Scott Bellows is a government procurement specialist in the SC SBDC through the Procurement Technical Assistance Center program (PTAC). In his role, Scott assists established small to medium sized companies that want to sell to federal and state government. He works out of the Columbia Area SBDC where he has been since 2007 and lives with his wife in Newberry.
Scott hails from Minnesota, but left there when he was a junior in high school and has lived all over the U.S. and overseas ever since. He holds two master’s degrees, one from Columbia University in New York and the other from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. As a warranted contracting officer, he received a good deal of training for his current position while employed with the U.S. Agency for International Development, USAID, where he worked for 12 years. His overseas assignments included Somalia, Nicaragua and Jamaica. Prior to that he worked for an engineering firm and spent more than four years with them working in the Egyptian Ministry of Development. He speaks both Arabic and Spanish. Scott also has owned and operated his own business for a number of years, so he understands the struggles and commitment required to build a successful company.
Knowing that he is helping clients to overcome challenges and achieve their goals is what motivates Scott to work tirelessly on their behalf. He said, “The most rewarding part of my job is being a provider of hope. Most of the clients come to me not because their business is growing and they’re prospering… they seek me out because they’ve hit some hurdles. This was especially apparent post 2008. I can put their situation into perspective, help them develop a strategy to move forward and then walk them through the process.”
This dedication is evident in the many hours Scott spends online or in person guiding clients step-by-step through the process of determining if government contracting makes sense for them and what they must do to identify and win contracts that utilize their products and services. Obtaining appropriate certifications and marketing to the government is a job unto itself and Scott helps his clients make sense of it all. For example, Wayne Sims of Sharp Business Consulting Services, LLC has successfully grown his business from a single person operation to now employing 21 people.
Scott values being part of the SC SBDC network. “The funding behind the PTAC program is not intended for general business counseling so having the PTAC as an embedded program with the SBDC is a nice relationship. Successful government contractors must be able to run a sound business and I can refer them to consultants on our team throughout the state for things like business plan development, accounting, obtaining funding, etc. I don’t know of any other organization with this capacity in South Carolina,” he said.
Scott described the satisfaction he derives from his job, saying, “To work with clients that gain a renewed sense of enthusiasm and a sense of confidence that they’d lost along the way makes it all worthwhile.”