Founded in 2006, BH Sky moved from Overlook Drive last year (see U.S. 1, January 27, 2010) because Michelle Hermelee needed more space to accommodate her growing businessthat points companies toward government contracts.

Government, says Hermelee, is one sector of economy that is positioned for growth, and it’s a good time to consider doing business with it. More businesses are looking to get registered, get certified, and take advantage of contract opportunities, she says. Everything from IT and cyber security to transportation and logistics.

“It’s a lucrative field,” Hermelee says. “Not just for large businesses — 23 percent is set aside for small businesses.”

But just because the federal government is willing to spend, it does not just give money away to everybody. “Competition is fierce,” Hermelee says. “We encourage companies to understand the market and industry. Do your homework — who is buying? What type of contract vehicle or procurement method is used? How are they buying and who are the players? Market research and analysis is key.”

In 2010 Hermelee expanded her staff — she now has a team of regional industry specialists that she calls upon as well as a new crop of part-timers — and the number of services BH Sky offers to help companies better navigate what can be an overwhelming process.

The company also has started offering seminars. The next, “Grow Your Business by Selling to the Federal Government through the GSA Schedule,” takes place on Thursday, February 3, at 8:30 a.m. at Mercer County Community College. Cost: $499. Visit www.bhskyassociates.com.

Though New Jersey is a smaller spender than the federal government — and though it has gotten stingier since Governor Chris Christie took office — Hermelee says she foresees more strategic sourcing and cooperative purchasing contracts from the state this coming year. On the federal side, she says, the trend likely will be toward more competitively awarded contracts.

And it could be a very good year for women and veteran business owners. The federal government will launch the Women-Owned Small Business Program launching on February 4 and there will be new certification requirements for veteran owned business.

#b#BH Sky Associates#/b#, 4390 Route 1, Suite 220, Princeton, 08540; 866-468-7420; fax, 609-228-5820. Michelle Hermelee, president. www.bhskyassociates.com

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