Gwinnett County supplier symposium is April 30

The Gwinnett County Purchasing Division will host the 8th Annual Supplier Symposium on April 30, 2014, from 8:30 am to 11:30 am, at the Gwinnett Justice and Administration Center.

Attendees will have the opportunity to meet buyers and contracting officers from the County’s Purchasing Division and other metro Atlanta agencies and take advantage of networking opportunities designed to create relationships.  This year the Symposium will be interactive with Department and Purchasing staff and will provide the opportunity to acquaint potential suppliers with the County’s procurement procedures.

For more information about the event and to register, visit the following link and register to “Save the Date April 30, 2014” for the Gwinnett County Purchasing Symposium:

Gwinnett Purchasing Symposium


Webinar on surety bonds to be presented April 17th

The U.S. Small Business Administration’s Surety Bond Guarantee Program helps small business get bonded.  If you wish to learn about this program, you are invited to participate in a free, live webinar on Thursday, April 17, 2014 from 10:00 to 11:00 am EDT.

This webinar is ideal for  small businesses with:

  • Limited financial resources
  • No prior bonded work experience
  • Been in business less than three years
  • Desire to increase your current bonding capacity

The webinar will cover Contract Bonds, including:

  • What they are and why they are required
  • How to get pre-qualified
  • Working capital and bank support

The webinar also will provide complete information about SBA’s Surety Bond Guarantee Program, including:

  • Program eligibility
  • Required information
  • Application process and fees

Advance registration is required.  Please register online at 

Date:                    Thursday, April 17, 2014

Time:                    10:00 am – 11 am

Internet: (copy the link into your browser to attend).

Phone:            888-858-2144 and then enter meeting code 7462470# to connect by phone.

Prepare in advance for the conference at:

For more information please contact Ms. Melanie Bryant at 404-331-0100, ext. 603 or

4 to-do’s for small biz success

You probably thought it was tough being a small contractor before lowest price contracting, strategic sourcing, and the budget crunch, right?

Well, add on to those conditions that primes are giving less business to subs and that fewer contracts overall are being awarded.


What’s a small contractor to do?

Here are a few things you need to do, and some things you need to consider.

First, differentiate or die. Understand what your core strength is (preferably one the market wants) and lead with it. has some really good information on differentiation and I will produce a seminar on differentiation in June. Understand how it is done and how it is communicated.

Second, understand how the government buys what you sell. Many assume a GSA schedule is the gateway, but this is not always the case, and is becoming less so. The schedules are not growing, and GSA is restricting the number of vendors on several schedules. Guy Timberlake of the American Small Business Coalition has been pushing simplified acquisitions (SAP) for a couple years. Maybe it’s time to take a good look at other contractual vehicles.

Third, determine the path of least resistance for growth. If you have a foothold in one agency, it is always better to grow your business where they know you rather than to chase the rainbow of other agencies. It is always easier to sell where you and your company are known, and most federal agencies are large enough for you to expand your foothold into a strong base.

Keep reading this article at: 

House committee approves bills to increase agencies’ small biz goals and more

The House Small Business Committee has marked up and approved a six-pack of contracting reform bills, including legislation that would raise the current agency goals for steering work to small businesses.

The package approved Wednesday would particularly affect the construction industry, women, and disabled veterans. It includes a plan to raise agencies’ small-business prime contracting goal from 23 percent to 25 percent and establish a 40 percent goal for small-business subcontractors.

“Greater small business involvement in federal contracting benefits companies and taxpayers alike,” said panel Chairman Sam Graves, R-Mo., who sponsored the bill outlining the new contracting goals. “Small firms are innovative, and increased competition often leads to savings for the taxpayers.”

A second Grave bill would “improve transparency and accountability” by discouraging bundling of contracts to give an advantage to large companies over small businesses. Bills sponsored by Rep. Richard Hanna, R-N.Y., would restrict the government’s use of reverse auctions in awarding construction contracts and increase construction companies’ access to surety bonds for use in federal procurement work.

Keep reading this article at: 

House small business committee tries again to increase small business contracting goals

Agencies have not met the governmentwide goal of awarding at least 23 percent of all prime contracts to small businesses since 2006.

Despite that, Rep. Sam Graves (R-Mo.), chairman of the Small Business Committee, believes it’s time to raise the goal.

Graves introduced legislation last Wednesday (Feb. 26, 2014) to increase the percentage of contracts that are mandated to go to small firms to 25 percent, which equates to about $10 billion more a year for these companies.

The Greater Opportunities for Small Business Act of 2014 would create a goal for agencies to ensure 40 percent of all subcontract awards go to small businesses, increasing from 35.9 percent. The bill also would require that only prime contract awards can count toward the prime contract goal.

Graves introduced the Contracting Data and Bundling Accountability Act of 2014 last week.

This bill will try to bring more data and transparency to how agencies bundle contracts.

Keep reading this article at: 

GSA doesn’t measure agencies’ inclusion of small businesses in strategic sourcing, GAO says

The General Services Administration (GSA) hasn’t developed a performance measure to determine small business participation in strategic sourcing initiatives and the Office of Management and Budget hasn’t monitored agencies’ efforts to include small businesses, a recently release Jan. 23 Government Accountability Office report says.

While documentation shows that agencies generally do consider small businesses in strategic sourcing contracts, the report says, there isn’t agency data and performance measures that would provide a more precise understanding of the inclusion of small businesses.

The Federal Procurement Data System (FPDS) can’t be used to track the extent of strategic sourcing across the federal government and its effects on small businesses because there is no strategic sourcing category in the system, GAO says.

