July 12, 2013 by cs
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.
July 3, 2013 by cs
The federal government made progress but again fell short of its small business contracting goals last year, according to government data released Tuesday.
Just 22.25 percent of federal contracting dollars, or $89.9 billion, went to small businesses in fiscal 2012, according to the Small Business Administration (SBA). That’s higher than last year’s 21.65 percent but still shy of the goal of 23 percent set by Congress. It is the 12th consecutive year officials have missed the target.
The government also fell short of its goal for women-owned businesses and firms in economically disadvantaged areas.
Download the SBA report here: download
Read a critique of the SBA report issued by the American Small Business League here: Analysis of SBA Report of Top 100 Small Business Contract Awards FY12 – ASBL
June 28, 2013 by cs
Each year, Washington Technology magazine ranks the top 100 federal contractors based on sales of IT, systems integration, communications, engineering and other high-tech products and services. They analyze and profile these firms by factors such as industry sector, those who are newcomers, those who are publicly traded or privately held, small business status, participation in Defense Department and civilian agency contracts, and many other factors. To access this list click here: http://washingtontechnology.com/toplists/top-100-lists/2013.aspx.
Washington Technology also ranks the 50 fastest growing small businesses in the government contracting market, based on their compound annual growth rate from 2007 through 2011. You can view the “Fast 50″ list at: http://washingtontechnology.com/fast50lists/fast-50-lists/2012.aspx.
The fastest growing 8(a) firms are ranked at: http://washingtontechnology.com/top25lists/top-25-lists/2012.aspx.
June 20, 2013 by cs
The Internal Revenue Service failed to give the House Small Business Committee requested documents on how the agency treats smaller companies by the requested date of June 17, the committee said Tuesday.
Danny Werfel, the acting head of the IRS, told Rep. Sam Graves (R-Mo.), the chairman of the Small Business panel, that the agency would try to get the documents to the committee within another 15 days.
Graves had asked the IRS last month what percentage of small businesses received audits from the agency, and for information on why the IRS might come to notice small businesses.
Keep reading this article at: http://thehill.com/blogs/on-the-money/domestic-taxes/306423-irs-misses-document-deadline-with-small-business-panel
June 13, 2013 by cs
[Editor's Note: The Raleigh, NC News Observer's "Shop Talk" reporter Virginia Bridges attended Marketplace, a local workshop and networking opportunity to help small businesses identify government contracting opportunities, and asked representatives from various agencies about common mistakes small-business owners make when seeking government contracts. Below is a list of tips offered.]
• “One of the major components is small-business owners fail to actually understand what the city really needs,” said Luther Williams, Raleigh’s Business Assistance Program manager. “I think this could be solved if individuals would just look at the request that the city has out there and do a little research on the city’s request to determine if their product is compatible with the city’s needs.”
• “They haven’t made the internal decision as to whether or not they really want to do business with the federal government,” said Bruce Osborne, a customer service director with U.S. General Services Administration. “Seventy-five percent of them have not asked themselves that question and afforded the opportunity to debate it with their organization.”
Keep reading this article at: http://www.newsobserver.com/2013/06/10/2953923/government-agencies-offer-advice.html
Pentagon’s top contracting official: Sequestration’s cuts could continue into FY14, disproportionately affecting small businesses
June 5, 2013 by cs
Sequestration spending cuts could continue into 2014, and the impact of the deep cuts will fall disproportionately on small business, the Pentagon’s top acquisition official told a Navy industry forum on Monday of this week (June 3, 2013).
“It’s a reasonable possibility that we will go into 2014 with sequestration still underway,” said Frank Kendall, undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics. “A lot of things we planned on doing we won’t be able to do.”
Last month, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel told Defense Department employees he could not guarantee that the budget situation would ease next year.
Kendall’s comments to the 2013 Navy Opportunity Forum in Arlington, Va., come three months into a budget sequester that is taking $41 billion out of the Pentagon budget this fiscal year, leading to cuts across the military in everything from operations and deployments to training and readiness. Furloughs are set to begin in July for about 85 percent of the Defense Department’s 767,000 civilian employees.
In the sequestration environment, Kendall said, the department needs to be more proactive in taking care of the small businesses that contract with the military.
“The cuts we are going to experience potentially will fall on small businesses,” more than on large military contractors, he said, adding that cuts in research and development worry him as well. “Potential adversaries are modernizing at a rate which makes me nervous,” he told the group, which included representatives of companies that produce advanced technologies funded by Navy programs.
Kendall said the department is about to conclude its strategic choices and management review, which Hagel ordered to provide department leaders with options given the current budget environment as well as the prospect of future spending cuts.
“What would we have to do at the department if we had to take $50 billion a year out over the long term? That would be pretty devastating,” Kendall said, mentioning one such scenario being considered by the review.
Posted by the American Forces Press Service at http://www.defense.gov//news/newsarticle.aspx?id=120200.
May 20, 2013 by cs
The General Services Administration collectively owes more than one thousand contractors more than $3 million because the agency failed to pay off vendors after kicking them out of the schedules program. The finding came as the result of an investigation by the House Small Business Committee.
The agency failed to pay some terminated contractors a $2,500 guarantee it makes to all vendors that join the schedules program.
“The General Services Administration has owned up to their mistake and will distribute payment this year,” said Committee Chairman Sam Graves (R-Mo.).
If schedule holders don’t make at least $25,000 worth of schedule sales in the first two years and $25,000 annually thereafter, GSA may cancel the contracts.
