http://www.sba.gov/community/blog/rss/15091/feed en 4 Perks of Being a Subcontractor http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/4-perks-being-subcontractor <p>If you&rsquo;re interested in adding the government to your list of clients &ndash; but want to get your feet wet first &ndash; consider subcontracting. As a subcontractor, you can perform part of the work on another business&rsquo; contract (of the &lsquo;prime&rsquo; contractor) without dealing directly with the government. Here&rsquo;s a look at some of the perks.</p> <ol> <li> <strong>Fewer administrative obligations</strong></li> </ol> <p>In general as a subcontractor, you won&rsquo;t have to deal with the government directly &ndash; that&rsquo;ll be up to the prime contractor, who interfaces with contracting officer within a particular agency. The administrative responsibility you&rsquo;ll bear rests in the agreement or contract between you and the prime contractor.</p> <ol> <li value="2"> <strong>Lower business development costs</strong></li> </ol> <p>Another big benefit of subcontracting is the lowered cost of doing business development (BD). Someone else is taking care of capture management &ndash; identifying and assessing potential opportunities with the government and outlining the approach to go after them. There&rsquo;s also costs offset for proposal development, marketing, etc. by working with a prime.</p> <ol> <li value="3"> <strong>Getting more work</strong></li> </ol> <p>If you offer a specialized service that can be applied broadly as a small piece of another larger project, it&rsquo;s a great way to gain experience and work that you wouldn&rsquo;t be able to get otherwise. Many government contracts have various needs and required skills, so you can benefit by potentially earning more work across a range of contracts that need your specific service (e.g, marketing an online tool built by a large prime IT company).</p> <ol> <li value="4"> <strong>Gaining past performance </strong></li> </ol> <p>Working with partners &ndash; the prime contractors &ndash; will allow you to gain past performance that you might not be able to gain elsewhere because they&#39;ve already developed relationships. Building up your past performance is like a track record to use when you go after future work. The longer a positive record, the better chance you&rsquo;ll have at winning work.</p> <p>This is just a handful of benefits to being a subcontractor. Ready for the next step? Read <a href="http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/community-blogs/small-business-matters/selling-government-five-tips-becoming-subcontractor-and-getting-your-foot-door-0" title="link to &quot;Selling to the Government: Five Tips for Becoming a Subcontractor and Getting Your Foot in the Door&quot; article">Selling to the Government: Five Tips for Becoming a Subcontractor and Getting Your Foot in the Door</a> for tips to help you understand the process of government subcontracting and where to find the opportunities.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Related Resources</strong></p> <ul> <li> <a href="http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/community-blogs/small-business-matters/selling-government-five-tips-becoming-subcontractor-and-getting-your-foot-door-0" title="link to &quot;Selling to the Government: Five Tips for Becoming a Subcontractor and Getting Your Foot in the Door&quot; article">Selling to the Government: Five Tips for Becoming a Subcontractor and Getting Your Foot in the Door</a></li> <li> <a href="http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/community-blogs/business-law-advisor/selling-government-%E2%80%93-get-started-with-these-5-s" title="link to &quot;Selling to the Government – Get Started With These 5 Steps&quot; article">Selling to the Government: Get Started With These 5 Steps</a></li> <li> <a href="http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/selling-government-%E2%80%93-4-tips-meeting-and-building-relationships-with-right-people" title="link to &quot;Selling to the Government: 4 Tips for Meeting and Building Relationships with the Right People&quot; article">Selling to the Government: 4 Tips for Meeting and Building Relationships with the Right People</a></li> </ul> http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/4-perks-being-subcontractor#comments Business Law Advisor Government Contracting Wed, 28 May 2014 11:54:46 +0000 kmurray 936291 at http://www.sba.gov/community ChallengeHer—Creating Opportunities & Access to Federal Contracts for Women-Owned Small Businesses http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/challengeher%E2%80%94creating-opportunities-access-federal-contracts-women-owned-small-businesses <p><span style="font-size:11px;"><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;">If you&rsquo;re a woman-owned small business looking to contract with the federal government and seeking assistance on how to navigate in the federal procurement arena, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has good news for you!</span></span></p> <p><span style="font-size:11px;"><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;">In FY 2012, the federal government awarded $16.1 billion in federal contracts to women-owned businesses, but there is still more work to be done.&nbsp; That is why the SBA is continuing its partnership with Women Impacting Public Policy (WIPP) and American Express Open on the ChallengeHer initiative that was launched last spring, to help more women-owned businesses get a bigger piece of the federal contracting pie and benefit from SBA&rsquo;s Woman-Owned Small Business Federal Contract Program.&nbsp;</span></span></p> <p><span style="font-size:11px;"><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;">Earlier today, I spoke at the ChallengeHer women-owned small business opportunity forum at the Department of Energy hosted by the SBA, WIPP and American Express Open.&nbsp; The event featured panel sessions on how to contract with the government from 8am to noon and networking opportunities for women-owned businesses from 1pm to 3pm.&nbsp;</span></span></p> <p><span style="font-size:11px;"><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;"><strong style="font-size: 12px;">ChallengeHer&ndash;What is it?</strong></span></span></p> <p><span style="font-size:11px;"><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;">The ChallengeHer campaign leverages the resources of the SBA, WIPP and American Express Open by hosting events around the country to connect women-owned businesses with decision makers and procurement officials at federal agencies and prime contractors to receive guidance on how best to sell their goods and services to them.</span></span></p> <p><span style="font-size:11px;"><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;">The events also provide insight on how women-owned businesses can register in the federal government&rsquo;s Systems for Award Management (SAM) database&mdash;the official contracting portal for small businesses to submit their profiles in order to do business with the federal government and provide eligibility requirements for women-owned businesses to participate in SBA&rsquo;s Woman-Owned Small Business Federal Contract Program.&nbsp;</span></span></p> <p><span style="font-size:11px;"><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;"><strong>How Can I Attend?</strong></span></span></p> <p><span style="font-size:11px;"><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;">To date, the SBA, WIPP and American Express Open has hosted ChallengeHer events in Phoenix, AZ, Seattle, WA, New Orleans, LA, Atlanta, GA, Norfolk, VA, Denver, CO and Washington, D.C.</span></span></p> <p><span style="font-size:11px;"><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;"><strong>Below is a list of upcoming ChallengeHer events.</strong></span></span></p> <p><span style="font-size:11px;"><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;"><strong>ChallengeHER &ndash; WOSB Opportunity Forum with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)</strong></span></span><br /> <span style="font-size:11px;"><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;">Tuesday, June 3, 2014 from 8:00 AM - 12:00 PM (EDT)<br /> <strong><a href="https://challengeherusda.eventbrite.com/">&gt; Register Here</a></strong></span></span></p> <p><span style="font-size:11px;"><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;"><strong>ChallengeHER &ndash; WOSB Opportunity Forum with U.S Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)</strong><br /> Thursday, June 5, 2014 at 1:00 PM (EDT)<br /> <a href="http://www.wipp.org/link.asp?e=ewilhelm@wipp.org&amp;job=1260572&amp;ymlink=2124492&amp;finalurl=https%3A%2F%2Fchallengeherepa%2Eeventbrite%2Ecom" title="registration link"><strong>&gt; Register Here</strong></a></span></span></p> <p><span style="font-size:11px;"><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;"><strong>ChallengeHER &ndash; San Francisco, CA</strong><br /> <span style="font-size:11px;"><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;">Friday, June 13 from 1:00 PM - 4:30 PM (PDT)<br /> <strong><a href="https://www.eventbrite.com/e/challengeher-san-francisco-ca-tickets-11007849775" title="registration link">&gt; Register Here</a></strong></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span style="font-size:11px;"><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;"><strong>ChallengeHER &ndash; Milwaukee, WI</strong><br /> Thursday, June 26, 2014 from 8:00 AM - 12:00 PM (CDT)<br /> <strong><a href="http://www.wipp.org/link.asp?e=ewilhelm@wipp.org&amp;job=1260572&amp;ymlink=2124492&amp;finalurl=https%3A%2F%2Fchallengehermilwaukee%2Eeventbrite%2Ecom" title="registration link">&gt; Register Here</a></strong></span></span></p> <p><span style="font-size:11px;"><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;"><span style="font-size:11px;"><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;"><strong>ChallengeHER &ndash; San Diego, CA</strong><br /> Wednesday, July 16, 2014 from 8:00 AM - 12:00 PM (PDT)</span></span></span></span><br /> <span style="font-size:11px;"><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;"><span style="font-size:11px;"><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;"><strong><a href="https://www.eventbrite.com/e/challengeher-san-diego-ca-tickets-11008138639" title="registration link">&gt; Register