The Small Business Administration’s HUBZone program helps small businesses gain preferential access to federal procurement opportunities, both prime contracts and subcontracts. If your business is located in a HUBZone — a Historically Underutilized Business Zone — you could benefit.
Whether you are familiar with the HUBZone program or this is the first time you’ve heard of it, you need to know there are changes that have just taken place potentially affecting your eligibility.
On October 1, 2011, the areas of the country designated as HUBZones changed. These changes are based on census tracts and the 2010 census data recently issued by the Commerce Department. Contracting preferences can go to small businesses that maintain their “principal office” in one of these specially designated areas and employ people who live in a HUBZone. After meeting these and other standards, a firm must apply for and be granted formal HUBZone certification by the SBA.
The SBA used to maintain a web site where businesses could view a map that displayed HUBZone locations across the country. However, since census-based HUBZone designated areas just changed on October 1st, the on-line maps are not presently available. Instead, a new on-line tool has been put in place where businesses can look up addresses to see if they are in a HUBZone. The new look-up tool is located at: http://map0.sba.gov:82/gis/esri/hubzone/index.html.
With changes in the geographic areas that are and are not HUBZone eligible, many firms no longer qualify while presumably others will now qualify. Whether you were previously HUBZone qualified or not, you should use the look-up tool in the previous paragraph to determine whether you potentially qualify. Remember, a business address located within a designated HUBZone is only one step toward qualifying for HUBZone certification. In order to qualify, at least 35 percent of a company’s employees also must live within HUBZones. Thus, businesses should use the look-up tool to check employee home addresses as well. A full description of all HUBZone certification requirements can be found at http://www.sba.gov/content/applying-hubzone-program.
The SBA currently is in the process of sending out letters to all HUBZone-certified companies asking them to re-verify their eligibility. The SBA is telling these firms to use the look-up link and check addresses to determine whether they still qualify for the program.
Results from using the on-line look-up tool can be confusing. For instance, if the look-up result shows that an address will be qualified “at least until June 1, 2011″ then the address is in a HUBZone that expired on October 1, 2011. The reason for this is that the SBA originally projected the U.S. Census data release date to be June 1, 2011 and this date still appears within SBA’s HUBZone look-up tool.
While complex, participation in the HUBZone program could be worth your while. If your business qualifies for the program, and you pursue SBA’s certification for HUBZone status, you could be the beneficiary of a restricted-competition HUBZone set-aside contract.
More information about all this is at http://www.sba.gov/content/notice-expiration-redesignated-hubzones-october-1-2011. As always , if you need assistance at any point along the way, please contact the GTPAC Procurement Counselor nearest you; all contact information can be found at http://gtpac.org/team-directory.
– Compiled by the Georgia Tech Procurement Assistance Center from information available through several SBA sources.
The Small Business Administration will expand the reach of it mentor-protégé programs it was announced during testimony on Sept. 15 during the House Small Business Committee Subcommittee on Contracting and Workforce.
At a hearing titled “Helping Small Businesses Compete: Challenges Within Programs Designed to Assist Small Contractors,” Joseph Jordan, SBA’s associate administrator for government contracting and business development, testified that the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010 gave the SBA authority to implement additional mentor-protégé programs for HUBZone, women-owned, and service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses.
In the past the SBA’s program was only open to disadvantaged businesses that participated in the 8(a) business development program.
“We are in process of implementing these new programs,” Jordan said at the hearing. “We conducted robust public outreach via a 13-city Small Business Jobs Act Tour and have held several meetings with various agency and public stakeholders to collect input and feedback on the implementation of these programs.”
SBA is now drafting proposed regulations for public comment.
The mentor-protégé programs arranges relationships between experienced contractors and inexperienced small businesses to provide them business development assistance. The program provides incentives for mentor participation, such as credit toward subcontracting goals.
