April 19, 2012 by cs
If you want to find out how your business can apply for federal HUBZone certification status, then Macon State University is the place you need to be on Tuesday, May 1, 2012.
The Small Business Administration’s HUBZone Program promotes economic development and employment growth in distressed areas of the country by providing preferential access to federal contracting opportunities. These preferences go to small businesses that maintain a principal office in one of these specially designated areas, employ staff who live in a HUBZone, and apply for and obtain HUBZone certification.
In order to qualify for the HUBZone program, your business must be located in an area designated as a Historically Underutilized Business (HUB) Zone. You may determine if an address or a particular area is designated as a HUBZone by visiting http://map.sba.gov/hubzone/maps and typing-in the address of your principal place of business. If the resulting map indicates that your business is located in a HUBZone, you may be eligible to receive a preference in the award of federal contracts, but you must first become HUBZone certified.
In addition to being located in a HUBZone, there are additional requirements you must meet in order to be certified. Certification is a complex process, but the process could well be worth your time because of the resulting federal contracting preferences.
In order to guide you through this process, the Georgia District Office of the SBA is hosting an all-day workshop on May 1st that is designed to help you understand the details of HUBZone eligibility, the step-by-step application process, and much more.
In addition, the Georgia Tech Procurement Assistance Center (GTPAC) will be conducting a session at this event to help you understand the fundamentals of government contracting, including how to identify and take advantage of HUBZone set-aside contracting opportunities.
Advance registration is required to attend. You can register by clicking on this link: http://events.sba.gov/eventmanagement/EventRegistration.aspx?id=e0148925-cc87-e111-b0b2-02bfa56e2a24.
The SBA’s HUBZone Boot Camp will be held from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm at Macon State University, 100 College Station Drive, Macon, GA 31206. A map and directions are located at http://www.maconstate.edu/maps.
More details on the SBA’s HUBZone Program and the certification application process may be found at https://eweb1sp.sba.gov/hubzone/internet/general/application-guide.cfm#Welcome.
A flyer describing the May 1 event can be downloaded by clicking here.
Here’s what the schedule for the day looks like:
HUBZone Boot Camp Agenda – May 1, 2012
9:00 – 9:15 Welcome and Opening Remarks
9:15 – 10:15 HUBZone 101 and Q and A
10:15– 10:30 Break
10:30 – 11:15 How to complete a HUBZone application session
11:15 – 12:15 Panel Discussion on best practices
12:15 – 1:30 Lunch break
1:30 – 2:30 Doing Business with the Federal Government
2:30 – 2:45 Break
3:00 – 3:45 Other Certifications
3:45 – 4:00 Close out
October 5, 2010 by ei2admin
In the next few weeks and months there are many government-sponsored conferences being held to attract small businesses to, and inform small businesses of, government agencies’ upcoming contracting opportunities.
Toward the end of this article, you’ll see a list of many government-related vendor conferences coming up, along with details on how to register.
But before jumping right into that list, the Georgia Tech Procurement Assistance Center (GTPAC) suggests you take a few preparatory steps. After all, it’s important that you make a sound decision about whether it’s worth the time, effort, and expense to attend a particular vendor conference.
First of all, small businesses should make no mistake about it: government agencies may need you more than you need them. Federal agencies are under the gun to ensure that small businesses — including 8(a) firms, companies in HUBZones, service disabled veteran owned small businesses, and others such as women-owned businesses at the subcontract level — get their share of the “contract spend.” Keep in mind that the federal government is nearing the end of its fiscal year (Sept. 30th), so there is money to be spent before then, and small business goals to be met. That’s why agencies host conferences — to demonstrate that they are reaching out to the small business community — and that may be why there are always so many government events scheduled toward the end of each year.
Does that mean that you should attend as many governmental vendor conferences as you can, and that by attending, contracts will begin to fall in your lap? Hardly.
From GTPAC’s perspective, government-sponsored vendor conferences run the gamut in value. Some are well-organized, featuring details on specific, upcoming opportunities as well as access to the decision-makers. Other conferences, however, can be disappointing, consisting of little more than “a dog and pony show.”
So how do you select a good conference to attend? How do you reduce the risk that you’ll be attending a conference that has little value to you?
There are several things you should do before deciding to go to a government-sponsored vendor event. Here is a checklist:
1. Research the conference sponsoring agency’ s forecasted contract opportunities. Look for the sponsoring agency’s annual procurement forecast on that agency’s website. Use www.google.com/unclesam and type in the name of the federal agency and “procurement forecast.” (If that search fails to produce the results you need, check https://www.acquisition.gov/comp/procurement_forecasts/index.html.) One thing for sure, before you attend an event, you want to make sure the sponsoring agency buys what you sell.