Here</a></strong></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span style="font-size:11px;"><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;"><span style="font-size:11px;"><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;"><strong>ChallengeHER &ndash; Chicago, IL</strong></span></span></span></span><br /> <span style="font-size:11px;"><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;"><span style="font-size:11px;"><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;">Thursday, August 7, 2014 from 8:00 AM - 12:00 PM (CDT)<br /> <strong><a href="https://www.eventbrite.com/e/challengeher-chicago-il-tickets-11008230915" title="registration link">&gt; Register Here</a></strong></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span style="font-size:11px;"><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;"><strong>ChallengeHER &ndash; Charlotte, NC</strong><br /> Tuesday, August 19, 2014 from 8:00 AM - 12:00 PM (EDT)<br /> <a href="http://www.eventbrite.com/e/challengeher-charlotte-nc-tickets-11510545351" title="registration link"><strong>&gt; Register Here</strong></a></span></span></p> <p><span style="font-size:11px;"><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;"><strong>ChallengeHER &ndash; Raleigh, NC</strong><br /> Tuesday, August 19, 2014 from 8:00 AM - 12:00 PM (EDT)<br /> <a href="https://www.eventbrite.com/e/challengeher-raleigh-nc-tickets-11510623585" title="registration link"><strong>&gt; Register Here</strong></a></span></span></p> <p><span style="font-size:11px;"><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;">Stay tuned for more information on the ChallengeHer campaign and events near you.</span></span></p> http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/challengeher%E2%80%94creating-opportunities-access-federal-contracts-women-owned-small-businesses#comments Open For Business Government Contracting Thu, 17 Apr 2014 18:11:18 +0000 John Shoraka 826051 at http://www.sba.gov/community SBA’s 8(a) Certification Program Explained http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/sba%E2%80%99s-8a-certification-program-explained <p>Did you know that the SBA has a program designed to help small, disadvantaged businesses compete in the federal marketplace? If you&rsquo;re interested in government contracting, the 8(a) Business Development (BD) Program offers a broad scope of assistance to small businesses for which you might be eligible. &nbsp;</p> <p>The 8(a) BD Program has been essential for helping socially and economically disadvantaged entrepreneurs gain access to the economic mainstream of American society. Ultimately, the program helps thousands of aspiring entrepreneurs to gain a foothold in government contracting.</p> <p><strong>Am I eligible? </strong></p> <p>Generally, to be approved into the 8(a) BD program and become certified, your small business must be owned and controlled at least 51% by <a href="http://www.sba.gov/content/socially-disadvantaged-eligibility" title="link to socially disadvantaged info">socially</a> and <a href="http://www.sba.gov/content/economic-disadvantage-eligibility" title="link to economically disadvantaged info">economically</a> disadvantaged individuals who are American citizens.</p> <p>You should also be able to demonstrate potential for business success and possess <a href="http://www.sba.gov/content/additional-eligibility-criteria" title="link to eligibility criteria info">good character</a>. You can read more details about eligibility requirements by <a href="http://www.sba.gov/category/navigation-structure/eligibility-requirements" title="link to eligibility requirements info">visiting this page</a> on our site.</p> <p><strong>What are the benefits?</strong></p> <p>So, how can the program help you? Once certified, you can take advantage of specialized business training, counseling, marketing assistance and high-level executive development provided by the SBA and our resource partners. You may also be eligible for assistance in obtaining access to surplus government property and supplies, SBA-guaranteed loans, and bonding assistance for being involved in the program. You can receive sole-source contracts (up to a ceiling of $4 million for goods and services and $6.5 million for manufacturing). While SBA helps 8(a) firms build their competitive and institutional know-how, the agency also encourages you to participate in competitive acquisitions.</p> <p>8(a) businesses can also receive sole-source contracts (up to a ceiling of $4 million for goods and services and $6.5 million for manufacturing). While SBA helps 8(a) firms build their competitive and institutional know-how, the agency also encourages you to participate in competitive acquisitions.</p> <p>In addition, 8(a) businesses can form joint ventures and teams to bid on contracts. This enhances your ability to successfully compete for and perform larger prime contracts. You can also participate in the 8(a) BD <a href="http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/sba%E2%80%99s-mentor-prot%C3%A9g%C3%A9-program" title="link to Mentor-Protege page ">Mentor-Prot&eacute;g&eacute; Program</a> which allows companies to learn the ropes from other more experienced businesses.</p> <p><strong>What else should I know?</strong></p> <p>Participation in the 8(a) BD Program is divided into two phases over nine years: a four-year developmental stage and a five-year transition stage; the overall goal of which is to graduate 8(a) businesses that will go on to thrive in a competitive business environment.</p> <p>While participating in the program, you&rsquo;ll have to maintain a balance between your commercial and government business. There&rsquo;s also a $100 million (or five times the value of your primary <a href="http://www.sba.gov/content/identifying-industry-codes" title="link to NAICS code page ">NAICS code</a>) limit on the total dollar value of sole-source contracts that you can receive while in the program.</p> <p>To make sure you stay on track to accomplish goals and follow requirements, the <a href="http://www.sba.gov/local-assistance" title="link to local assistance tool ">SBA district offices</a> monitor and measure the progress of participants through annual reviews, business planning and systematic evaluations.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Related Resources</strong></p> <ul> <li> <a href="http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/government-contracting-and-certification-%E2%80%93-what%E2%80%99s-it-all-really-mean" title="link to Government Contracting and Certification – What’s It All Really Mean? post">Government Contracting and Certification &ndash; What&rsquo;s It All Really Mean?</a></li> <li> <a href="http://www.sba.gov/gcclassroom" title="link to The Government Contracting Online Classroom post">The Government Contracting Online Classroom</a></li> <li> <a href="http://www.sba.gov/tools/local-assistance/ptac" title="link to Procurement Technical Assistance Centers post">Procurement Technical Assistance Centers</a></li> <li> <a href="http://www.sba.gov/tools/sba-learning-center/search/everything/government-contracting" title="link to Small Business Learning Center – Government Contracting post">Small Business Learning Center &ndash; Government Contracting</a></li> </ul> http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/sba%E2%80%99s-8a-certification-program-explained#comments Business Law Advisor Government Contracting Wed, 26 Mar 2014 16:38:07 +0000 kmurray 810511 at http://www.sba.gov/community SBA Hosts Webinar Series to Help Small Businesses Learn How to Apply for the 8(a) BD Program http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/official-sba-news-and-views/open-business/sba-hosts-webinar-series-help-small-businesses-learn-how-apply-8a-bd-program <p>If you&rsquo;re a small disadvantaged business seeking to be certified in the U.S. Small Business Administration&rsquo;s (SBA)&rsquo;s 8(a) Business Development (BD) Program, the SBA has good news for you!</p> <p><span style="font-size: 12px;">The SBA will host a series of 8(a) webinars from April through August to help small disadvantaged businesses learn how to successfully apply for the 8(a) BD Program.&nbsp;</span></p> <p><strong style="font-size: 12px;">The 8(a) Program &ndash; What is it?</strong></p> <p><span style="font-size: 12px;">The SBA certifies small businesses considered to be socially and economically disadvantaged under its nine-year 8(a) BD Program.&nbsp; Individuals who are members of certain minority groups are considered to be socially disadvantaged.&nbsp; These groups include: African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Native Americans, Asian Pacific Americans and Subcontinent Asian Americans.&nbsp; Firms owned by Alaska Native Corporations, Indian Tribes, Native Hawaiian Organizations, and Community Development Corporations are also eligible to participate in the program.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 12px;">The 8(a) BD Program helps these firms develop and grow through one-on-one counseling, training workshops and management and technical guidance.&nbsp; It also provides access to government contracting opportunities, allowing them to become solid competitors in the federal marketplace.&nbsp; In fiscal year 2012, small businesses received more than $15.8 billion in 8(a) contract dollars.</span></p> <p><strong>8(a) Webinar: How to Prepare and Submit Your 8(a) Business Development Application &ndash; Tips for Success | April 9<sup>th</sup> and August 27<sup>th</sup> | 2:00-3:00 pm EST</strong></p> <ul> <li style="margin-left: 0.5in;"> This webinar will focus on how the 8(a) BD Program works, its eligibility requirements, and its benefits.&nbsp; It will also provide helpful tips on completing an 8(a) application.&nbsp;</li> <li style="margin-left: 0.5in;"> Registration is free, but required.&nbsp; Please refer to the following links:</li> </ul> <p style="margin-left:.5in;">&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;April 9, 2014 &ndash; <a href="http://emsp.intellor.com/login/414419">http://emsp.intellor.com/login/414419</a></p> <p style="margin-left:.5in;">&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;August 27, 2014 - <a href="http://emsp.intellor.com/login/414423">http://emsp.intellor.com/login/414423</a></p> <p><strong>8(a) Webinar: How to Prepare and Submit your 8(a) Application &ndash; Tips for Success (Entity&ndash;Owned Firms) | May 21<sup>st</sup> | 2:00-3:00 pm EST</strong></p> <ul> <li style="margin-left: 0.5in;"> This webinar will focus on how the 8(a) BD Program works, its eligibility requirements, and its benefits.