SBA holds 8(a) and HUBZone eligibility workshop Nov. 13

November 4, 2013 by

The Georgia District Office of the Small Business Administration is holding a workshop on Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2013 to provide an overview of the eligibility requirements for 8(a) and HUBZone certifications, and other procurement related information.

Event Details:

  • Wednesday, November 13, 2013
  • 1:30 PM – 3:30 PM
  • Location: 233 Peachtree Street NE, Ste. 1900, Harris Tower-Peachtree Center, Atlanta, GA, 30303

Register at: http://events.sba.gov/EventManagement/EventRegistration.aspx?id=8627e5fb-a22a-e211-aa20-02bfa56e2a24

Popular small business course scheduled to be repeated

November 1, 2013 by

The Contracting Education Academy at Georgia Tech is repeating its three-day course that delves into the intricacies of the government’s Small Business Programs.  The course focuses on the government’s efforts to improve small business participation in prime contracting and subcontracting.

Because of its relevance and popularity, the course is now scheduled to be held:

  • Dec. 3 – 5, 2013
  • Jan. 21 –  23, 2014
  • Apr. 15 – 17, 2014
  • July 8 – 10, 2014

All classes will be held in the world-class Global Learning Center on Georgia Tech’s campus in midtown Atlanta.

Known as “CON 260B – Small Business Programs,” the course is a Defense Acquisition University (DAU) level 2 contracting course that goes a long way to ensure that those in the acquisition field – DoD and non-DoD agencies alike – are more aware of and responsive to small business concerns.  Historically, this class was designed for small business specialists, however The Academy has fashioned this class so that it is applicable to all interested parties – senior executives, managers, contracting officers and contracting staff, small business specialists from all agencies, small business advocates, and large and small business concerns.

A review of DAU’s prerequisite course, CON 260A, is included in the Contracting Academy’s course.

On February 10, 2012 Ashton B. Carter, then Deputy Secretary of Defense released a memorandum regarding “Advancing Small Business Contracting Goals.”  The memo (seen here) reiterates how essential small businesses are to our nation’s economic recovery because they produce more jobs, represent a major source of innovative solutions to warfighter needs that help maintain our status as the world’s finest military, and contribute more to gross domestic output.  The Contracting Academy is committed to supporting Department of Defense and other agency directives aimed at achieving higher levels of small business participation in federal contracting.

Carter’s memo identifies all leaders who manage budgets and allocates funds for contracts in addition to contracting officers as being collectively responsible for achieving the 23 percent goal.  To ensure that this collective responsibility is met, Carter announced that senior executives will be rigorously evaluated and held accountable.  A mandatory performance requirement for supporting this goal includes language that “establishes a command or program climate that is responsive to small business concerns.”

The Academy’s CON 260B is very relevant to the training needs of everyone involved in the process of seeing to it that small businesses participate in government contracting and subcontracting opportunities.  This includes, of course, small businesses themselves.

The Academy offers CON 260B, a 3-day course, as an open enrollment course which virtually ensures seating for all registrants.  Register here for the next CON 260B – Small Business Programs class at Georgia Tech in Atlanta.

2.1 CEUs are granted to those successfully completing this course.

This 3-day course is also available for instruction at your site.  For more information or to make arrangements, call 404-894-6109 or email ude.hcetag.ymedacagnitcartnocnull@ofni.

VA sole decider in SDVOSB status protest decisions, rule says

October 21, 2013 by

The Veterans Affairs Department will decide status protests for all  service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses and veteran-owned small  businesses and not cede that authority to the Small Business Administration, a  Sept. 31 interim rule says.

The rule doesn’t change the fact of self-certification for SDVOSB status by  companies bidding on contracts at agencies other than the VA.

The VA’s director of the Center for Veterans Enterprise will initially  adjudicate all SDVOSB and VOSB status protests, but those businesses can appeal  to the VA’s executive director of small and disadvantaged business utilization,  the rule says.

The VA says it considered reaching an interagency agreement with the SBA for it  to review and decide status protests, but determined that SDVOSB and VOSB status  protest adjudication should remain within VA.

Keep reading this article at: http://www.fiercegovernment.com/story/va-sole-decider-sdvosb-status-protest-decisions-rule-says/2013-10-16

See the new interim rule at: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-09-30/html/2013-23759.htm

Federal rule mandates small business updates, imposes monetary penalties

September 24, 2013 by

Small businesses need to pay closer attention than ever to their “small business size status.”

New rules from the Small Business Administration (SBA), recently published in the Federal Register, require that small businesses:

  1. Accurately maintain their size status with the federal government, and
  2. Face substantial financial penalties, if willful misrepresentation of size or socioeconomic status is proven.

What actions are expected to be taken by small businesses?

First and foremost, it’s imperative that every small business update its profile in the System for Award Management (SAM) at least once a year.  A small business failing to perform annual updating will no longer be identified in the SAM database as a small business.  Lack of updating also will cause a firm’s other socioeconomic designations (such as SDB, 8(a), HUBZone, WOSB, EDWOSB, VOSB and SDVOSB) to be dropped from SAM.   Losing these designations in SAM potentially means losing eligibility for federal contracts set-aside for various small business classifications.  Firms not identified as small businesses also will not likely be considered as potential subcontractors by prime contractors who are required to meet small business subcontracting goals.