2. Find out what contract opportunities will be the subject of the conference. Even if an agency buys what you sell, you’ll want to make sure that will be the focus of the conference. Look in the conference announcement — see if the agency identifies specific goods and services that will be the focus of the conference. Are the NAICS codes for future contracts identified, and do they match-up with yours?
3. Determine whether you’ll get access to decision-makers. Look for opportunities to meet one-on-one with the people who make the buying decisions. Good vendor conferences will provide you with the opportunity to meet, on an appointment basis during the event, with agency contracting officials. See if you can make appointments as a part of the registration process or whether such opportunities exist on-site at the event. Think outside the box: If you arrive early — or stay late — will you be able to spend time with the people who award contracts?
4. Once you select a conference, prepare yourself. Remember, only one-third of the “action” occurs at the event itself. You should spend the first third of your time preparing to attend. And another third should be spent in follow-up, after the event. If you are not prepared to make this much of an investment of your time, maybe you shouldn’t attend. To help you prepare, attend, and follow-up, we recommend you read our detailed article at: http://www.albanysmallbiz.org/2010/05/14-tips-for-attending-a-government-expo-or-trade-show. 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.
Now, what you have been waiting for: The information about upcoming government vendor shows. Here they are:
- Public Health Preparedness Summit – February 22-25, 2011 – Atlanta, GA – Details at; http://www.phprep.org/2011.
- National Recreation and Park Association Congress & Exposition – November 1 – 4, 2011 – Atlanta, GA – Details to be announced.
2010 Conferences (Upcoming)
- GSA Schedules Contract Training- December 13 and November 15, 2010 – On-Line Webinar - Register for the Nov. 15 webinar at https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/670264562; Register for the Dec. 13 webinar at https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/913141458.
- Aerospace Industry Committee (AIC) 8th Annual Requirements Symposium – November 16 – 18, 2010 – Perry, GA – Details at: http://www.wrcoc-aic.org/Page8.aspx.
- Department of Defense “Industry Day” focusing on the shipbuilding industry along the Gulf Coast - November 9, 2010 – Biloxi, MS – Details at: http://www.albanysmallbiz.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/3rd-Annual-DoD-Shipbuilding-Industry-Day-Nov-9-2010.pdf
- The Governmental Purchasing Association of Georgia’s annual Georgia Vendor Exhibitor Fair - November 2-3, 2010 – Perry, GA – Details at: http://www.albanysmallbiz.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/GPAG-Vendor-Fair-Nov-2-3-2010-Perry-GA.pdf
- 4th Annual SDVOSB/VOSB/SB Conference & Match Making Expo – October 28 – 29, 2010 – Tampa, FL – Details at: http://www.dm.usda.gov/osdbu/FBOAnnouncement_13Aug2010.pdf.
- Small Biz Contractors’ Forum Presents: Contacts & Contracts – October 27, 2010 – Atlanta, GA – Details at: http://www.nasbc.org/contacts-contracts-georgia.
- City of Albany Small Business Procurement Program Kick-Off & Orientation – October 18, 2010 – Albany, GA – Details at: http://gtpac.org/2010/10/city-of-albanys-small-business-program-kick-off-set-for-oct-18.
- University System of Georgia – South Georgia Regional Procurement Expo 2010 – October 15, 2010 – Savannah, GA – Details at: http://www.albanysmallbiz.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/Univ.-System-of-GA-Procurement-Expo-Oct.-15-2010.pdf.
2010 Conferences (Previously Held – Resources Posted)
- National SBIR Beyond Phase II Conference & Technology Showcase - September 13 – 17, 2010 – San Antonio, TX – Details at: https://www.beyondphaseii.com/index.aspx.
- Effective Problem Solving – Life’s Most Important Skill - September 9, 2010 – On-Line Webinar - details at: https://mep-nist-events.webex.com/mep-nist-events/onstage/g.php?t=a&d=997194952
- Annual U.S. Army Infantry Warfighting Conference – September 13 – 16, 2010 – Columbus, GA – Details at http://www.albanysmallbiz.org/2010/09/army-vendor-showcase-in-columbus-ga-in-sept.
- GSA’s Public Buildings Service Educational and Matchmaking Conference – August 31, 2010 – Atlanta, GA – Details at http://www.albanysmallbiz.org/2010/08/gsa-to-host-public-buildings-service-vendor-conference-aug-31st - Conference proceedings now posted at http://www.albanysmallbiz.org/training/training-video.