&nbsp; It will also provide helpful tips on completing an 8(a) application. This webinar is for firms that are Alaska Native Corporations (ANC), Native Hawaiian Organizations (NHO), Community Development Corporations (CDC) and Tribally Owned.&nbsp;</li> <li style="margin-left: 0.5in;"> Registration is free, but required. Please refer to the following links:</li> </ul> <p style="margin-left:.5in;">&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; May 21, 2014 - <a href="http://emsp.intellor.com/login/414420">http</a><a href="http://emsp.intellor.com/login/414420">://</a><a href="http://emsp.intellor.com/login/414420">emsp.intellor.com/login/414420</a></p> <p><strong>8(a) Webinar: Keeping Your 8(a) Business Development Certificate Compliant </strong><strong>| June 18<sup>th</sup> | 2:00-3:00 pm EST</strong></p> <ul> <li style="margin-left: 0.5in;"> This webinar will focus on how 8(a) firms continue to meet the eligibility criteria for the 8(a) BD Program.</li> <li style="margin-left: 0.5in;"> Registration is free, but required. Please refer to the following links:</li> </ul> <p style="margin-left:.5in;">&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;June 18, 2014 - <a href="http://emsp.intellor.com/login/414421">http</a><a href="http://emsp.intellor.com/login/414421">://</a><a href="http://emsp.intellor.com/login/414421">emsp.intellor.com/login/414421</a></p> <p><strong>8(a) Webinar: Overview of the 8(a) Business Development Program </strong><strong>| July 23<sup>rd</sup> | 2:00-3:00 pm EST</strong></p> <ul> <li style="margin-left: 0.5in;"> This webinar will focus on the overview of the 8(a) BD Program along with its benefits. It will also discuss if the 8(a) BD Program is right for you.</li> <li style="margin-left: 0.5in;"> Registration is free, but required.&nbsp; Please refer to the following link:</li> </ul> <p style="margin-left:.5in;">&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;July 23, 2014 - <a href="http://emsp.intellor.com/login/414422">http://emsp.intellor.com/login/414422</a></p> <p>The webinars are designed to help small disadvantaged businesses get and maintain their 8(a) certification and compete in the federal marketplace.</p> <p><span style="font-size: 12px;">To learn more about the 8(a) BD Program, visit: </span><a href="http://www.sba.gov/content/about-8a-business-development-program" style="font-size: 12px;">http://www.sba.gov/content/about-8a-business-development-program</a><span style="font-size: 12px;">. &nbsp;</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/official-sba-news-and-views/open-business/sba-hosts-webinar-series-help-small-businesses-learn-how-apply-8a-bd-program#comments Open For Business Government Contracting SBA News and Views Tue, 25 Mar 2014 22:24:35 +0000 Darryl.Hairston 810181 at http://www.sba.gov/community Government Contracting and Certification – What’s It All Really Mean? http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/government-contracting-and-certification-%E2%80%93-what%E2%80%99s-it-all-really-mean <p>&ldquo;Government contracting.&rdquo; &ldquo;Small business certification.&rdquo; You&rsquo;ve heard the phrases before, but what do they really mean? And does it really matter for <em>your</em> small business? Maybe &ndash; and maybe not. Let&rsquo;s cut through all the noise and define these phrases in a meaningful way for your entrepreneurial endeavors.</p> <p><strong>What is government contracting?</strong></p> <p>Government contracting is the process that lets you sell your goods or services to the government and its various agencies. The government has a contract, or agreement, with you whereby it purchases what you do or make. And U.S. government agencies buy a <em>lot</em> from small businesses &ndash; nearly $100 billion worth of goods and services each year! From market research to janitorial services, if you want to make the government your customer, there&rsquo;s a good chance there&rsquo;s a need for what you offer.</p> <p><strong>So, what does it mean to be certified as a &ldquo;small business&rdquo;?</strong></p> <p>Being certified as a &ldquo;small business&rdquo; is only significant <em>if </em>you&rsquo;re interested in government contracting. Why? Because there are certain set-asides that the government must adhere to when they&rsquo;re looking to buy goods or services &ndash; there&rsquo;s a percentage of business <em>set aside</em> for different kinds of companies, including small businesses. (Others include <a href="http://www.sba.gov/content/women-owned-small-business-program" title="link to women-owned business info">women-owned</a>, <a href="http://www.sba.gov/content/service-disabled-veteran-owned-small-business-concerns-sdvosbc" title="link to veteran-owned business info">veteran-owned</a>, etc.) So if you want to be a contender in the federal marketplace, your small business has to meet official criteria to be eligible for government contracts.</p> <p><strong>How do I certify my business as small?</strong></p> <p>First, make sure you <em>do, </em>in fact, have <a href="http://www.sba.gov/content/am-i-small-business-concern" title="link to small business qualifications info">a small business</a>. For most industries, SBA defines a &quot;small business&quot; either in terms of the average number of employees over the past 12 months, or average annual receipts over the past three years.</p> <p>Then, when you know you adhere to the size standards, you <a href="http://www.sba.gov/content/register-government-contracting" title="link to registration info">register for government contracting</a>. This process <em>also</em> serves the purpose of &ldquo;certifying&rdquo; your business as small.</p> <p><strong>Where can I get some help?</strong></p> <p>Starting out in government contracting can be overwhelming, but SBA has resources to help:</p> <ul> <li> <a href="http://www.sba.gov/content/government-contracting-classroom" title="link to The Government Contracting Classroom">The Government Contracting Classroom</a>: Online, self-paced training courses to fill you in on the government contracting landscape &ndash; from starting out to special programs</li> <li> <a href="http://www.sba.gov/tools/local-assistance/ptac" title="link to Procurement Technical Assistance Centers">Procurement Technical Assistance Centers</a>: PTACs offer local, in-person counseling and training services to businesses that want to sell products and services to federal, state and/or local governments.</li> <li> <a href="http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/community-blogs/business-law-advisor/selling-government-%E2%80%93-get-started-with-these-5-s" title="link to Selling to the Government – Get Started With These 5 Steps blog post">Selling to the Government &ndash; Get Started With These 5 Steps</a>: A five-step plan that summarizes the process of entering the federal marketplace, plus links to additional resources.</li> </ul> http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/government-contracting-and-certification-%E2%80%93-what%E2%80%99s-it-all-really-mean#comments Small Business Matters Government Contracting Tue, 21 Jan 2014 11:44:48 +0000 kmurray 789981 at http://www.sba.gov/community SBA’s Mentor-Protégé Program http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/sba%E2%80%99s-mentor-prot%C3%A9g%C3%A9-program <p>Is your small business part of SBA&rsquo;s <a href="http://www.sba.gov/content/8a-business-development-0" title="link to 8(a) Business Development Program page">8(a) Business Development Program</a>? Have you considered entering the <a href="http://www.sba.gov/content/mentor-prot%C3%A9g%C3%A9-program" title="link to Mentor-Protégé Program page">Mentor-Prot&eacute;g&eacute; Program</a> to develop your business and compete more successfully for federal government contracts? As either the mentor or the prot&eacute;g&eacute;, there&rsquo;s a lot to be gained from participating. Here&rsquo;s how it works and the requirements to participate. &nbsp;</p> <p><strong>How does it work? </strong></p> <p>The Mentor-Prot&eacute;g&eacute; Program fosters private-sector relationships between small businesses. It&rsquo;s designed to allow approved small businesses &ndash; as mentors &ndash; to provide various kinds of assistance to their prot&eacute;g&eacute;s, which are other eligible 8(a) participants that are still in the developmental stage of the <a href="http://www.sba.gov/content/8a-business-development-0" title="link to 8(a) Business Development Program page">8(a) Business Development Program</a>.</p> <p><strong>What are the benefits?</strong></p> <p>The benefits go both ways in this program. As a mentor or prot&eacute;g&eacute;, you&rsquo;ll have the opportunity to learn and grow as a small business and prepare for greater success in the realm of government contracting.</p> <ul> <li> <strong>Technical and management assistance</strong>: Prot&eacute;g&eacute;s can benefit from their mentors&rsquo; expertise, resources and capabilities. In passing along this knowledge, mentors can hone their skills and note potential areas for improvement.</li> </ul> <ul> <li> <strong>Prime contracting</strong>: Mentors can enter into joint-venture arrangements with prot&eacute;g&eacute;s to compete for federal contracts so they can sell their products or services to the government.</li> </ul> <ul> <li> <strong>Financial assistance in the form of equity or loans</strong>: Mentors can own equity interest of up to 40% in prot&eacute;g&eacute; firms to help them raise capital.</li> </ul> <ul> <li> <strong>Qualification for other SBA programs</strong>: Prot&eacute;g&eacute;s can obtain other forms of SBA assistance as the result of good standing in the Mentor-Prot&eacute;g&eacute; program.</li> </ul> <p>The Mentor-Prot&eacute;g&eacute; Program also expands SBA&rsquo;s efforts to identify and respond to the developmental needs of 8(a) clients.</p> <p><strong>What are the prot&eacute;g&eacute; requirements?</strong></p> <p>To participate in the program, prot&eacute;g&eacute;s must:</p> <ul> <li> Be in the developmental stage of the 8(a) Business Development program</li> <li> Have never received an 8(a) contract</li> <li> Be less than half the size standard for a small business based on its primary SIC code</li> <li> Be in good standing in the 8(a) Business Development program and current with all reporting requirements</li> </ul> <p>Prot&eacute;g&eacute;s can only have one mentor at a time.