July 11, 2014 by cs
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.
July 8, 2014 by cs
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.
July 8, 2014 by cs
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.
July 7, 2014 by cs
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.
July 2, 2014 by cs
Many debates on the issues in government acquisition rely on assumed “facts” that may or may not be based on reality.
However, examining the latest actual, comprehensive, uniform, and unbiased information directly provided by contracting officers (from the Federal Procurement Data System) sheds light on some discrepancies.
For example, despite the budget drama of the past two years, inflation-adjusted figures reveal that contract awards remain over 20 percent higher in 2013 than back in 2003. For the contracting profession, this news is encouraging, especially considering the wind-down of the longest war in American history and indicative of the continued increase in government contracting in providing essential citizen services.
Similarly, while awards have dropped within the General Services Administration, the Department of Defense, and the Department of State, other agencies—such as the Department of Education, the Department of the Treasury, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Justice, and the Department of Veterans Affairs—have seen increases, as have contracts awarded to small businesses.
Keep reading this article at: http://www.federaltimes.com/article/20140603/BLG06/306030013/Contracting-facts-fictions
July 1, 2014 by cs
The federal government is falling short of its goals for awarding contracts to small businesses in some industries where it spends the most money, according to the Small Business Administration.
The government has an overall goal of giving 23 percent of its contracting dollars to small businesses. It has routinely missed that goal in recent years.
An analysis of federal spending by the SBA’s Office of Advocacy shows small businesses got less than 12 percent of contracting dollars spent at manufacturers during the 2012 fiscal year. The government spent nearly $200 billion on manufacturing contracts, the most in a single industry.
One problem is not the number of contracts going to small businesses, but the amount of those contracts, the analysis says. And in industries like manufacturing, a high amount of contract dollars go to a small number of companies — for example, defense contractors like Lockheed Martin Corp. or Boeing Co. that each get billions of dollars annually.
One concern continually raised by lawmakers is that some large companies with federal contracts don’t live up to agreements to give subcontracts to small businesses.
Small businesses, meanwhile, got 22.5 percent of the $141 billion spent at companies providing professional, scientific and technical services. They received 21.3 percent of the $43 billion spent at companies providing administrative and support, waste management and restoration services.
Keep reading this article at: http://www.inc.com/associated-press/small-businesses-contracts-fall-short.html
June 30, 2014 by cs
The Atlanta District Office of the Small Business Administration (SBA) is conducting a workshop on July 17, 2014 in Atlanta to assist small businesses understand how to become 8(a) certified.
The SBA’s 8(a) Business Development program is a part of the federal government’s effort 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 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.
The workshop will be held at the U.S. Small Business Administration, 233 Peachtree Street, Suite 1900, Peachtree Center – Harris Tower, Atlanta, GA, 30303.
The workshop will be held from 10:00 am until 1:00 pm.
You must pre-register in order to attend. Register here: http://events.sba.gov/EventManagement/EventRegistration.aspx?id=02602672-c156-e311-9914-02bfa56e2a24
June 23, 2014 by cs
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is holding its 2014 National Veterans Small Business Engagement (NVSBE) conference on December 9-11, 2014 in Atlanta.
The VA conference is designed to help small businesses — especially veteran owned and service-disabled veteran owned small businesses (VOSBs and SDVOSBs) — expand contacts and build partnerships to maximize opportunities in the Federal and commercial marketplace.
This event connects small businesses with government and commercial procurement decision makers (PDMs) interested in working with VOSBs. In addition, the VA is planning to expand the attendance of commercial customers looking for VOSBs, and match Federal requirements with VOSB capabilities.
Businesses attending this event can expect to:
- Engage with PDMs from Federal and commercial customers to build relationships to enhance your chances of winning procurement contracts.
- Learn about Federal and commercial opportunities specific to your industry at Business Requirement Sessions led by PDMs.
- Take part in Networking Roundtables to personally demonstrate and pitch your business capabilities to PDMs from Federal agencies and commercial customers.
- Network with other businesses to discover subcontracting and teaming opportunities.
- Attend learning sessions highlighting business-building topics such as:
- Competitive Strategies for Winning Federal Business
- Building Strong Corporate Relationships
- Marketing Your Small Business Capabilities
When registering for the event, attendees will be asked to answer the following two questions which will help conference organizers arrange for participation by the right contracting officers and program managers:
- Who are you most interested in meeting at NVSBE? (Please provide name, title, and organization.)
- What learning sessions would you like us to provide?
Registration begins September 1, 2014. For more information about NVSBE, visit www.nvsbe.com.
Feel free to email your feedback and questions to vog.avnull@EBSVN.
June 19, 2014 by cs
Ask any small-business chief executive competing in the federal market, and he or she will tell you that finding a niche within the competitive spectrum has become increasingly difficult.
Some small businesses find themselves competing against larger businesses that have ventured into smaller contracts. With the Small Business Administration’s changes to business size standards in 2012, some small businesses also find themselves competing against much larger — but now small, by definition — businesses for set-asides.
Despite these challenges, the current government contracting environment encourages small-business participation. More than $51 billion in 2013 contract obligations went to small business via set-aside contracts, and although the total dollar figure is declining, the percentage of total obligations is increasing.
Small-business contracting continues to be a priority for contracting offices, which are under increasing scrutiny regarding small-business utilization. These offices have the burden of proof and must justify not using a set-aside for certain requirements. The Obama administration and Congress are also helping shape the path with policies that address small-business competition.
Keep reading this article at: http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/capitalbusiness/when-it-comes-to-winning-contracts-small-businesses-need-to-think-strategically/2014/06/06/64bc1b7e-ea6b-11e3-b98c-72cef4a00499_story.html
June 18, 2014 by cs
The Contracting Education Academy at Georgia Tech is repeating its three-day course that delves into the intricacies of the federal government’s Small Business Programs. The course focuses on the government agencies’ efforts to improve small business participation in both prime contracting and subcontracting.
Because of its relevance and popularity, the course is now scheduled to be held:
- July 8 – 10, 2014
- October 7 – 9, 2014
These classes will be held in the world-class Global Learning Center on Georgia Tech’s campus in midtown Atlanta. Registration details may be found by clicking here.
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 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, as well as large and small business concerns.
A review of DAU’s prerequisite course, CON 260A, is included in the Contracting Academy’s course.
Small business participation in federal contracting is a high-profile issue. For example, a recent Dept. of Defense (DoD) 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 DoD and other agency directives aimed at achieving higher levels of small business participation in federal contracting.
All leaders who manage budgets and allocate funds for contracts and contracting officers are collectively responsible for achieving the government’s 23 percent small business goal. To ensure that this collective responsibility is met, many federal agencies’ senior executives are evaluated and held accountable for small business participation in contracting. 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 — as well as large businesses who are required to establish small business subcontract participation plans.
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.