This hearing reviewed three recent Government Accountability Office reports including one that criticized the mentor-protégé programs for not tracking the results of the mentor-protégé relationships after they are formed.
The Small Business Administration (SBA) has approved four organizations to act as Third Party Certifiers under the recently-adoped woman-owned small business (WOSB) program. The four organizations and contact information are contained in the listing below:
Women Owned Small Businesses may elect to use the services of a Third Party Certifier to demonstrate eligibility for the program, or they may self-certify using the process outlined here on this website. SBA will only accept third party certification from these entities, and firms are still subject to the same eligibility requirements to participate in the program.
For complete details on the WOSB program, please read: http://gtpac.org/2011/05/heres-how-to-upload-documentation-to-sbas-wosb-repository/
•The Small Business Administration gave the government a B grade for its attempts to reach small-business contracting goals, including the annual 23 percent overall goal, an agency official said June 23.
The government awarded 22.7 percent of its contracting dollars to small companies in fiscal 2010, compared to 21.9 percent the previous year. It awarded $97.9 billion to small businesses in 2010, compared with $96.8 billion in 2009, a $1.1 billion increase.
The B grade means that the government met 90 percent to 99 percent of its goals for the year.
In 2010, the government improved in four of the five categories of small businesses compared to SBA’s previous score card. There were increases in contract dollars and performance against statutory goals, except in the Historically Underutilized Business Zone (HUBZone) category.
Small disadvantaged businesses received $34.4 billion, or 8 percent of contracting dollars. The government surpassed the 5 percent goal for the category, as it did in 2009.
Woman-owned small businesses received $17.5 billion, or 4 percent of contracting dollars, in 2010. It was less than a point short of the 5 percent annual goal. In 2009, such companies received 3.7 percent of contracting dollars.
Small businesses owned by service-disabled veterans received $10.8 billion, or 2.5 percent of contracting dollars. The government was 0.5 percent below the 3 percent goal for such companies, although the percentage increased from just under 2 percent in 2009.
The HUBZone small-business category was the only one to experience a decline in 2010. Such companies received $11.97 billion, or 2.77 percent of contracting dollars. The goal is 3 percent. In 2009, the government had awarded HUBZone businesses $12.41 billion, or 2.81 percent of contracting dollars.
Joe Jordan, associate administrator of government contracting and business development at SBA, said the parity issue played a part in the HUBZone decrease.
Last year, Congress settled a disagreement among the administration, lawmakers, the U.S. Court of Federal Claims and the Government Accountability Office about whether agencies are required to offer small-business set-aside contracts to HUBZone companies first. The debate was over the word “shall” in the law. In legislation passed toward the end of the year, Congress replaced the word with “may,” clearing up any confusion about the equality of small-business categories. Read more about the debate.
“I think the confusion around parity during 2010 had some contracting officers skittish around HUBZones and what they should and should not do,” Jordan said. “And that’s why it’s so great that parity is now the law of the land. There is no more confusion.”
About the Author: Matthew Weigelt is acquisition editor for Federal Computer Week – June 24, 2011 at http://washingtontechnology.com/articles/2011/06/24/sba-small-business-score-card-2010.aspx?s=wtdaily_270611
Danya Chandler plans to add employees and floor space to her Springbor, OHo engineering and manufacturing business in anticipation of winning a slice of $2.5 billion in additional contracts the federal government wants to award to small, women-owned businesses.
A Small Business Administration (SBA) program unveiled in April — more than a decade after its creation by Congress — aims to award 5 percent of all federal contracts to companies such as Chandler’s Connective Design Inc., which currently employs 10 workers in a business park just south of the new Austin Boulevard Interchange at Interstate 75.
While excited at the prospects, Chandler said she has conflicting feelings about qualifying for minority set-asides offered to women by the federal government after 20 years struggling for a level playing field in a male-dominated industry.