</p> <p><strong>What are the mentor requirements?</strong></p> <p>To participate in the program, mentors can be a business that have graduated from the 8(a) Business Development program, in the transitional stage of the program, or a small or large business. Mentor businesses must also:</p> <ul> <li> Have favorable financial health, including profitability for at least the last two years</li> <li> Be a federal contractor in good standing</li> <li> Be able to provide valuable support to a prot&eacute;g&eacute; through lessons learned and practical experience gained from the 8(a) BD program (or through general knowledge of government contracting)</li> <li> Make at least a yearlong commitment to the prot&eacute;g&eacute;</li> </ul> <p>A mentor will usually have one prot&eacute;g&eacute; at a time, but may have more with SBA authorization.</p> <p>Want to learn more or apply? Contact your <a href="http://www.sba.gov/tools/local-assistance/districtoffices" title="link to district office page">district office</a> to apply for the Mentor-Prot&eacute;g&eacute; Program, or call (800) 827-5722 with any questions.</p> <p>Related Resources</p> <ul> <li> <a href="http://www.sba.gov/category/navigation-structure/8a-business-development-program" title="link to 8(a) Business Development Program page">8(a) Business Development Program</a></li> </ul> http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/sba%E2%80%99s-mentor-prot%C3%A9g%C3%A9-program#comments Small Business Matters Government Contracting Mentoring and Training Mon, 13 Jan 2014 12:52:26 +0000 kmurray 786741 at http://www.sba.gov/community January Webinars- Not Just Contracts: How to Navigate the SBA’s 8(a) Business Development Program http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/january-webinars-not-just-contracts-how-navigate-sba%E2%80%99s-8a-business-development-program <p><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;">Are you an owner of a small disadvantaged business seeking to be certified in the U.S. Small Business Administration&rsquo;s (SBA) 8(a) Business Development Program and to become competitively viable in the federal marketplace? &nbsp;</span></p> <p><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;"><span style="font-size: 12px;">Each year, companies graduate from the 8(a) program with the potential and capabilities to grow into successful businesses as a result of the business development tools received while in the program.&nbsp; Worldwide Technology, Inc. is one of many examples of successful graduates of the 8(a) Program and was #1 on </span><em style="font-size: 12px;">Black Enterprise Magazine&#39;s</em><span style="font-size: 12px;"> list of the &ldquo;Largest Black-Owned Firms&rdquo; in 2013. &nbsp;&nbsp;</span></span></p> <p><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;"><strong style="font-size: 12px;">The 8(a) Program &ndash; What is it?</strong></span></p> <p><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;"><span style="font-size: 12px;">The SBA certifies small businesses considered to be socially and economically disadvantaged under its nine-year 8(a) Business Development Program.&nbsp; Individuals who are members of certain minority groups are considered to be socially disadvantaged.&nbsp; These groups include: African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Native Americans, Asian Pacific Americans and Subcontinent Asian Americans.&nbsp; Firms owned by Alaska Native Corporations, Indian Tribes, Native Hawaiian Organizations, and Community Development Corporations are also eligible to participate in the program.</span></span></p> <p><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;"><span style="font-size: 12px;">The 8(a) Program helps these firms develop and grow through one-to-one counseling, training workshops and management and technical guidance.&nbsp; It also provides access to government contracting opportunities, allowing them to become solid competitors in the federal marketplace.&nbsp; In fiscal year 2012, small businesses received more than $15.8 billion in 8(a) contract dollars.</span></span></p> <p><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;"><span style="font-size: 12px;">The SBA will conduct two one-hour webinars to help small businesses learn:</span></span></p> <ul> <li> <p><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;">the eligibility requirements for 8(a) certification;</span></p> </li> <li> <p><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;">about the technical assistance available through the 8(a) Program;</span></p> </li> <li> <p><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;">about common myths and misconceptions about the 8(a) Program; and</span></p> </li> <li> <p><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;">the top reasons why an 8(a) application is declined or returned.&nbsp;</span></p> </li> </ul> <p><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;"><strong style="font-size: 12px;">8(a) Webinar Part I | Not Just Contracts: The SBA&rsquo;s 8(a) Business Development Program | January 15<sup>th</sup> | 2:00-3:00 pm EST</strong></span></p> <ul> <li> <p><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;">The January 15th webinar will focus on how the 8(a) Program works, its eligibility requirements, technical assistance available to small disadvantaged businesses through the program and common myths about the program.&nbsp;</span></p> </li> <li> <p><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;">Registration is free, but required: <a href="http://ems.intellor.com/index.cgi?p=204872&amp;t=71&amp;do=register&amp;s=&amp;rID=432&amp;edID=293">http://ems.intellor.com/index.cgi?p=204872&amp;t=71&amp;do=register&amp;s=&amp;rID=432&amp;edID=293</a></span></p> </li> </ul> <p><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;"><strong>8(a) Webinar Part II |Top Reasons Why SBA Returns &amp; Declines an 8(a) Application | January 22<sup>nd</sup> | 2:00-3:00 pm EST</strong></span></p> <ul> <li> <p><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;">The January 22nd webinar will walk small disadvantaged businesses through the fundamental &ldquo;must have&rdquo; requirements and the top reasons why an 8(a) application is declined or returned.&nbsp;</span></p> </li> </ul> <ul> <li> <p><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;">Registration is free, but required: <a href="http://ems.intellor.com/index.cgi?p=204873&amp;t=71&amp;do=register&amp;s=&amp;rID=432&amp;edID=293">http://ems.intellor.com/index.cgi?p=204873&amp;t=71&amp;do=register&amp;s=&amp;rID=432&amp;edID=293</a> &nbsp;&nbsp;</span></p> </li> </ul> <p><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;"><span style="font-size: 12px;">To get the most out of both webinars, we encourage small businesses to review the </span><a href="http://www.sba.gov/content/about-8a-business-development-program" style="font-size: 12px;">8(a) Program website</a><span style="font-size: 12px;">. &nbsp;Both webinars will be archived on </span><a href="http://www.youtube.com/SBA" style="font-size: 12px;">SBA&#39;s YouTube page</a><span style="font-size: 12px;">.</span></span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/january-webinars-not-just-contracts-how-navigate-sba%E2%80%99s-8a-business-development-program#comments Open For Business Government Contracting SBA News and Views Fri, 03 Jan 2014 21:15:11 +0000 Darryl.Hairston 784371 at http://www.sba.gov/community Government Contracting – Resources to Help You Succeed http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/government-contracting-%E2%80%93-resources-help-you-succeed <p>If you&rsquo;re just getting started in the world of government contracting, you&rsquo;re not alone if you&rsquo;re feeling a bit overwhelmed! Entering the federal marketplace is one unlike any other &ndash; but there are specialized resources to help you succeed. A great one to take advantage of is a Procurement Technical Assistance Center.</p> <p><strong>Procurement Technical Assistance Centers</strong></p> <p>Administered by the <a href="http://www.sba.gov/leaving-sba-dot-gov?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.dla.mil%2FPages%2Fdefault.aspx" title="Defense Logistics Agency link">Defense Logistics Agency</a>, <a href="http://www.dla.mil/smallbusiness/pages/ptap.aspx" title="link to Procurement Technical Assistance Centers website">Procurement Technical Assistance Centers</a> (PTACs) provide local, in-person counseling and training services to businesses that want to sell products and services to federal, state and/or local governments.</p> <p>PTACs are hosted by organizations such as universities and local chambers of commerce, and the training and assistance they provide is usually free. Located in 49 states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and Guam, their expertise can help you&hellip;</p> <p><strong>Determine if your business is ready for government contracting</strong><br /> Pursuing government contracts can be challenging, especially if you&rsquo;re unfamiliar with the particulars of the landscape. If you don&rsquo;t have the resources to handle a contract, you may find that you&rsquo;re in over your head. A PTAC representative can sit with you one-on-one and determine if your business is ready, and help position you for success.</p> <p><strong>Register in the proper places</strong><br /> There are numerous databases to register with to get involved with the government marketplace, including <a href="https://www.sam.gov/portal/public/SAM/" title="System for Award Management link">the System for Award Management (SAM)</a>, <a href="http://www.sba.gov/content/gsa-schedules" title="GSA Schedules">GSA Schedules</a> and other government vendor sites. A PTAC representative can help you sort through the databases, provide insight about where you need to register and provide guidance about how to proceed with the registration process.