Keep reading this article at: 

HUBZone Summit to be held in Atlanta on April 2nd

A free, one-day educational and networking conference for HUBZone and other small businesses — featuring one-on-one match-making meetings with federal agencies and prime contractors — will be held in Atlanta on April 2, 2014.

The 3rd Annual Summit for HUBZone small businesses is being held by the HUBZone Contractors National Council.  The event is free, but advance registration is required.

Businesses that register for the Summit by March 21 will have an opportunity to request 15-minute meeting times with participating agencies and primes.  Contractors must register for the Summit by March 21 to request appointments.  Appointments are not required.  There may be open appointments for those who register after March 21.

The April 2nd Summit is being held at the Sam Nunn Atlanta Federal Center, located in downtown Atlanta at 61 Forsyth St SW, adjacent to the Five Points MARTA Rail Station.  The building is situated a few blocks from CNN Center, Centennial Olympic Park, and the Georgia Dome.  Parking is available in many nearby garages.  Summit participants must provide a government-issued ID (such as a valid driver’s license, passport, or federal employee badge) to enter the Sam Nunn Atlanta Federal Center.

To register for the Summit, visit:

April 2, 2014
(subject to change)

Morning9:00 – 10:30 Welcome RemarksFederal Regional Administrators
HUBZone Program Update
  HUBZone Council
Top 10 Strategies for Federal Contracting Success
  Federal OSDBU Directors
10:30 – 11:15 CONCURRENT SESSIONS – Choose one:
Contract Compliance & SBA Compliance Control Panel
  The Centric Group
Market Research: Searching for Opportunities
  Georgia Tech Procurement Assistance Center
Navigating the HUBZone Application Process
  HUBZone Council
Agency & Prime Contractor Procurement Forecasts
  US Army et al.
11:15 – 12:00 CONCURRENT SESSIONS – Choose one:
Bid Protest Guidelines for Small Business Contractors
  HUBZone Council
Pre- and Post-Award Issues
  Georgia Tech Procurement Assistance Center
Agency & Prime Contractor Procurement Forecasts
  Battelle et al.

12:00 – 1:00

Lunch on Your Own
1:00 – 3:00 HUBZone Help Desk
1:00 – 4:00
Match-Making Sessions
Small business contractors who register by March 21 will be able to reserve 15-minute appointments with participating agencies and prime contractors.

Proposed rule streamlines agency small business spending

The Defense Department, General Services Administration and NASA are proposing to amend federal acquisition guidelines to help streamline small business purchasing, according to a notice in the Feb. 3 Federal Register.

The proposed rule would clarify that agencies can continue to claim credit toward their small business spending goals even if the small business has left the Small Business Administration’s 8(a) program – as long as the contract award was made while the business was in the program.

However, if the small business no longer represents itself as a small business in future contracts, agencies can no longer count any spending with that company under its small business goals.

Keep reading this article at: 

GTPAC hosts government contracting ‘coffee break’ for Albany small business

The Marine Corps Logistics Command Small Business Program Office, along with the City of Albany and Dougherty County, held a “Coffee Break” on January 28, 2014, for Albany-area small businesses interested in doing business with the government sector.  The Georgia Tech Procurement Assistance Center (GTPAC) hosted this second in a series of quarterly Coffee Breaks.

The event was designed to help small businesses network, in an informal setting, with small business specialists and acquisition professionals from local, state, and federal agencies.

Marine Corps Logistics Command speakers included John P. McHugh, Senior Contracts Attorney, Office of Counsel; Hattie Mosely, Director, Small Business Program Office; and Sabrina Caldwell, Head, Policy Branch, Contracts Department.

Representing local governments at the event were: Joshua Williams, Buyer, City of Albany Central Services Department; Lori Farkas, Assistant General Manager for Customer Relations and Marketing, Water Gas and Light Commission; and Mike Trotter, Materials Manager, Water Gas and Light Commission.

Topics included information on the small business programs utilized at Marine Corps Logistics Command (LOGCOM) and how LOGCOM purchases from small businesses.  Also discussed was the Contractor Performance Assessment Reporting System (CPARS) and Past Performance Information Retrieval System – Statistical Reporting (PPIRS-SR).  Upcoming bid opportunities in city/county government and the water-gas-light commission also were discussed.

Approximately 50  small and large contractors from the area attended the two-hour event.

Fifty Albany-area businesses participated in the Jan. 28th "coffee break" hosted by GTPAC.
Fifty Albany-area businesses participated in the Jan. 28th “coffee break” hosted by GTPAC.

If you would like more information on how to do business with LOGCOM, or services offered in Albany, Georgia by GTPAC, go to:  or contact GTPAC’s Bridgett Bennett at 229-430-4189.

SBA issues final rule on surety bond guarantee program

In a rule (79 Fed. Reg. 2084) scheduled to go into effect on Feb. 12, 2014, the Small Business Administration (SBA) is modifying its Surety Bond Guarantee Program to incorporate certain provisions of the National Defense Authorization Act of Fiscal Year 2013 (NDAA).  This includes provisions that increase the contract amounts for which SBA is authorized to guarantee bonds, grant SBA the authority to partially deny liability under its bond guarantee, and prohibit SBA from denying liability based on material information that was provided as part of the guarantee application in the Prior Approval Program.

The rule also makes changes to the Quick Bond Guarantee Application and Agreement, the timeframes for taking certain actions related to claims, and the dollar threshold for determining when a change in the Contract or bond amounts meets certain criteria or requires certain action. Finally, the final rule eliminates references to the provisions of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act) that has expired.

The new rule can be downloaded here: 79 Fed. Reg. 2084