Healthcare Management Solutions, LLC, a woman-owned, small disadvantaged firm, signed their first federal contract with the Department of Health & Human Services, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). The company, based in Fairmont W.Va., is certified by the U.S. Small Business Administration to receive special consideration for federal contracts under the agency’s 8(a) Business Development Program.
The signing ceremony took place at the Cavalcade of Trade Expo held on Oct 12, at the Charleston Civic Center. Stephanie Watkins, SBA Region III Administrator (Mid-Atlantic Region); Leah Heimbach and Patti Hodges, Principals of HMS; Alice Roache, Small Business Specialist CMS; and Judy K. McCauley, director of the SBA’s West Virginia District Office, all took part in the ceremony.
The 8(a) Business Development program is an essential instrument for helping socially and economically disadvantaged entrepreneurs gain access to the economic mainstream of American society. The SBA has helped thousands of aspiring entrepreneurs over the years to gain a foothold in government contracting. Divided into two phases over nine years, certified companies advance from a four-year developmental stage to a five-year transitional stage.
The program provides access to sole-source contracts, up to a ceiling of $3 million for goods and services and $5 million for manufacturing. While the SBA helps, participant firms build competitive and institutional know-how, the agency also encourages participation in competitive acquisitions.
“HMS is an excellent example of what 8(a) companies and small businesses need to do in order to obtain a government contract,” said Roache. “It was clearly evident they did their homework and came to the table well prepared. This is probably the first of many contracts for this company.”
The contract includes execution of on-site surveys and education for intermediate care facilities who serve persons with mental retardation and related conditions (ICF/MRs). These services, provided nationwide, are in response to:
- lessons learned from collected data through federal monitoring and oversight that was conducted by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), and
- the need to continue with the CMS mandate to assure consistency with the intent of the ICF/MR regulations. The contract will result in the creation of 6 employment positions for HMS.
According to Heimbach and Hodges, the contract is directly in line with company’s expertise. “We are delighted to be involved in this noble project, which aims to improve the care of those served by ICF/MRs. We are grateful for the wisdom and guidance provided by the SBA,” Heimbach said.
Heimbach and Hodges established HMS in August of 2002. Each brings unique and broad based knowledge to the government and private health care sectors. HMS has substantial past performance in program/performance evaluation, market research and analysis, operational solutions, and education and training.
The women executives bring clinical, administrative, legal, and research skills to bear for their clients. They have served as invited speakers on a variety of health care related topics on a state, regional, and national level, and are well published.
“The SBA 8(a) program provides a wonderful opportunity for small firms such as HMS, to develop businesses experience via federal procurement opportunities,” said McCauley.
The SBA serves to maintain and strengthen the nation’s economy by aiding, counseling, assisting and protecting the interests of small businesses and by helping families recover from national disasters. The SBA 8(a) Business Development Program helps socially and economically disadvantaged business owners gain equal access to the resources necessary to develop their business, thereby, improving their ability to compete in the mainstream of the American economy.
To learn more about the agency’s business development programs, visit the SBA’s web site at www.sba.gov/8abd or contact the SBA at (304) 623-5631.
Jay Reddy, Chief Executive Officer and founder of ProLogic, Inc., a Fairmont W.Va.-based Information Technology (IT) firm, is determined to make the firm one of the best small businesses in the nation.
Judging by the announcement in the September 26 edition of Washington Technology, a national newspaper for government IT systems integrators and resellers, he is well on his way.
The firm, which began as a one-man operation in 1995, was selected as one of the top 25 IT firms in the country participating in the U.S. Small Business Administration’s 8(a) Business Development Program, coming in at number 15. The annual ranking is based on the overall IT prime contracting revenue companies earned during fiscal year 2004. The revenues must include a minimum of $1 million in 8(a) contracts.