The possible penalty for a business misrepresenting itself as a small business has never been as severe as now.  If the SBA finds that a business “willfully misrepresented” itself as a small business in order to win a federal contract, the agency can cancel the contract and impose a penalty equal to the total dollar value of the contract.  Previously, when a contractor misrepresented its size or small business status, the contractor had to forfeit its contract and pay back profits associated with the contract.

The bottom line is this.  Businesses should make sure they update SAM at least annually.  In addition, businesses should expect to see a new certification form in bid and proposal solicitations, requiring each small business to certify its status as a small business along with any other socioeconomic classification the firm may hold.  The form must be signed by an authorized official.  If a federal solicitation does not contain a certification section, offerors (bidders and proponents) are expected to prepare a signed certification of their own to be included in their offer.

 

SBA loan guarantee program for veteran-owned businesses goes unevaluated

September 23, 2013 by

A loan-guarantee program for veterans that began in 2007 is the latest Small  Business Administration pilot program that the agency has neglected to  evaluate.

The SBA originally planned to evaluate its Patriot  Express loan-guarantee program by the end of 2010, but instead extended it  through December 2013, a Sept. 12 report from the Government Accountability Office says. With the extension now  near its end, the SBA has still yet to evaluate it or make a plan to do so.

In recent years, Patriot Express loans — for businesses majority-owned by  veterans and other members of the military community — defaulted at more than  three times the rate of other SBA loans.

The GAO report says SBA has not established any measurable goals for the  program.

Keep reading this article at: http://www.fiercegovernment.com/story/another-sba-pilot-goes-unevaluated/2013-09-16

Download the GAO report at: http://www.gao.gov/assets/660/657793.pdf 

Step-by-step 8(a) certification training offered by SBA on Oct. 17

September 18, 2013 by

The federal government’s 8(a) Business Development (BD) program is a part of the U.S. Small Business Administration’s efforts to promote equal business access for socially and economically disadvantaged individuals including Black Americans, Hispanic Americans, Native Americans, Asian Pacific Americans, subcontinent Asian Americans, and in some cases women business owners.

Companies with an 8(a) Certification can benefit from the wide-range of services offered including government contracting opportunities, access to capital, management and technical assistance, and much more.

When

Thursday, October 17, 2013 10:00:00 AM – 1:00:00 PM EST

Location

SBA Georgia District Office, Peachtree Center – Harris Tower, 233 Peachtree Street, Suite 1900, Atlanta, GA, 30303

Click here for Event Location Map

Registration

Pre-registration is required as seating is limited.  Register at: http://events.sba.gov/eventmanagement/EventRegistration.aspx?id=00d19c5e-e517-e211-b1ac-02bfa56e2a24

Event Contact

Patrice Dozier at (404) 331-0101

SBA holds women and veterans federal contracting workshop Oct. 10th

September 18, 2013 by

Government-wide procurement goals provide opportunities for small businesses.   This Small Business Administration (SBA) workshop will provide information on two programs — one designed to benefit women-owned businesses and the other designed to help businesses owned by vets — to become a successful entrepreneur in the federal contracting arena.

Event Details

Topics To Be Covered:

1.  Eligibility requirements for service disabled veteran-owned small business concerns.

2.  Patriot Express Loan Program

3.  Eligibility requirements for the Women Owned Small Business  Contracting Program

4.  How the WOSB Program can provide significant opportunities for women entrepreneurs

When

Thursday, October 10, 2013 10:00:00 AM – 12:30:00 PM EST

Location

SBA Georgia District Office, Peachtree Center – Harris Tower, 233 Peachtree Street, NE – Suite 1900, Atlanta, GA, 30303

Click here for Event Location Map

Event Sponsor

SBA Georgia  District Office

Registration Information

Pre-register at: http://events.sba.gov/eventmanagement/EventRegistration.aspx?id=f6b232a5-5e24-e211-b354-02bfa56e2a24

Event Contact

Patrice Dozier at (404) 331-0101.

3-day course covers all federal small business programs

September 11, 2013 by

The Contracting Education Academy at Georgia Tech is offering a three-day course delving into the intricacies of the government’s Small Business Programs, including efforts to improve small business participation in prime contracting and subcontracting.   The course will be held Oct. 29-31, 2013 in the world-class Global Learning Center on Georgia Tech’s campus in midtown Atlanta.

Known as “CON 260B – Small Business Programs,” the course is a Defense Acquisition University (DAU) level 2 contracting course that goes a long way to ensure that those in the acquisition field – DoD and non-DoD agencies alike – are more aware of and responsive to small business concerns.  Historically, this class was designed for small business specialists, however The Academy has fashioned this class so that it is applicable to all interested parties – senior executives, managers, contracting officers and contracting staff, small business specialists from all agencies, small business advocates, and large and small business concerns.

