SBA announces federal government met its small business goal in FY13

August 4, 2014 by

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) announced on August 1, 2014 that the federal government reached its small business federal contracting goal for the first time in eight years, awarding 23.39% in federal contracts to small businesses totaling $83.1 billion of eligible contracting dollars.  The government’s annual small business contracting goal is 23%.

The SBA’s report is for FY13, or the 12-month period ending September 30, 2013.

“When we hit our small business procurement target, it’s a win.  Small businesses get the revenue they need to grow and create jobs, and the federal government gets the chance to work with some of the most responsive, innovative and nimble companies in the U.S. while the economy grows,” said SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet.

Performance in four out of five of the small business prime contracting categories showed significant improvement, with increases in performance against statutory goals. While contract dollars have gone down in all categories as a result of overall reduced federal spending, small businesses still secured a greater percentage of the contracting dollars.

FY13 Government-Wide Small Business Contracting - Goals and Actual

Alongside the announcement, the SBA released its FY 2013 Small Business Procurement Scorecard, which provides an assessment of each federal agency’s yearly small business contracting achievement against its goal.   Overall, the federal government received an “A” on SBA’s government-wide Scorecard.   Twenty individual agencies receiving an A or A+.   Three agencies were given a B.  One agency, the Department of Energy, received a failing grade, awarding only 7% of its contracts to small businesses in FY13.

The individual agency scorecards released by the SBA, as well as a detailed explanation of the scorecard methodology, is available online at http://go.usa.gov/Nxxd.

Strategic sourcing’s subtle effects on small business

July 29, 2014 by

Do federal strategic sourcing initiatives put price ahead of good business relationships — and hurt both small businesses and the agencies seeking their services in the process?

“The strategic sourcing that Wal-Mart does builds long-term relationships with suppliers,” said Emily Murphy, senior counsel of the House Committee on Small Business. The federal government’s brand of strategic sourcing, however, has become “more about leveraging buying and limiting the number of companies that might be able to compete.”

Keep reading this article at: http://fcw.com/articles/2014/07/23/strategic-sourcing-and-business.aspx

Subcontracting uncertainty means no HUBZone price preference required, says GAO

July 28, 2014 by

An agency properly refused to apply the HUBZone price preference when the agency determined HUBZone company’s proposal was unclear as to whether the company would comply with the subcontracting limits set forth in the Federal Acquisition Regulation’s HUBZone price preference clause.

In a recent bid protest decision, the GAO held that the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) reasonably refused to apply the HUBZone price preference in a procurement for supplies because the HUBZone company’s proposal suggested that HUBZone companies might perform less than 50% of the manufacturing costs.

The GAO’s decision in Wakan, LLC, B-408535.2 (June 19, 2014) involved a DLA procurement for chicken products.  The procurement included a small business set-aside portion and an unrestricted portion.  The unrestricted portion of the procurement was to be awarded on a lowest-price, technically acceptable basis.

Keep reading this article at: http://smallgovcon.com/gaobidprotests/gao-subcontracting-uncertainty-means-no-hubzone-price-preference-required/#more-3158

Obama renews initiative ordering agencies to more quickly pay small business contractors

July 23, 2014 by

President Obama will renew a federal initiative that requires agencies to quickly pay small business contractors, a July 11 White House statement says.

QuickPay requires agencies to pay small businesses with federal government contracts within 15 days of receiving an invoice, rather than the normal 30-day period, the statement says.

The initiative, which was originally launched in 2011, has saved small businesses more than $1 billion, the White House notes.

Keep reading this article at: http://www.fiercegovernment.com/story/obama-renews-initiative-ordering-agencies-more-quickly-pay-small-business-c/2014-07-14 

The top 3 biggest mistakes small and minority firms make in government contracting

July 15, 2014 by

The Unites States federal government is the world’s largest single buyer of products and services spending billions of dollars annually. And when the federal market procurement dollars are combined with State and local government agencies procurements then the overall government market is an ideal market for minority businesses to generate revenue and grow. This is especially the case with our tax dollars are involved and given the goals that government agencies have in making contract awards to small and minority businesses.

Many minority firms have enjoyed eating at the government procurement trough, but based on government agency data from all levels, a substantial number of minority firms are unsuccessful in government procurement and miss in winning contract awards. There are many cited causes for this contract award gap, but from my many years of being successful in winning government contracts and from my observations, below are the three biggest mistakes that minority firms make in government contracting.

  • Mistake #1: Not conducting research and learning about how to do business with a targeted government agency.
  • Mistake #2: Failing to attend pre-bid and pre-proposal meetings to build relationships.
  • Mistake #3: Not consistently marketing and staying top of mind with agency procurement staff.

Keep reading this article at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/helen-callier/the-top-three-biggest-mis_b_5515912.html

Family ties plus business ties may equal affiliation

July 14, 2014 by

The SBA affiliation rules are not always intuitive, and perhaps no SBA affiliation rule is as little understood as the so-called “identity of interest” rule under 13 C.F.R. 121.103(f).

Identity of interest affiliation can arise in several ways, including when close family members also have business ties.  As demonstrated in a recent SBA Office of Hearings and Appeals decision, a close family relationship between two business owners, plus significant business ties, may cause affiliation between the businesses.

SBA OHA’s decision in Size Appeal of Knight Networking & Web Design, Inc., SBA No. SIZ-5561 (2014) involved a Navy procurement for ship and shore satellite communications support services.  The solicitation was issued as a small business set-aside under NAICS code 541330.

