Wyoming Edition 2020—U.S. Small Business…

local success story

Stacy Bair OWNER/PRESIDENT, BAIRCO CONSTRUCTION Lovel l , WY

• What challenge did you have? When I first returned home, I evaluated the market and saw there weren’t as many people here doing public sector work. Where I worked in California was flush with contracts, and it was highly competitive—I really learned a lot in that economic environment. I love federal contracting. I know it; I speak the language. My husband and I have the industry experience; I’ve been a lead on government contracts, but we’ve never operated our own firm and bid on our own contracts. We needed guidance from expert business advisers to secure the contracts available here in our home state. • What was the SBA solution? Thanks to the SBA Wyoming District Office and SBDC Regional Director Bruce Morse, I learned what I needed as a first-time small business owner. I graduated from the SBA 8(a) Business Development Program, which provides free business development education to better compete in the public sector. I had the oppor- tunity to meet with government contracting specialists so that I could understand what agencies are looking for and how to best bid for these contracts. We got invaluable training on how to develop business systems and proposals. So often the banks and clients ask to speak to my husband as well, but I’m the president and the one with all the training and background in government contracting! • What benefit did this have for you? We’re competing for and winning interesting and lucrative contracts in our own backyard. Our first major project was to help protect a small population of Yellowstone Cutthroat Trout, a vital native subspecies, in an area inacces- sible to construction equipment or helicopters. To build this fish barrier, we had to mix concrete by hand and find a creative way to divert the water around the jobsite. It was an old-school way of doing it, but our team got it done. Recently we were contracted to build an office for the U.S. Forest Service in Montana. Without the 8(a) program, we wouldn’t have had the nerve to throw our hat in the ring for a new construction project. Our 8(a) certification gave us the kick to bid for larger, more complex projects and also to add the staff to cover them. We employ over 25 and our sales have increased each year since 2015 to a total $15 million in 2018. We’ve completed work for the Department of Defense, Microsoft, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the U.S. Department of Interior. The SBA helped us take more chances, pushing the envelope for small business success.

With guidance from the SBA Wyoming District Office and the Small Business Development Center, Stacy Bair started up as a first- time business owner. When Bairco Construction wanted to better compete in the public marketplace, Stacy then turned to the SBA 8(a) Business Development Program. Stacy has worked her way up in the male- dominated industry, from receptionist to CFO to owner. When Stacy and her husband returned to her hometown of Lovell, she knew she wanted her startup to capitalize on local SBA assistance so her team and community could benefit.

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