Allegheny Technology Corporation (ATC), a small woman-owned, disadvantaged company, signed their first federal contract with the NASA IV&V Facility in Fairmont, W.Va. The company, based in Weston, W.Va., is a participant in the U.S. Small Business Administration’s 8(a) Business Development Program.
The signing took place at the NASA IV&V Facility on Monday, November 16, 2009. Arria Whiston, president of ATC, Judy K. McCauley, director of SBA’s West Virginia District Office, and Dr. Dale S. “Butch” Caffall, director of NASA’s IV&V Facility, participated in the contract signing ceremony.
The $1.34 million dollar NASA contract was awarded for Knowledge and Program Management support. The contract will provide the NASA IV&V Facility with program metric development, strategic planning, and knowledge management support. ATC will be assisting NASA IV&V with developing best practices in industry and specifically addressing the internal drivers for enhancing their ability to share knowledge among projects, customers and stakeholders.
“Allegheny Technology Corporation is a perfect example of SBA’s 8(a) business development program in action,” said McCauley. “The 8(a) program provides excellent opportunities for small firms such as ATC to develop business experience through the federal procurement process.”
“This is very exciting for Allegheny Technology to receive its first SBA 8(a) award from the NASA IV&V Facility,” said Whiston. “This award is another instance of NASA’s commitment to the advancement of the small business community in West Virginia.”
Kaci Reynolds, chief, Knowledge Management Office at NASA, IV&V Facility adds, “We are happy to have Allegheny Technology on board. I look forward to utilizing their skills and talent to support the many Knowledge Management initiatives currently underway at the Facility.”
“The 8(a) program will open a lot more doors for Allegheny Technology,” added Whiston. “It is an excellent program for small disadvantaged businesses to obtain federal contracts. The support and guidance Allegheny Technology received during the certification process and business development planning activities from West Virginia District Office has been outstanding.”
The 8(a) program is an essential instrument for helping socially and economically disadvantaged entrepreneurs gain access to the economic mainstream of American society. This program has helped thousands of aspiring entrepreneurs gain a foothold in government contracting. Divided into two phases over nine years, certified companies advance from a four-year development stage to a five-year transitional stage.
The program provides access to sole-source contracts, up to a ceiling $3.5 million for goods and services and $5.5 million for manufacturing. While the 8(a) certification program helps firms build competitive and institutional know-how through sole-source contracts, the SBA also encourages participation in competitive contracts as well as commercial contracts.
Whiston officially became an entrepreneur in 1998 starting Whiston Accounting which evolved into AW Consulting. Early in 2009, she incorporated the business and became Allegheny Technology Corporation. ATC provides professional services, Program Management and Information Technology solutions for federal, state, and local governments, federal civilian agencies, and commercial clients. The company focuses on areas such as project management, financial analysis, software and systems engineering, as well as training and simulation, and specialized scientific, engineering, and technical support.
To learn more about the SBA and their business development programs, visit the SBA’s web site at www.sba.gov or contact Melissa Loder at SBA’s West Virginia District Office at (304) 623-5631.
TTi Technologies, Inc., a small woman-owned, technology solutions provider based in Wheeling, W.Va., has partnered with Vista Research, Inc. on a multi-million dollar contract to continue developing and testing low-cost small sensor technology for the U.S. Army and other defense agencies. TTi Technologies is a participant in the U.S. Small Business Administration’s 8(a) Business Development Program.
TTi Technologies’ partnership with Vista Research created the West Virginia Smart Sensor Supercomputing Center (WVSSSC) in downtown Wheeling to support the project. The WVSSSC anticipates the creation of several high paying technology positions as a result of the contract.
TTi Technologies needed both short and long term financing to meet contract requirements. This included a revolving line of credit and long term funding for the purchase equipment and furnishings. The Citizens Savings Bank, headquartered in Martins Ferry, OH, met these needs through SBA’s guaranteed loan programs.
“By virtue of this SBA loan program the WV-SSSC team will be able to begin executing this important Army program while maximizing the growth of Wheeling businesses and high-tech jobs,” said Theodora Titonis, president and CEO of TTi. “This Center will be a national asset, providing recognition for the state for its computing ability and its investment in national security. We certainly thank the SBA and The Citizens Savings Bank for their confidence in our project.”
Mike Goclan, Vice President, Commercial Lending at The Citizens Savings Bank, worked with TTi to structure two SBA-guaranteed Express loans to fund the purchase of equipment, furnishings and working capital. TTi was in need of a third credit facility however the commonly used SBA programs were not the right match for their needs. “There was really no tangible collateral available to back a sizable loan except for the anticipated proceeds of the contract. I thought the SBA would have some type of program to fit the need, so I contacted Tom White at the West Virginia District Office who recommended The Contract Loan under SBA’s CAPLine program,” stated Goclan.
The resulting collaboration resulted in the approval of a $900,000 SBA-guaranteed line of credit, which when joined with the Express term loans, totaled $1.1 million for the entire project.
“SBA’s lending programs are designed to help small businesses obtain financing for working capital, purchase equipment, or almost any type of business need,” said Judy McCauley, director of SBA’s West Virginia District Office. “By taking advantage of SBA’s programs, which include financial and contracting support, TTi is well positioned to succeed and make a positive impact on the Wheeling economy.”
“Within the first two years, the TTi-Vista team plans to generate more than $10 million in revenue within West Virginia, directly contributing to the long-term economic development of downtown Wheeling,” added Titonis.
SBA does not make commercial loans directly to small businesses. SBA guarantees that these loans will be repaid, thus minimizing an element of the risk to the bank. SBA sets the guidelines for its guaranteed loans, which are funded by banks and other lending institutions.
SBA’s loan programs include: regular 7(a), which is the primary and most flexible loan program; 504 loan program which provides long-term, fixed-rate financing to acquire fixed assets such as real estate or equipment; and Microloan, which offers small (up to $35,000) short-term loans for working capital or to purchase inventory, supplies, furniture, fixtures, machinery and/or equipment.
The SBA’s 8(a) program is an essential instrument for helping socially and economically disadvantaged entrepreneurs gain access to the economic mainstream of American society. This program has helped thousands of aspiring entrepreneurs gain a foothold in the government contracting arena, whose expenditures were in excess of $525 billion in fiscal year 2008.
The program provides access to sole-source contracts, up to a ceiling of $3.5 million for goods and services and $5.5 million for manufacturing. While the 8(a) certification program helps firms build competitive and institutional know-how through sole-source contracts, the SBA also encourages participation in competitive contracts as well as commercial contracts.
To learn more about the SBA and their lending and business development programs, visit the SBA’s web site at www.sba.gov/wv or contact the SBA’s West Virginia District Office at (304) 623-5631.