- Air Force Information Technology Conference - August 30-31, 2010 – Montgomery, AL – Details at http://www.albanysmallbiz.org/2010/07/air-force-to-host-it-vendors-in-montgomery-al.
- Clayton County (GA) Business Community Meeting- August 26, 2010 – Jonesboro, GA – Details at http://www.albanysmallbiz.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/Clayton-County-Business-Community-Meeting-Aug.-26-2010.pdf.
- Minority Enterprise Development Week Conference – August 25-27, 2010 – Washington, DC – Details at MEDWeek flyer - Conference proceedings now posted at http://www.medweek.gov/conference-presentation.
- SBA Veterans Export Business Symposium - August 24, 2010 – Lawrenceville, GA – Details at Veterans Export Symposium 08 24 2010.
- USWCC Women-Led Economy Launch Meeting - August 17, 2010 – Atlanta, GA – Details at: http://www.uswcc360members.org/memberarea/EventList.aspx - Post-conference details now available at: http://www.uswcc.org.
- Georgia Small Business Summit – August 17, 2010 – Macon, GA – Details at http://www.albanysmallbiz.org/2010/07/sen-isakson-to-host-small-business-summit-in-macon.
- Marine Corps Logistics Command’s Annual Vendor Event – August 12, 2010 - Albany, GA – Details at http://www.albanysmallbiz.org/2010/06/albany-marine-corps-base-hosting-vendor-event-aug-12th - Conference proceedings now posted at http://www.logcom.usmc.mil/sbpo.
- Emergency Response Contracting Conference - June 21, 2010 – Atlanta, GA - Conference proceedings now posted at http://www.albanysmallbiz.org/training/training-video.
Interior Dept. Small Business Boot Camp - August 31, 2010 – Washington, DC – http://www.doi.gov/osdbu/registration_aug31.html
- © 2010 Georgia Tech Procurement Assistance Center – All Rights Reserved.
October 1, 2010 by ei2admin
The small business contracting parity debate is finally over.
On Monday, President Obama signed legislation that re-establishes equality among each of the small business subcategories that competes for government contracts.
The 2010 Small Business Jobs Act, which also provides tax cuts for undersized firms and creates programs to support private sector lending, makes a technical revision to the 1953 Small Business Act by replacing the word “shall” in the Historically Underutilized Business Zone statute with the word “may.”
The old language in the Small Business Act stated that a procurement officer shall award contracts based on limited competition to HUBZone small businesses. But, the statutes creating the service-disabled veteran-owned small business program and the Small Business Administration’s 8(a) Business Development Program used the word “may” when referring to set-aside contracts.
The Government Accountability Office and the U.S. Court of Federal Claims determined the difference unambiguously established a preference for HUBZone firms.
The Small Business Administration lobbied lawmakers for months to support legislation that would place contractors in the 8(a) and service-disabled veteran-owned small business programs — and the pending women-owned small businesses program — on equal footing with HUBZone companies. HUBZone companies are located in economically depressed neighborhoods.
“This clarification will help federal agencies meet each of the government’s small business contracting goals,” said SBA spokeswoman Hayley Matz.
The agency now will work with the Federal Acquisition Regulatory Council to “put in place, as expeditiously as possible, provisions implementing parity among all of SBA’s contracting and business development programs,” Matz said.
But, some small businesses are worried the new legislation could spell the end of the HUBZone program. “This is going to seal the fate of the HUBZone program,” said Jim Slagle, executive vice president for sales and marketing at Mission Critical Solutions, a Tampa, Fla. HUBZone firm that first challenged the parity statute in court. “They are not going to prioritize HUBZone firms. I don’t know that we will survive this.”
The federal government has not met its goal of awarding 3 percent of all contract dollars to HUBZone small businesses, while it generally exceeds its 5 percent goal for small disadvantaged businesses — a category that includes the 8(a) program.
Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, and ranking member of the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee, sponsored the parity language in the Small Business Jobs Act. Snowe, however, did not vote for the overall legislation because of its cost and questions surrounding the structure of several lending programs.
The jobs act also:
- Directs SBA to establish a mentor-protégé program to assist small businesses owned by women, service-disabled veterans and those operating in HUBZones. The initiative would be modeled after the 8(a) mentor-protégé program.
- Requires OMB’s Office of Federal Procurement Policy to establish a governmentwide policy for contract bundling — a process in which several small contracts are consolidated and awarded to one firm, often out of the reach of small businesses. Prior to bundling a contract, procurement officials would be required to conduct market research and to have a senior acquisition official sign off on the decision. The rationale for bundling then would be publicly disclosed.