After evaluating competitive proposals, the Navy announced that Knight Networking & Web Design, Inc. was one of several awardees.  An unsuccessful competitor subsequently filed a size protest, claiming that Knight was affiliated with various other entities.

Keep reading this article at: http://smallgovcon.com/sbaohadecisions/sba-affiliation-rules-family-ties-plus-business-ties-may-equal-affiliation/

Want to grow your government contracting business? Be ready for what you wish for!

July 11, 2014 by

Federal small business programs are valuable. But they can also inadvertently stunt or even slash the growth of companies that the programs are intended to help.

First, small business owners with big ambitions can capture big wins that pump up their revenue beyond their small business size standards. But without the support of federal small business programs, more than a few can’t win new work to sustain that growth. When the company shrinks again, that slide back into small business status means lost jobs.

Then there’s those that deliberately cap their business growth to hang on to the advantages of small business programs. Their plan is either to hold steady, or get acquired. That holding pattern represents lost opportunity.

But stagnation and backsliding aren’t inevitable. Practical tactics can help in the short term.

Keep reading this article at: http://www.bizjournals.com/washington/blog/fedbiz_daily/2014/06/want-to-grow-your-government-contracting-business.html?page=all

Small biz size status ordinarily is based on underlying GSA Schedule contract

July 8, 2014 by

When a small business submits an offer for a Blanket Purchase Agreement issued against a GSA Schedule contract, the offeror does not automatically recertify its size.  Rather, a new regulation effective December 31, 2013 provides that an offeror’s size status for a BPA issued against a GSA Schedule ordinarily is determined by looking to the offeror’s self-certification for the underlying GSA Schedule contract.

In a recent size appeal decision, the SBA Office of Hearings and Appeals relied, in part, on the new regulation to find that an offeror had not recertified its small business status by submitting a quotation for a BPA to be issued against the offeror’s GSA Schedule contract.

SBA OHA’s decision in Size Appeal of Total Systems Technologies Corp., SBA No. SIZ-5562 (2014) involved a Homeland Security RFQ for business management support at the Coast Guard’s C4IT Service Center.  The Coast Guard issued the RFQ under the MOBIS Schedule 874, and stated that the RFQ would result in the award of a single BPA.  The RFQ was set aside for HUBZone firms.

Keep reading this article at: http://smallgovcon.com/sbaohadecisions/gsa-schedule-bpa-awards-size-status-ordinarily-is-based-on-underlying-gsa-schedule-contract/

 

Revenue-based small business size standards to increase on July 14

July 8, 2014 by

You probably know that the federal government’s definition of a small business is based on either the number of people that a company employs or the amount of revenue it earns annually.  The number-of-employees or the gross-revenue standards are applied to individual North American Industrial Classification System (NAICS) codes.  One or more NAICS codes apply to every business.

Thus, in order to determine whether a company is a small business in the eyes of the government, one must first determine which NAICS code or codes apply to the business, and then see what size standard (employees or revenue) applies to each NAICS code.  If a business has fewer employees or earns less annual revenue (averaged over the past three years) than the standard, then that business can represent itself to the federal government as a small business.  This is an important determination to make since the federal government sets an annual goal of awarding 23 percent of its contract dollars to small businesses.

It’s been more than five years since the Small Business Administration (SBA) updated the revenue size standards for small businesses.  Therefore, as of July 14, 2014, the SBA is adjusting virtually all of its size standards that are based upon revenue, to account for the years of inflation since the last adjustment. 

The forthcoming adjustment affects almost half of all NAICS code categories.    In all,  476  industrial categories will be affected by the update,  including most service, construction, retail, agricultural and transportation industries. 

With these increases, the new small business size standards range between $5.5 million and $38.5 million.

Using the Gross Domestic Product price index to obtain the most comprehensive measure of inflation, the SBA determined that the amount of inflation that occurred between the first quarter of 2008 and the last quarter of 2013 was 8.73 percent.   The SBA then calculated the new size standards by multiplying the current size standards by 1.0873 and then rounding that total to the nearest $500,000.  After these adjustments,

This latest adjustment of the revenue-based size standards for inflation is separate from the comprehensive review of all size standards that the SBA is supposed to perform at least every five years.

The new size standards can be found at: http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=SBA-2014-0009-0001.  Busineeses have until August 11, 2014 to submit any comments on these rules which technically are “interim final rules” at this point.

Because these new size standards will apply to certificates of small business size status signed on or after July 14, 2014, small (and near-small) businesses should review the new size standards to determine whether they now qualify as a small business concern.   Businesses also should visit the System for Award Management (SAM) and verify that their profile and certifications are up to date based on the revised size standards.

See more details on the SBA’s website at: http://www.sba.gov/content/what%27s-new-with-size-standards.

NDIA’s annual missile defense small business conference is July 23-24 in Huntsville, AL

July 7, 2014 by

The Missile Defense Agency (MDA) Office of Small Business Programs has joined forces with National Defense Industry Association (NDIA) to bring you the NDIA Annual Missile Defense Small Business Conference to be held at the Von Braun Convention Center in Huntsville, Alabama on July 23 and 24, 2014.

This year’s conference will highlight information relevant to MDA’s Program requirements, an overview of MDA’s upcoming procurements, a “Successful Proposal Response Boot Camp,” and provide opportunities for matchmaking with MDA Program Offices, the MDA Office of Small Business Programs (OSBP), MDA Prime contractors, and other Agencies located on Redstone Arsenal.

More event information, including registration details, may be found at: http://www.ndia.org/meetings/4160/Pages/default.aspx.

The official conference hotel is Embassy Suites in Huntsville.  The room block is closing soon for this event, and the room rate will increase at midnight on July 9.