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Yokota hosts Vendor Fair, helps local businesses

Local business representatives listen to a member of the 374th Contracting Squadron during a Vendor Fair at Yokota Air Base, Japan, June 10, 2015. The fair attracted more than 97 participants, representing 70 business, to learn about job opportunities at Yokota. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Cody H. Ramirez/Released)

Local business representatives listen to a member of the 374th Contracting Squadron during a Vendor Fair at Yokota Air Base, Japan, June 10, 2015. The fair attracted more than 97 participants, representing 70 business, to learn about job opportunities at Yokota. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Cody H. Ramirez/Released)

A Japan Self-Defense Force member and representatives from local businesses listen to a speech given during a Vendor Fair event at Yokota Air Base, Japan, June 10, 2015. The fair was hosted by the 374th Contracting Squadron to inform local businesses of opportunities to work with the U.S. government and put money back into the local community. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Cody H. Ramirez/Released)

A Japan Self-Defense Force member and representatives from local businesses listen to a speech given during a Vendor Fair event at Yokota Air Base, Japan, June 10, 2015. The fair was hosted by the 374th Contracting Squadron to inform local businesses of opportunities to work with the U.S. government and put money back into the local community. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Cody H. Ramirez/Released)

Hiroshi Yoshikawa, 374 Contracting Squadron base support flight contract specialist, speaks to representatives from local businesses during a Vendor Fair at Yokota Air Base, Japan, June 10, 2015. The fair was hosted by the 374 CONS to promote business between the U.S. government and local businesses. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Cody H. Ramirez/Released)

Hiroshi Yoshikawa, 374 Contracting Squadron base support flight contract specialist, speaks to representatives from local businesses during a Vendor Fair at Yokota Air Base, Japan, June 10, 2015. The fair was hosted by the 374 CONS to promote business between the U.S. government and local businesses. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Cody H. Ramirez/Released)

Representatives from local businesses take notes during a Vendor Fair at Yokota Air Base, Japan, June 10, 2015.  More than 90 participants from 70 businesses came to the event to learn more about working with the U.S. government. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Cody H. Ramirez/Released)

Representatives from local businesses take notes during a Vendor Fair at Yokota Air Base, Japan, June 10, 2015. More than 90 participants from 70 businesses came to the event to learn more about working with the U.S. government. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Cody H. Ramirez/Released)

YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan -- More than 97 individuals from 70 local businesses came to Yokota Wednesday to participate in a Vendor Fair hosted by the 374th Contracting Squadron.

The venue was used to build connections and promote business opportunities between the 374th Airlift Wing and local companies, allowing the U.S. military presence in Japan to improve local communities.    

The Vendor Fair allowed Japanese companies to learn about contracting opportunities and requirements for business with the 374 CONS and other federal agencies. The attendees had a chance to network with Yokota's contracting officials, subject matter experts and other business owners as well.

"This event is mutually beneficial in informing the local business community of how to do business within the structure of U.S. requirements," said Lt. Col. Karie Kapise, 374 CONS commander. "Yokota's contracting team was able to showcase the transparent procurement process.  Also, we discovered several companies who have unique capabilities in meeting the needs of government requirements."

According to Senior Master Sgt. Justin Williamson, 374 CONS superintendent, the goal of the event was educating local contractors who are looking for U.S. government business opportunities. 

"The Vendor Fair will help business owners in Japan learn about our process as well as creating more opportunities for U.S. service members to purchase items locally," said Kapise.

According to 374 CONS, the squadron used 84.4 percent of their awarded budget in fiscal year 2014 on the local economy.

In addition to the local benefits, Kapise said these partnerships help save taxpayer dollars in the Unites States.

"These types of events have the potential to expand our vendor base substantially, which increases competition and provides greater savings for taxpayer dollars," said Kapise.

The event was well-attended by commercial businesses and event organizers are hopeful to make this an annual initiative, said Williamson.

For more information, Williamson recommends people contact Junji Sato 225-7621.