- Instructs OFPP to develop guidance that would allow agencies to set aside orders placed against multiple-award contracts exclusively for small businesses. The policy would apply to indefinite delivery-indefinite quantity contracts and task and delivery-order awards.
- Establishes a pilot program for collaboration and joint ventures involving small business contractors. Under the five-year program, $5 million in federal grants will be awarded to eligible small business teams seeking to compete for larger procurement contracts.
- Mandates small businesses recertify their size status annually. The law also establishes a governmentwide policy for prosecuting companies that fraudulently disclose themselves to be a small business.
The parity controversy was sparked in May 2009 when Mission Critical Solutions, which had lost out on an Army IT contract to an 8(a) minority-owned small business, filed a protest with GAO. The company argued, and GAO agreed, that HUBZone firms were legally at the top of the small business pecking order and the government should have given Mission Critical Solutions the first crack at the contract.
The ruling sparked a fury of activity, with the Office of Management and Budget and Justice Department issuing rare contradictory memos instructing agencies to disregard GAO’s nonbinding decision because it could “significantly limit the discretion” of contracting officers.
In a separate case, the Court of Federal Claims, a body whose rulings are binding, later decided in favor of Mission Critical Solutions. Justice has appealed that decision, although it is unclear how the new legislation will affect that case.
GAO since has ruled in favor of two HUBZone firms that filed similar contract protests. And in August the Court of Federal Claims issued its second ruling on the matter, arguing the Air Force first should have considered DGR Associates Inc., a HUBZone firm, before awarding a contract at Eielson Air Force Base in Alaska to an 8(a) small business.
– By Robert Brodsky – GovExec.com – September 27, 2010
Government tries to downplay questionable small business data, according to American Small Business League
September 8, 2010 by ei2admin
The Obama Administration has released its fiscal year (FY) 2009 Small Business Procurement Scorecard, reporting that the government missed its 23 percent small business contracting goal. In its scorecard, the government claimed to have awarded a mere 21.89 percent to small businesses, while also failing to meet congressionally mandated contracting goals for women, Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Businesses and HUBZone firms. The Obama Administration missed 4 of its 5 contracting goals (http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20100827005701/en).
The American Small Business League (ASBL) maintains that based on a recent evaluation of FY 2009 small business contracting data, the actual percentage of contracts awarded to small businesses is closer to 5 percent. In June, the ASBL conducted a review of the top 100 recipients of federal small business contracts for FY 2009. Within its sample, the ASBL identified 60 large firms, which received 64.5 percent of the total dollars the government claimed to have awarded to small businesses. (http://www.asbl.com/documents/ASBL_2009_dataanalysis.pdf)
The ASBL also identified a series of Fortune 500 corporations and other large firms in the government’s 2009 contracting data. Recipients of small business contracts included: Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Raytheon, L-3 Communications, British Aerospace (BAE), Northrop Grumman, General Electric, Booz Allen Hamilton, Thales Communications, General Dynamics, and Dell Computer.
Since 2003, more than a dozen federal investigations have found billions of dollars a month in federal small business contracts flowing into the hands of corporate giants. (http://www.asbl.com/documentlibrary.html)
The ASBL believes the Obama Administration has dramatically inflated the percentage of contracts awarded to small businesses by under-reporting the actual federal acquisition budget and by including billions of dollars in contracts awarded to large businesses. The actual federal acquisition budget for foreign, domestic, classified and unclassified projects is roughly $1 trillion. The Obama Administration’s goaling achievement is based on a number that is less than half of the actual federal acquisition budget.
As the American Small Business League predicted, the Obama Administration released its FY 2009 small business contracting numbers near the close of business on Friday afternoon. The late release of data is a clear indication the Obama Administration was trying to avoid scrutiny from the mainstream media. (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lloyd-chapman/obama-administration-fabr_b_693359.html, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lloyd-chapman/obama-administration-will_b_674073.html)
“President Obama is not fooling anyone. These 5 o’clock Friday afternoon press releases are like sending up a signal flare that the data is fabricated,” ASBL President Lloyd Chapman said. “Every year billions of dollars in federal contracts are diverted to Fortune 500 corporations and other large businesses, and every year the government fabricates its numbers. It is time for Congress and the Obama Administration to pass H.R. 2568, the Fairness and Transparency in Contracting Act, and end this abuse once and for all.”
– published by the American Small Business League, August 30, 2010 – Christopher Gunn, 707-789-9575