May 14, 2013 by cs
Federal, state and local government agencies frequently host trade shows or expos to publicize their contract opportunities and attract new vendors. Wonder whether you should attend a government-sponsored business expo? What should you expect if you go? How should you prepare? Are you disappointed in the last trade show you attended?
These are the kinds of questions often posed by clients of the Georgia Tech Procurement Assistance Center (GTPAC). Fundamentally, businesses want to know how they can gain a competitive advantage by attending an event sponsored by a government agency. The answer lies as much in preparation and follow-up as it does in actual attendance.
GTPAC Counselors believe these kinds of events are what you make them. If you go to just listen, you may come away disappointed. If, on the other hand, you go to make something happen, you can come away with some good contacts,valuable insights, and solid business leads.
Here are a few tips …
- Establish some objectives for yourself – what do you hope to accomplish by attending? State this in concrete, quantifiable terms.
- Think about the specific kinds of opportunities you want to go after and be prepared to explain how you represent the solution to the government’s contracting objectives.
- Identify who is going to be in attendance and research in advance as much as you can about who will be there and those persons you want to meet. Think about why they are going to the show and what they want to accomplish there – align yourself with their objectives.
- Familiarize yourself with all details of the show so that you can envision how you are going to use the structure of the show to accomplish your objectives.
- Be prepared with marketing materials, including business cards, brochures and/or product/service fact sheets, product samples/portfolio, and a detailed capabilities statement. (Don’t have a capabilities statement? See our article on this subject here.) Tailor at least one of your handouts to the expo or show itself.
- Be prepared to talk about pricing. You may not need to, but be prepared just in case someone asks.
- Begin to envision how your competitors at the show can be potential partners as a result of the show.
- Develop and be prepared to deliver a 30-second “elevator speech” which explains in layman’s terms exactly what you are an expert at doing. Don’t be shy to explain what’s special about your company and why your products/services are the best. (If you need help constructing an elevator speech, see our article at http://gtpac.org/2010/07/whats-an-elevator-pitch-and-why-you-need-one.)
- Remember that buyers don’t have time to waste. Buyers want specific information, and buyers want to know what’s special about you (that’s your competitive advantage).
- Preparation is essential. It’s better not to go than to go unprepared – you never have a second chance to make a good first impression.
- Dress to impress. And wear comfortable shoes!
- At the show, listen to how your competitors are selling themselves and learn as much about their marketing as possible. Also learn from their mistakes.
- Understand that follow-up after the show is critical. Gather all the business cards you collected, write follow-up notes or emails – promptly. Set-up follow-up meetings/conference calls, if possible and appropriate. Send more marketing materials.
- Write yourself a report on lessons-learned. Review this report before planning to participate in another event.
Your GTPAC Counselor will be glad to elaborate on this topic and provide you with additional advice. You can find our contact information right here.
© 2010 Georgia Tech Procurement Assistance Center – All Rights Reserved.
May 1, 2013 by cs
The National Veteran Small Business Coalition (NVSBC) is holding its annual Veteran Entrepreneur Training Symposium (VETS) for the 3rd consecutive year at the Silver Legacy Hotel in Reno, Nevada, on June 10-13, 2013.
VETS2013 will assemble more than 500 stakeholders to discuss how to take full advantage of federally-mandated contracting opportunities specifically for veteran-owned small businesses. The event includes representatives from the veteran small business community, federal agencies, and prime contractors who exchange knowledge and business opportunities in the classroom, the exhibit hall, and in the one-on-one business sessions.
Complete conference details, including registration information, can be found at http://www.veterantrainingsymposium.com.
You also can follow conference and sponsor developments at:
April 15, 2013 by cs
NOTE: This event is now full and no further registrations are being taken. The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), a unit of the US Department of Health & Human Services (HHS), is holding a small business outreach event in Atlanta on May 3, 2013. The Georgia Tech Procurement Assistance Center is acting as the host for this event.
This will be a day-long event, beginning with presentations by officials from Health and Human Services, the CDC and other agencies regarding their upcoming contracting opportunities, small business initiatives, and available resources. The afternoon will consist of appointments between attendees and representatives of the following agencies: CDC, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Dept. of Veterans Affairs, General Services Administration, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Small Business Administration.
Registration for this event is now open. Due to space limitations, YOU MUST REGISTER IN ADVANCE IN ORDER TO ATTEND. Click here to register: http://gtpac.ecenterdirect.com/ConferenceDetail.action?ID=7550.
This small business outreach event is being held by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), and features participation by several additional federal agencies. This is a day-long event, begins with presentations by officials from Health and Human Services, the CDC and other agencies regarding their upcoming contracting opportunities, small business initiatives, and available resources.
The afternoon consists of 20-minute appointments between attendees and representatives of the following agencies: CDC, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Dept. of Veterans Affairs, General Services Administration, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Small Business Administration. Appointment-setting with individual agencies will be done in advance, but only after initial registration (using the link above). On or about April 24, 2013, each registrant will be emailed another link to accomplish the appointment-setting.
There will be a limit to the number of appointments each person may set. In addition to the appointments, training sessions will be going on throughout the afternoon.
Networking begins at 8:00 am. Presentations begin at 8:30 am and last until noon. Lunch on your own; box lunches will be available for purchase.
This event is being held at the Georgia Tech Research Institute’s Conference Center, located at 250 – 14th St., NW, Atlanta, GA 30318. There is free parking in the deck adjacent to the GTRI Conference Center.