About 7.8 million of 27.1 million American firms are owned by women, and women-owned businesses generated $1.2 billion of $30.2 billion in total sales
those firms recorded in 2008, according to the latest U.S. Census data available.
Congress passed the law establishing the new set-aside programs for small, women-owned businesses in 2000.
More than a decade later, the program took effect April 1 after it was added to federal acquisition regulations.
“It was a priority for the Obama administration to implement this program and make it effective,” said Michele Chang, SBA’s senior adviser for the Office of
Government Contracting and Business Development. “Federal contracts can provide women-owned small businesses with the oxygen they need to take their business to the next level.”
Now SBA is conducting outreach programs with the hope of having companies certified and ready to compete for federal contracts in the third quarter of
this year “when the largest percent of small business contracts are awarded,” according to an SBA fact sheet.
Last year, the federal government awarded about $400 billion in contracts. Under the new program, up to 5 percent, or about $20 billion, in contracts will be set aside for small, women-owned businesses — about $2.5 billion more than were awarded to small, women-owned businesses in 2010, according to SBA.
To be certified for the program as a women-owned small business, or WOSB, companies must be at least 51 percent owned, controlled and primarily managed by one or more female U.S. citizens. Additional funds are available for “economically disadvantaged” companies in which the principals net worth is less than $750,000.
“Now we find out we’re disadvantaged,” Chandler said. “It’s kind of a sore spot.”
Small, women-owned businesses “weren’t getting their cut” of federal contracts, Chandler added. Started in a Miamisburg basement in 1991, Connective
Design Inc. is one of about 250,000 small, women-owned businesses in Ohio.
The company moved from Franklin into a new building off Ohio 741 south of the Austin interchange in October 2010 and recently increased its work force from seven to 10.
Originally a distributor of electrical components, it is now a manufacturer and custom and reverse engineering firm specializing in production of contacts,
connectors and assemblies for companies including DRS Environmental Systems, Florence, Ky., which provides air-quality equipment to military bases around the world.
In anticipation of continued growth, largely due to the new federal program, Chandler is eyeing expansion into an empty office and manufacturing space next door and plans to hire a quality manager, technical engineer and assembly workers by the end of the year.
Other area small, women-owned businesses are assessing the program as well.
Brenda Westendorf, president of VMI Corp., a plumbing company in Dayton, was excited to learn of the new federal program.
“I think it’s really acknowledging women,” she said. “Anybody can use all the help they can get from the government.”
Incorporated in 1996, VMI has already begun government contract work providing maintenance and repair services for metropolitan housing authorities
in Dayton and Butler County.
“There’s a lot of paper, a lot of forms, a lot of registration you’ve got to go through,” she said, but “I would love to go as far as I can with it.”
Shelly Robinson-Heller is skeptical about whether the new programs will help her company, Moraine-based Allied Shipping and Packaging.
“Working with the government is extremely time-consuming,” Robinson-Heller said.
Allied already is certified through the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council, qualifying it to participate in other programs designed to help women-owned businesses.
Still, Robinson-Heller said the new set- asides were a “step forward, but 5 percent of government contracts is not that much.”
For information, www.sba.gov/wosb
– By Lawrence Budd, Staff Writer – Middletown (OH) Journal – 4:45 PM Saturday, June 11, 2011 at http://www.middletownjournal.com/news/middletown-business-news/-2-5b-more-allotted-for-small-women-owned-firms-1182852.html
If you are interested in learning about the tools needed to pursue business with the Warner Robins Air Logistics Center (WR-ALC), the place to be is Warner Robins, GA on June 22, 2011.
(For a list of recurring products and services procured by WR-ALC, please consult: http://www.robins.af.mil/shared/media/document/AFD-081216-015.pdf )
The event will begin at 8:00 am with opening remarks by Major General Robet McMahon, Commander of WR-ALC.
Presentations are scheduled to be made by the Small Business Administration’s Procurement Center Representative (PCR) as well as staff of the Air Force Reserve Command’s Small Business Office and the WR-ALC’s Office of Small Business Programs.