</p> <p><strong>See if you are eligible in any small business certifications</strong><br /> Some government contracts are set aside for certain businesses with special certifications, such as <a href="http://www.sba.gov/content/women-owned-small-business-federal-contract-program" title="woman-owned businesses link">woman-owned</a>, <a href="http://www.sba.gov/category/navigation-structure/contracting/contracting-support-small-businesses/8a-business-developme" title="small disadvantaged businesses link">small disadvantaged businesses</a> and <a href="http://www.sba.gov/category/navigation-structure/contracting/working-with-government/small-business-certifications-audiences/hubzone-certification" title="HUBZone link">HUBZone</a>. A PTAC representative can help you determine if you&rsquo;re eligible for any and then let you know how to obtain these certifications.</p> <p><strong>Research past contract opportunities</strong><br /> A PTAC representative can look into past contracts to see what types of contracts have been awarded to businesses like yours. In addition, a PTAC can help you identify and bid on a contract, and if you are awarded the contract, measure your performance and help with contract audits.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>PTACs offer a wealth of information, experience and insight into government contracting, so <a href="http://www.dla.mil/SmallBusiness/Pages/ptac.aspx" title="link to find nearest Procurement Technical Assistance Center">find your nearest one</a> today so you can make the government your business&rsquo; next customer! For additional information, you can also check out the site for the <a href="http://www.aptac-us.org/" title="link to Association of Procurement Technical Assistance site">Association of Procurement Technical Assistance</a>.</p> http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/government-contracting-%E2%80%93-resources-help-you-succeed#comments Small Business Matters Government Contracting Thu, 12 Dec 2013 11:34:10 +0000 kmurray 776741 at http://www.sba.gov/community New Native American Contracting Courses to Help “Entity-Owned” Small Businesses http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/new-native-american-contracting-courses-help-%E2%80%9Centity-owned%E2%80%9D-small-businesses <p>If your business is Native-owned and is looking for ways to grow, you may be interested in the U.S. Small Business Administration&rsquo;s <a href="http://www.sba.gov/category/navigation-structure/contracting/contracting-support-small-businesses/8a-business-developme">(SBA) 8(a) Business Development program</a>.</p> <p>The 8(a) Business Development program helps socially and economically disadvantaged entrepreneurs to develop and grow their businesses through one-on-one counseling, training workshops and management and technical assistance over the nine-year program term. It also provides access to government contracting opportunities to help small businesses better compete in the federal marketplace.</p> <p>The SBA has introduced three new online training courses on 8(a) to help entity-owned small businesses -- firms that are owned by an <strong><em>Alaskan Native Corporation (ANC), a Native Hawaiian Organization (NHO) or a Tribal Enterprise</em></strong> -- learn what the 8(a) program does, how your business can take advantage of the program&rsquo;s benefits and how to grow your business.</p> <p>The new courses are:</p> <ul> <li> <a href="http://www.sba.gov/sba-learning-center/training/tribal-enterprise-business-guide-8a-business-development-program">Tribal Enterprise Business Guide: 8(a) Business Development Program</a></li> <li> <a href="http://www.sba.gov/sba-learning-center/training/alaska-native-corporation-business-guide-8a-business-development-program">ANC Business Guide: 8(a) Business Development Program</a>, and</li> <li> <a href="http://www.sba.gov/sba-learning-center/training/native-hawaiian-organization-business-guide-8a-business-development-program">NHO Business Guide: 8(a) Business Development Program</a></li> </ul> <p>Each course gives a complete overview of the SBA&rsquo;s <a href="http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/community-blogs/business-law-advisor/8a-certification-minority-business-certificatio">8(a) Business Development program</a> and clarifies and distinguishes the exemptions of the program for each type of entity-owned firm.</p> <p>The courses are free and accessible online, along with other contracting courses in the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.sba.gov/gcclassroom">SBA&rsquo;s Government Contracting Classroom</a>.</p> <p>Each course module describes how the SBA&rsquo;s 8(a) program works, outlines the program eligibility requirements, gives step-by-step guidance through the application process, discusses key questions and answers about the program, and how you can get started in the 8(a) program.</p> <p>Also, each course gives a list of business development resources that are available, including links to needed documents, forms and websites. The courses are self-paced, include audio-guided lessons and are indexed so that specific module topics can be easily accessed.&nbsp;</p> <p>Workbooks on each course are also available that help track and complement the online training courses. The workbooks can be downloaded for easy reading offline.</p> <p>You can take advantage of these and other free interactive courses that are offered at the <a href="http://www.sba.gov/training">SBA&rsquo;s Online Learning Center</a> to get help with your business needs.&nbsp;</p> http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/new-native-american-contracting-courses-help-%E2%80%9Centity-owned%E2%80%9D-small-businesses#comments Open For Business Government Contracting SBA News and Views Tue, 26 Nov 2013 19:35:33 +0000 Christopher James 767881 at http://www.sba.gov/community Webinar Series—How Small Businesses Can Gain Competitive Advantage through HUBZone Certification http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/webinar-series%E2%80%94how-small-businesses-can-gain-competitive-advantage-through-hubzone-certification <p>Are you a small business owner located in or relocating to an economically distressed urban or rural community? Is your company seeking a competitive advantage in the federal contracting arena?&nbsp;</p> <p>Each year, thousands of companies have expanded and grown thanks to their participation in the U.S. Small Business Administration&rsquo;s (SBA) <a href="http://www.sba.gov/hubzone"><u>Historically Underutilized Business (HUB) Zone program</u></a>. The mission of the HUBZone program is to promote job growth, capital investment, and economic development by providing contracting opportunities to small businesses located in these economically distressed communities. The federal government has a mandated contracting goal to award three percent of federal contracts to HUBZone firms.&nbsp; In fiscal year 2012, HUBZone firms received $8.01 billion in federal contracts.&nbsp;</p> <p>The SBA will conduct two 45 minute webinars to help small businesses learn:</p> <ul> <li> how to obtain and maintain the HUBZone certification;</li> <li> how to form joint ventures;</li> <li> survive HUBZone status protests to contracts;</li> <li> compete for HUBZone contracts;</li> <li> maintain good recordkeeping to ensure compliance in the program;</li> <li> how affiliated businesses are evaluated; and</li> <li> and how to obtain HUBZone contracting requirements.&nbsp;</li> </ul> <p><strong>HUBZone Webinar Part I: December 3<sup>rd</sup> | 2:00-2:45 pm ET</strong></p> <ul> <li> The Dec. 3<sup>rd</sup> webinar will explain how HUBZone areas are designated, how to maintain HUBZone certification after an area loses designation and regulatory requirements.&nbsp;</li> </ul> <ul> <li> Registration is free, but required:&nbsp; <a href="http://ems.intellor.com/?p=204850&amp;do=register&amp;t=71"><u>http://ems.intellor.com/?p=204850&amp;do=register&amp;t=71</u></a>. &nbsp;&nbsp;</li> </ul> <p><strong>HUBZone Webinar Part II: December 17<sup>th</sup> | 2:00-2:45 pm ET</strong></p> <ul> <li> The Dec. 17 webinar will focus on how HUBZone affiliated businesses are treated, joint ventures and HUBZone contracting requirements.&nbsp;</li> </ul> <ul> <li> Registration is free, but required:&nbsp; <a href="http://ems.intellor.com/?p=204851&amp;do=register&amp;t=71"><u>http://ems.intellor.com/?p=204851&amp;do=register&amp;t=71</u></a></li> </ul> <p>To get the most out of both webinars, we encourage small businesses to review the <a href="http://www.sba.gov/hubzone">HUBZone website</a> and the <a href="http://www.sba.gov/content/frequently-asked-questions">frequently asked questions</a>. &nbsp;Both webinars will be archived on SBA&rsquo;s YouTube page.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/webinar-series%E2%80%94how-small-businesses-can-gain-competitive-advantage-through-hubzone-certification#comments Open For Business Government Contracting SBA News and Views Thu, 21 Nov 2013 20:57:14 +0000 Mariana Pardo 764991 at http://www.sba.gov/community Link Detroit: A Small Business Matchmaking Summit http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/link-detroit-small-business-matchmaking-summit <p><span style="font-size:12px;"><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;">Detroit has seen recent challenges, but at its core it&rsquo;s a city of dynamic entrepreneurial activity. The city of Detroit&rsquo;s recent bankruptcy has created uncertainty for small businesses in the area&ndash; particularly for small city contractors &ndash; at the same time that the recovery of the auto industry and a growing startup ecosystem open up new economic opportunities. Given these challenges and opportunities, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is bringing the American Supplier Initiative (ASI), a federal government-wide initiative designed to increase government and commercial supply chain opportunities for small firms, to the city of Detroit.&nbsp;</span></span></p> <p><span style="font-size:12px;"><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;">Being a supplier to a large business is a game changer.&nbsp; But, we know that small businesses often lack the capital, skills and access to market opportunities to be effective suppliers.&nbsp; We want to change that because we know that small businesses who are suppliers to large corporations reported revenue growth of more than 250 percent and employment increased by more than 150 percent on average.</span></span></p> <p><span style="font-size:12px;"><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;">As a part of the American Supplier Initiative, the U.S. Small Business Administration is holding a series of supply chain events, in collaboration with federal agencies and private companies, throughout the country to provide the tools and resources needed for small businesses to become effective suppliers.