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.

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Download the GAO report at: 

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.


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


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

Click here for Event Location Map


Pre-registration is required as seating is limited.  Register at:

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


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


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:

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.

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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.

Veteran-owned businesses must remove ‘large’ NAICS codes from VetBiz within 30 days

August 8, 2013 by

The Department of Veterans Affairs’ Center for Veterans Enterprise (CVE) has instructed verified service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses (SDVOSBs) to remove so-called “large NAICS codes” from their VetBiz Vendor Information Pages profiles within 30 days – or else.

According to a recent email from the VA’s CVE, SDVOSBs must remove any NAICS codes for which they do not qualify as a small business.  Failing to remove these “large NAICS codes” may result in potentially harsh penalties, including debarment.

The CVE’s August 1, 2013 email states, in part:

Companies verified in the VetBiz VIP database generally list the NAICS Codes under which they are qualified to provide goods and services. The VetBiz VIP database is restricted to service-disabled Veteran-owned and Veteran-owned small businesses. If any verified company lists one or more NAICS Code(s) on its profile in which it is other than small, the Department of Veterans Affairs, Center for Veterans Enterprise (CVE), is requiring that those NAICS Codes be removed. If such NAICS Codes are not removed, CVE may request the SBA to conduct a formal Size Determination, and CVE may also initiate debarment and/or cancellation proceedings against the company.

After quoting a portion of the SBA’s Standard Operating Procedure for Size Determinations, the VA CVE states: “[t]o fulfill the small business concern requirement found in the regulations, CVE is requesting each company, verified in the VetBiz VIP database, to remove all NAICS Codes in its profile that are other than small within thirty (30) days.”

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SBA offers workshops on government contracting topics

July 26, 2013 by

The Georgia District Office of the Small Business Administration (SBA) is offering several workshops in the coming months to help small businesses understand how to take advantage of SBA programs that can enhance their ability to pursue government contracts.

Below is the latest listing of SBA workshops, along with registration links:












In addition to the above workshops, the SBA also provides a number of on-line short courses to acquaint small businesses with government contracting.  You can find these resources at:




New SBA rule mandates notification if contractors don’t use small business subcontractors

July 22, 2013 by

A new rule set to go into effect Aug. 15, 2013 directs prime contractors to notify  contracting officers if they don’t use small business subcontractors that were  integral to producing a bid proposal.

In the Small Business Administration’s discussion of the final  rule, the agency says a prime contractor must represent that it will  make a good faith effort to utilize the small business subcontractors used in  preparing its bid or proposal.

The rule, authority for which comes from the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010,  spells out three conditions of small business involvement in a prime contract  bid, any one of which trigger the notification requirement: the prime  specifically references a small business in a bid or proposal; the small  business has entered into a written agreement with the prime to perform specific  work as a subcontractor under the contract should the prime win; or the small  business drafted portions of the proposal or submitted pricing or technical  information that appears in the bid or proposal.

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New rule implements ‘presumption of loss’ over small business misrepresentation

July 12, 2013 by

A new rule goes into effect Aug. 27, 2013 implementing a “presumption of loss” of the entire dollar value of any contract given to small businesses that  misrepresent their status.

The rule makes the basis of damages for a civil lawsuit equal to the value of the full  contract.

The government will consider any misrepresentation to be intentional after a  business registers itself as small in any federal database or submits a bid for  a contract as a small business.

The rule, which implements provisions from the 2010 Small Business Jobs Act, does limit liability in cases of unintentional error, technical  malfunction, “or other similar situations.” The Small Business Administration  found 200 firms that misrepresented their size in 2010.

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