Additional presentations will be made by the Small Business Development Center, the Georgia Tech Procurement Assistance Center (GTPAC), and the General Services Administration. GTPAC’s director Chuck Schadl will be providing instruction on how to do research on contract opportunities in the government marketplace.
The event will end at 12:00 noon.
Attendance is free of charge, but is limited to the first 240 persons who pre-register. To register, contact Ms. Crystal Storie at email@example.com or (478) 926-5873. You must pre-register to attend, and no more than 2 persons per company may attend.
The event will be held in the Robert L. Scott, Jr. Theater, Museum of Aviation Eagle Building, Robins AFB, Georgia. For a map and directions, please click on this link: Museum Layout & Directions
The U.S. Small Business Administration published a proposed rule in The Federal Register on May 13, 2011 that would adjust the size definition of small businesses in the transportation and warehousing sector to reflect changes in marketplace.
The proposed revisions would increase the revenue-based size definition businesses must meet to qualify as small businesses in 22 industries of the transportation and warehousing sector. As a part of its ongoing review of all size standards, the SBA evaluated all industries in this sector that have revenue-based size standards to determine whether the size standards should be retained or revised.
In 2007, the SBA began the process of reviewing and updating size standards based on industry-specific data. Before this, the last overall review of size standards occurred more than 25 years ago. Under provisions in the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010, SBA will continue its comprehensive review of all size standards for the next several years.
The proposed changes take into account the structural characteristics within individual industries, including average firm size, the degree of competition, and federal government contracting trends to ensure that size definitions reflect current economic conditions within those industries.
The changes would allow some small businesses that are close to exceeding their current size standards to retain small business
eligibility under higher size standards, give federal agencies a larger selection of small businesses to choose from for small business procurement opportunities and allow small businesses to qualify for financial assistance from the SBA. SBA estimates as many as 1,200 additional firms will become eligible for SBA programs as a result of the proposed revisions, if they are adopted.
The SBA issued a White Paper entitled “Size Standards Methodology” on Oct. 21, 2009, which explains how the SBA establishes, reviews and modifies its receipts-based and employee-based small business size standards. It can be viewed at http://www.sba.gov/size.
Comments can be submitted on this proposed rule on or before July 13, 2011, online at: www.regulations.gov, where they will be posted, or mailed to Khem R. Sharma, chief, Size Standards Division, 409 3rd St., SW, Mail Code 6530, Washington, DC 20416. For more information about SBA’s revisions to its small business size standards, click on “What’s New” on SBA’s Web site at: http://www.sba.gov/size.
SBA also has extended for an extra 30 days the comment period for a proposed rule published March 16 increasing the size standards for 35 industries and one sub-industry in the professional, scientific and technical services and other services sectors.
Comments on that rule will be accepted up until June 15.
The industries that will be affected by the proposal published on May 13, 2011 include the following NAICS codes:
[Note: Following each NAICS code is the Proposed Standard, followed by the Current Standard. All figures are in millions of dollars.]
481219 Other Non Scheduled Air Transportation $14.0 $7.0
485111 Mixed Mode Transit Systems $14.0 $7.0
485112 Commuter Rail Systems $14.0 $7.0
485113 Bus and Other Motor Vehicle Transit Systems $14.0 $7.0
485119 Other Urban Transit Systems $14.0 $7.0
485210 Interurban and Rural Bus Transportation $14.0 $7.0
485310 Taxi Service $14.0 $7.0
485320 Limousine Service $14.0 $7.0
485410 School and Employee Bus Transportation $14.0 $7.0
485510 Charter Bus Industry $14.0 $7.0
485991 Special Needs Transportation $14.0 $7.0
485999 All Other Transit and Ground Passenger Transportation $14.0 $7.0
486210 Pipeline Transportation of Natural Gas $25.5 $7.0
488111 Air Traffic Control $30.0 $7.0
488119 Other Airport Operations $30.0 $7.0
488190 Other Support Activities for Air Transportation $30.0 $7.0
488210 Support Activities for Rail Transportation $14.0 $7.0
488310 Port and Harbor Operations $35.5 $25.5
488320 Marine Cargo Handling $35.5 $25.5
488330 Navigational Services to Shipping $35.5 $7.0
488390 Other Support Activities for Water Transportation $35.5 $7.0
488510 Freight Transportation Arrangement $14.0 $7.0
If your business is woman-owned — and you’re interested in doing business with the federal government — you probably have been following developments surrounding the Small Business Administration’s Woman Owned Small Business (WOSB) set-aside program.