&nbsp; And we want to make connecting your business to large companies easier and more efficient.&nbsp;</span></span></p> <p><span style="font-size:12px;"><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;">SBA is proud to continue this <a href="https://sbadetroit.mybusinessmatches.com/">national initiative in Detroit, Michigan</a>; a regional Hub for large corporations, federal agencies and small business suppliers.</span></span></p> <p><span style="font-size:12px;"><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;">We hope to see you there.</span></span></p> <p><span style="font-size:12px;"><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;"><strong style="font-size: 12px;">WHAT</strong>: </span></span></p> <p><span style="font-size:12px;"><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;">Link Detroit: A Small Business Matchmaking Summit</span></span></p> <p><span style="font-size:12px;"><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;"><strong>WHERE</strong>:</span></span></p> <p><span style="font-size:12px;"><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;">Wayne State University<br /> Community Arts Auditorium<br /> 450 Reuther Mall<br /> Detroit, MI 48202</span></span></p> <p><span style="font-size:12px;"><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;"><strong>WHEN</strong>:</span></span></p> <p><span style="font-size:12px;"><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;">Tuesday, December 10<sup>th</sup>, 2013, 12:00 PM &ndash; 6:00 PM</span></span></p> <p><span style="font-size:12px;"><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;"><strong>For More Information and to RSVP</strong>:</span></span></p> <p><span style="font-size:12px;"><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;"><a href="https://sbadetroit.mybusinessmatches.com/">https://sbadetroit.mybusinessmatches.com/</a></span></span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/link-detroit-small-business-matchmaking-summit#comments Open For Business Government Contracting SBA News and Views Wed, 06 Nov 2013 18:16:58 +0000 John Shoraka 757028 at http://www.sba.gov/community Small Businesses Receive 22.25 Percent of Small Business Contracts in FY 2012 http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/small-businesses-receive-2225-percent-small-business-contracts-fy-2012-0 <p>In FY 2012, the federal government made real progress toward delivering 23 percent of eligible federal contracting dollars to small businesses, with 22.25 percent going to small businesses compared to 21.65 percent in FY 2011. &nbsp;We also made significant impact in several key areas of small business contracting, including exceeding the goal for service disabled veterans for the first time and delivering the highest percentage of contracts to small disadvantaged businesses to date. &nbsp;In addition, more agencies than ever before reached or surpassed all of their prime contracting goals. &nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>As a result of a government wide focus on increasing small business contracting opportunities, during the first term of the Obama administration, $376.2 billion in contracting dollars went to small businesses. &nbsp;This is a $48.1 billion increase over the four preceding years even as we have reduced contracting spending overall.</p> <p>Federal contracting with small businesses remains a win-win. &nbsp;Small businesses get the revenue they need to grow their revenues and create jobs. &nbsp;Meanwhile, the federal government gets the chance to work with some of the most responsive, innovative and nimble companies in the U.S. &mdash;often with a direct line to their CEO.&nbsp;</p> <p>SBA is required to report to the President and Congress on achievements by federal agencies and departments against their annual procurement goals to ensure greater accountability. &nbsp;The Small Business Procurement Scorecard provides an assessment of federal achievement in prime contracting and subcontracting to small businesses by the 24 Chief Financial Officers Act agencies. &nbsp;It also measures progress that departments are making to ensure small business opportunities remain an integral part of their acquisition of goods and services to meet mission objectives. &nbsp;The&nbsp;<a href="http://www.sba.gov/content/small-business-procurement-scorecards-0">FY 2012 Small Business Procurement Scorecard&nbsp;</a>is now available on sba.gov. &nbsp;</p> <p>The SBA continues to focus on a number of initiatives to help the government meet the 23 percent goal, ensure the accuracy of data, and prevent fraud, waste and abuse, including:&nbsp;</p> <ul> <li> Significantly improving the quality of small business procurement data;</li> <li> Collaborating with White House and Administration Senior Officials to help ensure top-level leadership commitment from across the federal government to utilize small businesses;</li> <li> Training prospective and existing small businesses to acquire the confidence and skills needed to successfully &nbsp;compete for and win federal contracts through&nbsp;<a href="http://www.sba.gov/gcclassroom" title="SBA's Government Contracting Classroom">GC Classroom</a>;</li> <li> Strengthening, building capacity and increasing opportunities in America&#39;s supply chains for small businesses through the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/making-it-easier-small-businesses-make-it-america" title="SBA blgo article">American Supplier Initiative (ASI)</a>; and</li> <li> Conducting outreach and matchmaking events across the country to ensure that small businesses everywhere have direct access to federal buyers.&nbsp;</li> </ul> <p>In particular, SBA recently launched a strategic HUBZone and 8(a) Business Development Program Recruitment Initiative to recruit new firms into both programs that better meet the needs of the federal procurement marketplace. &nbsp;SBA also recently joined with Women Impacting Public Policy (WIPP) and American Express OPEN to launch the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/official-sba-news-and-views/open-business/challengeher-creating-procurement-access-a" title="SBA blog article">ChallengeHER</a>&nbsp;initiative, to inform Woman-Owned Small Businesses about the opportunities available within the federal supply chain.</p> <p>Small businesses are the backbone of our economy. SBA and the Obama Administration will continue to provide small business owners the necessary tools to ensure they have the wind at their back, enabling them to grow and create jobs.</p> <p>For more information about the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.sba.gov/content/small-business-procurement-scorecards-0">Small Business Procurement Scorecard</a>, visit SBA.gov.</p> http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/small-businesses-receive-2225-percent-small-business-contracts-fy-2012-0#comments Open For Business Government Contracting Tue, 02 Jul 2013 14:15:44 +0000 John Shoraka 699161 at http://www.sba.gov/community Starting a High-Tech Business? You May be Eligible for Government Funding http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/starting-high-tech-business-you-may-be-eligible-government-funding <p><img alt="" src="/sites/default/files/images/Tibbetts.JPG" style="width: 329px; height: 230px; float: right;" />Looking to start or grow your high-tech entrepreneurial venture? Need financing to help fund research and development (R&amp;D) efforts and realize your business potential? The U.S. federal government can help!</p> <p>In fact, in 2012, nearly 5,000 small businesses <a href="http://www.sbir.gov/past-awards" title="SBIR Past Awards">received over $1.8 billion</a> in federal government grants and contracts to help them carry out the R&amp;D necessary to develop and bring high-tech products to market.</p> <p>So how can your small business get in on the act? Here&rsquo;s what you need to know:</p> <p><strong>What Can the Government Do for the High-Tech Small Business Sector?</strong></p> <p>If you are starting or already operate a high-tech startup, high-growth or high-impact firm, you <u>may be</u> eligible for grants and contracts that help fund R&amp;D and product commercialization under the federal government&rsquo;s <a href="http://www.sba.gov/content/small-business-innovation-research-program-sbir-0" title="SBIR information">Small Business Innovation Research Program (SBIR)</a>.</p> <p>The risk and expense of conducting serious R&amp;D efforts are often beyond the means of many small businesses. But, by reserving a percentage of federal R&amp;D funds for small business, SBIR helps small businesses to compete on the same level as larger businesses. In turn, SBIR helps the federal government meet its own R&amp;D needs in areas such as defense, healthcare, environmental protection and more. Eleven federal agencies set aside a portion of their budget each year to fund the SBIR program, with the SBA acting as the coordinating agency of the program.</p> <p>Companies such as Symantec, Qualcomm and ViaSat all got a kick start from SBIR funds in their early years.</p> <p><strong>How does the SBIR Program Work?</strong></p> <p>The federal government has specific scientific and technological R&amp;D goals and priorities, all of which are reflected in these <a href="http://www.sbir.gov/solicitations" title="SBIR solicitations">solicitations</a> from participating agencies and federal grants (listed at <a href="http://www07.grants.gov/applicants/find_grant_opportunities.jsp">Grants.gov</a> or on individual agency sites). You can search and explore these solicitations and grant opportunities to see where your R&amp;D efforts may align with the government&rsquo;s needs. Then follow the application process described below (see &ldquo;How Do I Get Started?&rdquo;). Each agency reviews proposals based on technical merit, qualifications and potential benefits to industry and society. Once agencies grant awards to small business, they embark on the R&amp;D process.</p> <p><strong>The Awards Process</strong></p> <p>SBIR awards are structure in three phases to reflect the R&amp;D development cycle:</p> <ul> <li> <strong>Phase I:</strong>&nbsp;These awards are usually below $150,000 and cover a timeframe of less than 6 months. During this initial stage, the small business and sponsoring agency explore the feasibility of the project in order to get a better sense of its commercial potential and technical requirements.