Since 1953, the SBA has helped thousands of entrepreneurs fulfill their dream of owning and operating a successful small business by providing financial assistance and access to federal government contracting opportunities, as well as free business counseling and training. The SBA’s procurement assistance program is an essential instrument for helping socially and economically disadvantaged entrepreneurs gain access to the economic mainstream of American society. Over the years, the program has helped thousands of aspiring entrepreneurs gain a foothold in government contracting.
“This is the first time a West Virginia 8(a) company has made the list, which reflects positively on the leadership at ProLogic and also on West Virginia and the technology corridor as a whole,” said Judy McCauley, District Director of the SBA’s West Virginia Office.
Reddy was born in Southern India, attended Virginia Tech, and earned a master’s degree from West Virginia University. Reddy, a 16-year resident of West Virginia said, “From simple beginnings and a dream to become a successful business, ProLogic has become home to over 230 skilled and valuable employees. This recognition is a validation of the hard work and effort our employees have put forth, not just in 2004, but over the ten-year history of the company.”
McCauley adds, “We are extremely proud that ProLogic is recognized as one of the top IT companies in the nation, among 8(a) program participants. I remember well the attentive young man who attended so many of the SBA’s Federal contracting workshops early in his career. Jay Reddy has evolved as a brilliant businessman who creatively used every tool available from the SBA. It is good to see he is being rewarded for years of hard work and dedication to our economic recovery.”
Dan Gordon, ProLogic’s president and Chief Operating Officer said, “The Company has experienced a 400 percent increase in employment over the past four years and has seen revenues increase 600 percent. This shows the SBA’s 8(a) program really does work!”
As the acknowledgement indicates, ProLogic relies heavily on federal contracts. Most of the company’s work is in the capacity of prime contractor for clients such as the National Aeronautical and Space Agency, U.S. Air Force, U.S. Army, and others.
Congressman Alan B. Mollohan, D-W.Va., congratulated the company saying, "This recognition is a measure of the serious effort and brainpower that Jay Reddy and his team have put into their business. It also is an example of the opportunities that exist in northern West Virginia for ambitious entrepreneurs. We hope that ProLogic's success will inspire others to work to stake a claim in our growing high-tech economy."
“West Virginia is a great home for ProLogic. As a proud WVU alumnus and a West Virginia resident, I wanted to build a company that provides employee ownership, professional growth, an exciting place to work, and a sustainable business,” Reddy said. “We strive to incorporate West Virginia’s rich, blue collar work ethic into the opportunities afforded by the growing high technology industry. I am proud to call West Virginia home for both my personal and professional life and plan on being here for a very long time.”
To learn more about the SBA’s business development programs, visit their web site at www.sba.gov/8abd, or contact the West Virginia District Office at (800) 767-8052 ext. 8. To view Washington Technology’s Top 25 8(a) Contractor ranking, visit their site at www.washingtontechnology.com/smallbusiness/8a/2005.
From the ground to the moon, there is no limiting FMW Composite Systems, Inc., a small veteran-owned firm located in Bridgeport, W.Va. Fresh on the heals of the successful delivery of a super lightweight carrier to the National Aeronautical and Space Agency (NASA) for use in transporting equipment on the space shuttle, the company has won a contract to supply the U.S. Marine Corps a liquid/fueling system.
The Ground Expedient Refueling System (GERS) is designed to transfer liquids from a storage/transport unit to military vehicle without pumps or motors. The system is operable using an external air compressor or an existing on-board air supply.
“Who would have believed 10 years ago that a small West Virginia firm would be providing sophisticated products for NASA’s space shuttle and critical components for our military efforts,” said Congressman Alan B. Mollohan at a ceremony commemorating the signing of the multi-million dollar contract. “It bodes well for the future of not only FMW, but the entire West Virginia economy.”
FMW specializes in designing, developing and producing rubber, polymer and metal matrix composite products for defense, commercial and aerospace applications. They have ISO 9001 and AS9100 quality system certifications and provide a full range of manufacturing, assembly, inspection and material testing services.