(For a quick recap of the new WOSB program, please read http://gtpac.org/2011/02/sba-releases-wosb-certification-forms-and-implements-repository.)
As you may know, there are two ways that a WOSB can become certified to partipate in this new federal program: go through a third-party certifying body or self-certify.
Most WOSB’s wanting to get on-board with the program quickly are opting to self-certify. (Update: It was not until 7/8/2011 that the SBA announced its approved list of third-party certifiers. This information may be found at http://gtpac.org/2011/07/sba-names-third-party-wosb-certifiers.)
Self-certification is a viable option for all WOSB firms, but knowing what information must be submitted and learning how to upload this documentation to SBA’s website are keys to getting self-certification done.
The Georgia Tech Procurement Assistance Center (GTPAC) is making two resources available to assist WOSB’s in understanding the WOSB program and the self-certification process.
- First, GTPAC is continuing to conduct workshops, both in classroom and on-line, on the subject of the new WOSB program. You can find these workshops and register for them on the training page of the GTPAC website — http://gtpac.ecenterdirect.com/Conferences.action. When you visit the training page, just type the term “WOSB” into the Keyword Search box, and then hit the “Search” button. All upcoming WOSB training sessions will then be displayed.
- Second, GTPAC has now posted a PowerPoint tutorial on-line which explains and walks-through the SBA’s on-line Repository uploading process. The tutorial specifies what documentation a WOSB must upload to the Reposity in order to become self-certified, along with instructions on how to establish an account and actually upload the documents. This tutorial can be found at http://gtpac.org/useful-links/downloads. Once you are on that page, just click on the link marked “Uploading WOSB Docs to SBA’s Online Repository.” You’ll find many other resource documents on that same page, including the WOSB certification application forms.
If you need help with any step in this process, please feel free to contact your nearest GTPAC Counselor. All contact information for the GTPAC team can be found at http://gtpac.org/team-directory.
Entrepreneurs are a powerful economic force. They create jobs, grow businesses, and develop the innovations on which America thrives. In order to help entrepreneurs thrive, the White House announced the launch of an initiative called “Start-up America” to celebrate, inspire, and accelerate high-growth
entrepreneurship throughout the nation.
This initiative comes to Georgia Tech on Monday, May 2, 2011. The event is free and open to the public, but advance registration is required.
The “Startup America: Reducing Barriers” event will be held from 1:00 until 4:30 pm on Monday, May 2 at Georgia Tech’s Global Learning Center, located at 84 Fifth Street, NW, Atlanta, GA 30308-1031.
Administration officials will join local high-growth entrepreneurs to discuss the regulatory reforms, reductions and improvements that could be enacted to help high-growth entrepreneurs grow in our country.
This event is free of charge, however pre-event registration is required, and space is limited.
Scheduled to participate are: Marie Johns (Deputy Administrator, US Small Business Administration), Michael Fitzpatrick (Associate Administrator, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs), Teresa Rae (Deputy Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Deputy Director of the US Patent and Trademark Office), Ronnie Chatterji (Senior Economist, Council of Economic Advisors) and local leaders.
Again, you must register in advance. RSVP to vog.absnull@sreirrabgnicuder.