</li> <li> <strong>Phase II</strong>: These awards are only available to small businesses that already received Phase I awards. Phase II enables a longer-term commitment. Awards can be made for up to $1 million for two years. During this period, R&amp;D is expanded and commercial viability can be assessed.</li> <li> <strong>Phase III:</strong>&nbsp;During this stage, innovations transition from the lab to the market, and small businesses begin the search for private sector investment. Keep in mind that the SBIR program <em>does not</em>&nbsp;fund Phase III; funding comes from private sources or other government grants.</li> </ul> <p><strong>Who is Eligible for SBIR?</strong></p> <p>The eligibility requirements for SBIR are straightforward &ndash; your business must be for-profit, have less than 500 employees, be independently owned and operated and located principally in the U.S. It must also be majority-owned (51 percent) by U.S. citizens or permanent resident aliens and the principle researcher must be an employee of the company.</p> <p>As you can imagine, SBIR is a highly competitive program. Check out this <a href="http://www.sbir.gov/past-awards" title="Directory of SBIR awards">interactive directory of SBIR awards</a> for a review of past awards, proposal abstracts and more.</p> <p><strong>How Do I Get Started?</strong></p> <p>SBIR.gov includes <a href="http://sbir.gov/applicants" title="SBIR application information">information for applicants</a>, but, as mentioned above, the application process starts with research:</p> <ul> <li> Check the list of <a href="http://sbir.gov/solicitations" title="Open SBIR solicitations">open solicitations</a> at SBIR.gov. Each solicitation explains the areas of R&amp;D that agencies are interested in.</li> <li> If you have questions, contact the individual agency. Refer to this <a href="http://sbir.gov/agency-contacts" title="SBIR awards agency contact list">contact list</a>.</li> <li> Register your business with <a href="http://sbir.gov/registration" title="SBIR company registration">SBA&rsquo;s Company Registry</a> prior to submitting an application.</li> <li> Get <a href="http://sbir.gov/events" title="Tips on how to apply for SBIR program">tips and training</a> on applying to the SBIR program.</li> <li> <a href="http://www07.grants.gov/applicants/find_grant_opportunities.jsp" title="Search for grants on grants ">Search for grant opportunities</a> on Grants.gov.</li> <li> Submit a proposal. Typically, an SBIR Phase I proposal submission package has the following components: a business plan, executive summary, cost and technical proposal.</li> </ul> <p><strong><em>Tip</em></strong>: <a href="http://grants.gov/" target="_blank">Grants.gov</a>&nbsp;is a good place to start looking for SBIR/STTR program opportunities. Just type &quot;SBIR&quot; in the basic search, and off you go!</p> <p><strong>Additional Resources</strong></p> <ul> <li> <a href="http://www.sba.gov/districtoffices" title="SBA District Offices ">SBA District Offices</a></li> <li> <a href="http://sbir.gov/" title="SBIR website">SBIR Website</a></li> <li> <a href="http://www.sbir.gov/faq/general" title="SBIR FAQs">SBIR FAQs</a></li> <li> <a href="http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/community-blogs/small-business-cents/help-start-ups-pt-4-education-counseling-progra" title="Education and counseling programs for high-tech small businesses">Education &amp; Counseling Programs for High-Tech Small Businesses</a></li> <li> <a href="http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/community-blogs/small-business-cents/help-start-ups-part-2-loans-technology-and-othe" title="Loans for technology and other high growth businesses">Loans for technology and other &ldquo;high-growth, high-impact&rdquo; businesses</a></li> </ul> http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/starting-high-tech-business-you-may-be-eligible-government-funding#comments Small Business Cents Financing Government Contracting Starting Mon, 20 May 2013 12:40:39 +0000 Caron_Beesley 632041 at http://www.sba.gov/community RFP-EZ Delivers Savings for Taxpayers, New Opportunities for Small Business http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/rfp-ez-delivers-savings-taxpayers-new-opportunities-small-business <p>America&rsquo;s small information technology firms are some of the most innovative in the world. They are nimble, creative and can get the job done. And thanks to a new online government platform, it is getting easier for them to address some of the Federal Government&rsquo;s most pressing IT needs. It&rsquo;s a win-win: Small technology companies get easier access to the Federal Government&rsquo;s nearly $77 billion information technology supply chain, providing a potentially critical revenue stream as they build their operations. And government agencies get to work with innovative small firms with solutions that can help make government agencies more efficient and streamlined.</p> <p>The catalyst for these connections is an exciting new pilot project called RFP-EZ. And the results we are seeing from this program highlight what is possible when you unleash the power of American entrepreneurs.</p> <p>RFP-EZ is a new and easy way for companies to learn about and compete for government contracts &ndash; in particular, small companies that lack the experience or administrative support generally needed to take full advantage of the Government&rsquo;s Request for Proposals (RFP) process, the means by which many government contract offerings are presented to the business community. The RFP-EZ platform was developed jointly by Federal innovators working in the&nbsp;SBA and private-sector entrepreneurs serving temporary stints in the Federal Government through the Presidential Innovation Fellows program, launched by the U.S Chief Technology Officer and Chief Information Officer team last year.&nbsp; Sharing their private- and public-sector insights, the team developed RFP-EZ as a simplified platform aimed at&nbsp;opening up the Government marketplace to a wider range of companies and saving taxpayer money.&nbsp;</p> <p>Applying agile development principles, the Fellows team designed&nbsp;RFP-EZ over a six-month period, publishing the platform&rsquo;s code openly on GitHub.&nbsp; The team then launched the pilot by posting five relatively simple website development and database contract offerings, four of which were also announced via the standard government portal, FedBizOps. On a per-project basis, bids received through RFP-EZ were consistently lower than those received through FedBizOps&mdash;19% to 41% lower, and over 30% lower on average. Bids made through RFP-EZ also showed less overall variation.&nbsp; In addition, during the pilot period, RFP-EZ&nbsp;attracted more than 270 businesses that until now had never approached the world of Federal contracting.</p> <p align="center"><strong><u>Average of All Bids Received for RFP-EZ vs FedBizOps (FBO)</u></strong></p> <p align="center"><img alt="" src="/sites/default/files/images/RFP EZ.png" style="width: 635px; height: 253px;" /></p> <p>According to Office of Management and Budget&rsquo;s IT Dashboard, the Federal Government will spend more than $1.4 billion on Web Infrastructure and Web Content Management Systems in FY 2014. Based on 2011 and 2012 results, we can expect about half of these projects to be under the $150,000 &ldquo;Simplified Acquisition Threshold&rdquo; that would make them eligible for contracting through RFP-EZ. As we refine and expand the use of RFP-EZ, we are confident that its success will grow, delivering better value for taxpayers and opening new opportunities for small businesses.</p> <p>Leveraging feedback we received from entrepreneurs and Federal contracting officers, the next class of Presidential Innovation Fellows will begin work on version 2.0 of RFP-EZ, which will focus on improving the platform, scaling its initial results across the Federal Government, and adding innovative new capabilities. If your business would like to participate, we encourage you to get started by setting up a profile on RFP-EZ today. To all the businesses that submitted proposals through RFP-EZ and everyone who has given us feedback on the project, thank you for helping to bring this new capability to life &ndash; and we very much look forward to the path ahead.&nbsp;</p> http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/rfp-ez-delivers-savings-taxpayers-new-opportunities-small-business#comments Open For Business Government Contracting SBA News and Views Wed, 15 May 2013 17:09:26 +0000 Karen Mills 625731 at http://www.sba.gov/community Hurricane Sandy Update-- Six months later, A Steady Recovery http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/hurricane-sandy-update-six-months-later-steady-recovery <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>It&rsquo;s been six months since Hurricane Sandy struck the East Coast and signs of recovery are emerging.&nbsp; Businesses are reopening, homeowners are rebuilding and communities are rebounding.&nbsp; I&rsquo;m proud to say that the SBA, together with our federal partners, stepped-up to provide assistance to those affected by Sandy.&nbsp; SBA has approved more than 34,000 disaster loan applications for a dollar total of $2.2 billion &ndash; making Hurricane Sandy the third largest natural disaster in terms of SBA disaster lending in U.S. history. &nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>One of these loans went to IceStone, LLC, a Brooklyn-based company that makes counter tops from recycled glass and cement. The five feet of salt water that flooded the 55,000 square-foot factory when Hurricane Sandy passed through New York destroyed machinery worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.&nbsp; After deciding not to close the business, IceStone CEO Dal LaMagna applied for an SBA disaster loan. Despite the massive volume of applications the SBA was handling during the early recovery phase, &ldquo;the employees at the SBA were still able and willing to respond rapidly at each of the stages of processing, approving, and funding our application,&rdquo; LaMagna said. &nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>By April, IceStone&rsquo;s $988 thousand dollar loan was fully disbursed, and within days LaMagna and his 127 employees were <a href="http://images.businessweek.com/photos/2013-04-12/a-flooded-manufacturer-rebounds-after-hurricane-sandy">back in the factory</a> building countertops.