the world, the Department of Defense relies on the private sector to fulfill the needs of the nation’s military. These needs support the economies of communities and play an important role in economic development for their populations, said Igisomar. “The CNMI PTAC has the means to provide a range of services and will be critical resource in making our firms competitive. We will do all it takes to support our business communities gain greater access to contract opportunities available on our shores and now is the time for our economy to benefit while the CNMI continues to support the needs of our national security,” said Igisomar.

The CNMI PTAC is primarily funded by the Defense Logistics Agency, with in-kind support through partnership with the Commonwealth Development Authority, Department of Commerce, CNMI-SBDC, and the Office of Grants Management. It is located on the ground floor of the Commonwealth Development Authority Building in Suite 106, Beach Road, Oleai.  It is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday to Friday.

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