Literally designed on the back of a table napkin by company president, Dale McBride, GERS is a rubber bladder storage system, which bridges the gap between a 5-gallon fuel can and a large refueling truck.
“The concept for the current system happened at a luncheon I attended with now retired Marine Corps General Randy West about five years ago,” said McBride. “The military needed a safe, fast and more economical refueling system. After several attempts, the GERS system evolved.”
McBride, a former aero space engineer, lawyer and a coal industrial manufacturer, has spent the majority of his professional career developing skills in the acquisition arena through his business ventures.
McBride began developing his knowledge base in the rubber composite industry in 1985, as a result his acquisition of Mountaineer Tire. That venture evolved into FMW Rubber Products in 1993, which subsequently became FMW Composite Systems, Inc.
It was about this time that McBride turned to the U.S. Small Business Administration for financial assistance through the agency’s loan guaranty programs. He received two loans through local lending institutions, guaranteed by the SBA, which helped launch the expansion into composite systems.
“The SBA provided FMW assistance through its financing programs to help with our start-up; but equally important, SBA has been a part of our team in our expansion throughout the years,” states McBride. “The assistance and support of SBA’s West Virginia office has been instrumental in the success of FMW. We have also utilized SBA’s SBIR and Certificate of Competency programs, the latter of which helped with the contract with the Marine Corps.”
The 7(a) Program is SBA’s primary lending program. It provides loan guarantees for small businesses unable to secure financing on reasonable terms through normal lending channels. It operates through private-sector lenders who provide loans which are, in turn, guaranteed by the SBA.
The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program encourages small businesses to explore their technological potential by reserving a specific percentage of federal R&D funds for small businesses. The program serves to fund the critical startup and development stages for a technology and encourages commercialization of the technology, product or service.
The Certificate of Competency (COC) program provides a small business the means to appeal a contracting officer's determination that it is unable to fulfill the requirements of a specific government contract on which it is the apparent low bidder. It helps ensure small businesses, especially those new the federal contracting, are given a fair opportunity to compete for and receive government contracts.
“It has been a privilege to work with Dale McBride and Jennifer Morton as they built FMW,” said Judy McCauley, director of SBA’s West Virginia District Office. “The market they created will sustain a steady increase in high paying jobs in North Central West Virginia for years to come. FMW and small businesses like it are the true future of West Virginia. I am pleased that the agency contributed to the success of FMW, and also look forward to being a part of their future success.”
McBride added, “We have enjoyed steady progress and growth over the past four years and, excluding the GERS contract, have had more than $20 million in contracts awarded during that time.”
McBride recently used the SBA’s 504-loan program to acquire equipment as part of a $3.6 million dollar project. “We have grown from 18 to 48 employees as a result of the recent expansion,” states McBride. “SBA’s programs have led to new opportunities for FMW and helped create jobs for West Virginians.”
The 504-CDC program is a long-term financing tool for economic development within a community. The program provides businesses with long-term, fixed-rate financing for major fixed assets, such as land and buildings.
A complete 504 project includes a loan secured with a senior lien from a private-sector lender covering up to 50 percent of a project, a loan secured with a junior lien from the CDC (backed by a 100 percent SBA-guaranteed debenture) covering up to 40 percent of the cost, and a contribution of at least 10 percent equity from the small business owner.
“The assistance we’ve received from the SBA has allowed us to produce a wide variety of products for both the United States and international military,” said McBride. “We are also in position to serve as prime contractor on government and commercial contracts and better able to accomplish our goal of providing the military the tools they need in order to accomplish its mission.”
The next time a story about the United State’s war on terrorism or the space program is in the news, remember, there is a small West Virginia company sitting quietly behind the scenes with a big hand in their success.
For more information on the SBA and the programs and services available to assist small businesses, contact the West Virginia District Office at 1-800-767-8052 ext. 8, by email at email@example.com or visit their web site at www.sba.gov/wv