A review of DAU’s prerequisite course, CON 260A, is included in the Contracting Academy’s course.

The Contracting Academy is committed to supporting the latest Department of Defense (DoD) directive aimed at achieving higher levels of small business participation in DoD contracting.

On February 10, 2012 Ashton B. Carter, the Deputy Secretary of Defense released a memorandum regarding “Advancing Small Business Contracting Goals.”  The memo (seen here) reiterates how essential small businesses are to our nation’s economic recovery because they produce more jobs, represent a major source of innovative solutions to warfighter needs that help maintain our status as the world’s finest military, and contribute more to gross domestic output.

Carter’s memo identifies all leaders who manage budgets and allocates funds for contracts in addition to contracting officers as being collectively responsible for achieving the 23 percent goal.  To ensure that this collective responsibility is met, Carter announced that senior executives will be rigorously evaluated and held accountable.  A mandatory performance requirement for supporting this goal includes language that “establishes a command or program climate that is responsive to small business concerns.”

The Academy’s CON 260B is very relevant to the training needs of everyone involved in the process of seeing to it that small businesses participate in government contracting and subcontracting opportunities.  This includes, of course, small businesses themselves.

The Academy offers CON 260B, a 3-day course, as an open enrollment course which virtually ensures seating for all registrants.  Register here for the next CON 260B – Small Business Programs class at Georgia Tech in Atlanta.

2.1 CEUs are granted to those successfully completing this course.

This 3-day course is also available for instruction at your site.  For more information or to make arrangements, call 404-894-6109 or email ude.hcetag.ymedacAgnitcartnoCnull@ofni.

How to win government contracts the ‘EZ’ way

September 10, 2013 by

Note: Last year, the Small Business Administration launched an experimental web site called “EZ-RFP” to solicit streamlined bids for some low-cost technology projects as a way of assisting small, high-growth technology firms to do business with the federal government.  This article reports on the status of this pilot project.

A novice might think The MIS Department, a Chicago technology firm, would have no trouble winning government contracts.

The company has a proven track record engineering complex computer systems and building websites. It has done the arduous legwork of getting authorized to provide services to the federal government, the state of Illinois, Cook County and the city of Chicago. It’s even filed paperwork for 8(a) certification, which allows the company to compete for a special class of contracts reserved for minority-owned small businesses.

And, get this: Company president Rajeev Chopra was chief information officer for President Obama’s 2012 reelection campaign, responsible for keeping a suite of information technology tools up and running for more than 2 million staffers and volunteers across 813 field offices.

But even with all that going for it, MIS, which stands for Management Information Systems, for years was unable to take a government contract to the finish line.

Why? Most of the company’s dozen or so employees were busy, for one thing, working on IT contracts with Chicago businesses and political groups in Washington that Chopra encountered during the campaign. That left only Devlin Kane, director of business development, to try to drum up government work.

Keep reading this article at: http://www.nextgov.com/emerging-tech/2013/08/how-win-government-contracts-ez-way/69704

 

Does your firm qualify as a SDB?

August 26, 2013 by

Small businesses, if qualified, can self-represent their status as a small disadvantaged business (SDB).  Doing so could qualify your firm to be considered for federal contracting, including subcontracting, opportunities.

You do not have to submit an application to the Small Business Administration (SBA) for SDB status.

To self-represent as an SDB, you must register your business in the federal government’s vendor database known as the System for Award Management (SAM).  Navigate to end of the SAM database to find the section that deals with small business certifications.   However, first make sure you and your firm understand the SBA eligibility criteria for SDBs.

In order to qualify as an SDB, generally:

  • The firm must be 51% or more owned and controlled by one or more disadvantaged persons.
  • The disadvantaged person or persons must be socially disadvantaged and economically disadvantaged.
  • The firm must be small, according to SBA’s size standards.

While SBA must still certify all firms that participate in the 8(a) Business Development Program, the requirements to be approved are different and more rigorous than SDB status.  If you believe your firm is ready for the 8(a) Business Development program, click here.

For more information on SDB certification, view the October 3, 2008 Federal Register notice  which explains why SDBs do not need to submit an application to the SBA.

In addition to self-representing your business as an SDB, if qualified, your firm might also meet the requirements for one or more of the following programs:

  • SBA’s 8(a) Business Development Program provides managerial, technical, and contractual assistance to small disadvantaged businesses to ready the firm and its owners for success in the private industry.
  • SBA’s HUBZone Program helps small businesses in urban and rural communities gain preferential access to federal procurement opportunities. These preferences go to small businesses that obtain HUBZone certification in part by employing staff who live in a HUBZone. The company must also maintain a “principal office” in one of these specially designated areas.
  • The Women-Owned Small Business Federal Contract Program authorizes contracting officers to set aside certain federal contracts for eligible women-owned small businesses.
  • The Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business Concern Procurement Program provides procuring agencies with the authority to set acquisitions aside for exclusive competition among service-disabled veteran-owned small business concerns.