&nbsp;</p> <p>The deadline for homeowners, renters, businesses of all sizes and private nonprofit organizations in New Jersey to apply for an SBA disaster loan for physical damages caused by Hurricane Sandy is May 1. Visit SBA&rsquo;s <a href="http://www.sba.gov/content/2012-hurricane-and-tropical-storm-recovery-assistance-information">Hurricane Sandy website</a> for more information.</p> <p>Our disaster recovery efforts haven&rsquo;t just included loans to homeowners and businesses.&nbsp; Nineteen million dollars in grants will be delivered to our resource partners to expand counseling and training services for small businesses and SBA has played an integral role in awarding $190 million dollars in government contacts to small businesses involved in the Hurricane Sandy recovery.&nbsp; Through these additional means, we will continue to help those individuals and communities affected by Hurricane Sandy rebuild stronger and provide support for long-term recovery.</p> <p><strong><u>SBA Resource Partners Support Small Business Recovery</u></strong></p> <p>Small businesses recovering from the physical and economic impact of Hurricane Sandy can get both immediate and long-term help from SBA&rsquo;s resource partners&mdash;the <a href="http://www.sba.gov/content/small-business-development-centers-sbdcs">Small Business Development Centers</a>, (SBDCs), <a href="http://www.sba.gov/content/score">SCORE</a>, and <a href="http://www.sba.gov/about-offices-content/1/2895">Women&rsquo;s Business Centers</a> (WBC&rsquo;s), through expanded services provided by a <a href="http://www.sba.gov/about-sba-services/7367/568071">$19 million funding package</a> approved by Congress. &nbsp;</p> <p>$5.8 million has already been made available to SBA&rsquo;s resources partners in the areas impacted by Hurricane Sandy to immediately ramp up existing counseling and training services. Our partners play a critical role in fostering economic development in those areas hard-hit, and businesses are encouraged to take advantage of the services.</p> <p>SBA resource partners can now apply for an additional $13.1 million to provide long-term small business recovery, expansion and rebuilding strategies through innovative collaborative approaches between state and local community-based partnerships. This new process for building local recovery frameworks will help to integrate local economic recovery efforts and improve efficiency of services.</p> <p><strong>SBA resource partners</strong> interested in leading the recovery efforts&nbsp; from the second phase of funding have until June 5, 2013 to respond to the related request for proposal, <a href="https://apply07.grants.gov/apply/jsf/downloadApplicationPackage.faces?id=174090">Hurricane Sandy Disaster Relief Program Announcement</a> (# OED 2013-002), which is posted to <a href="http://www.grants.gov/">Grants.gov</a>.</p> <p>&nbsp;<strong><u>Government Contracting</u></strong></p> <p>So far $190 million dollars in government contacts have been awarded to small businesses involved in the Hurricane Sandy recovery.&nbsp;&nbsp; That means 28 percent of the federal contacting award dollars have gone to small businesses, with 17 percent of that total going to small businesses in New York and New Jersey.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/hurricane-sandy-update-six-months-later-steady-recovery#comments Open For Business Emergency Planning Government Contracting SBA News and Views Fri, 26 Apr 2013 21:07:40 +0000 James Rivera 594001 at http://www.sba.gov/community Connect Atlanta: Building Robust Small Business Supply Chains http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/connect-atlanta-building-robust-small-business-supply-chains <p><strong>NOTE: </strong>This blog is by Cassius Butts, SBA Regional Administrator</p> <p>Being a supplier to a large business is a game changer.&nbsp; But, we know that small businesses often lack the capital, skills and access to market opportunities to be effective suppliers.&nbsp; We want to change that!</p> <p>That&rsquo;s why the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) launched the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/making-it-easier-small-businesses-make-it-america">American Supplier Initiative</a>, a federal government-wide initiative designed to increase government and commercial supply chain opportunities for small firms.&nbsp; This is important because small businesses who are suppliers to large corporations reported revenue growth of more than 250 percent and employment increased by more than 150 percent on average.</p> <p>As a part of the American Supplier Initiative, the U.S. Small Business Administration is holding a series of supply chain events, in collaboration with federal agencies and private companies, throughout the country to provide the tools and resources needed for small businesses to become effective suppliers.&nbsp; And we want to make connecting your business to large companies easier and more efficient.&nbsp; The first of these events will be held in Atlanta, GA, on May 20<sup>th</sup>. Here are the details. We hope to see you there.</p> <p><strong>WHAT</strong>: Connect Atlanta</p> <p style=""><strong>WHERE</strong>: Martin Luther King, Jr. Federal Building</p> <p style="">77 Forsyth Street SW, Atlanta, GA, 30303</p> <p style=""><strong>WHEN</strong>: Monday, May 20<sup>th</sup>, 2013, 10:00am &ndash; 5:30pm</p> <p style=""><strong>For More Information and to RSVP</strong>: <a href="https://atlanta.mybusinessmatches.com/">https://atlanta.mybusinessmatches.com/</a></p> http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/connect-atlanta-building-robust-small-business-supply-chains#comments Open For Business Government Contracting Managing SBA News and Views Wed, 24 Apr 2013 18:25:46 +0000 ngoriel 586911 at http://www.sba.gov/community ChallengeHER: Creating Procurement Access and Opportunity for Women-Owned Small Businesses http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/challengeher-creating-procurement-access-and-opportunity-women-owned-small-businesse <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Federal contracting with small businesses is a win-win.&nbsp; Every year, the U.S. government awards nearly $100 billion in federal contracts to small businesses, allowing these businesses to grow their revenues and create jobs right here at home.&nbsp; Meanwhile, the federal government gets the chance to work with some of the most responsive, innovative and nimble companies in the United States.</p> <p>During the first three years of the Obama Administration, the federal government awarded $286.3 billion in federal contract dollars to small businesses&mdash;a $32 billion increase over the three preceding years, even as contracting spending overall has declined across the federal government.&nbsp;</p> <p>Across the board, the Obama Administration and U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) are committed to providing access and removing barriers for small, minority, women-owned, and disadvantaged businesses by changing the process and the culture surrounding federal contracting.</p> <p>We&rsquo;re proud of our achievements so far in implementing the Woman Owned Small Business Federal Contract Program and we are making strides in bringing more women-owned firms into the federal government&rsquo;s supply chain.</p> <p>Today, I had the opportunity to announce our latest efforts to engage women-owned small businesses in the federal procurement process at the Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB) Opportunity Forum Luncheon presented by SBA, Women Impacting Public Policy (WIPP), and American Express OPEN, here in Washington, D.C.</p> <p>The ChallengeHER Campaign is an exciting new initiative that leverages the resources of SBA, WIPP, and American Express OPEN to promote the Women-Owned Small Business Federal Contract Program and bring more women-owned firms into the federal government&rsquo;s supply chain.</p> <p>In the coming months, we&rsquo;ll be hosting ChallengeHER events across the country to help women business owners better understand the procurement opportunities available from the federal government, including events in:</p> <ul> <li> Phoenix, AZ;</li> <li> Seattle, WA;</li> <li> New Orleans, LA;</li> <li> Denver, CO;</li> <li> Atlanta, GA;</li> <li> San Francisco, CA; and,</li> <li> New York, NY.</li> </ul> <p>At these events, we&rsquo;ll also be playing &ldquo;matchmaker&rdquo;&mdash;connecting women-owned small businesses with the decision-makers and contract opportunities housed by our federal partners, both at the national level and in their local communities.&nbsp; And by increasing our family of women-owned small businesses, government contracting officers will have a broader base to consider when making their purchasing decisions.</p> <p>We&rsquo;ll also be training women-owned small businesses on how to register in our System for Award Management, which serves as our government contracting portal for all small business owners that want to do business with the federal government, and learn about eligibility requirements for the Women-Owned Small Business Federal Contract Program, which allows contract set asides for women-owned small businesses&nbsp;in certain industries.</p> <p>A robust supply chain of innovative small businesses makes our country more globally competitive, encourages more corporations to bring production back to the U.S., and helps create jobs here at home. Our goal, and the goal of the ChallengeHER Campaign, is to ensure that women-owned small businesses across the country have the access and opportunity they need to succeed.</p> <p>&nbsp;Stay tuned for further information on the ChallengeHER Campaign and events near you.</p> http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/challengeher-creating-procurement-access-and-opportunity-women-owned-small-businesse#comments Open For Business Government Contracting SBA News and Views Tue, 23 Apr 2013 17:34:23 +0000 Marie Johns 585051 at http://www.sba.gov/community Webinar on Cash Flow Management for 8(a) and HUBZone Firms http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/webinar-cash-flow-management-8a-and-hubzone-firms <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Are you a small business certified in the U.S. Small Business Administration&rsquo;s (SBA) 8(a) Business Development or Historically Underutilized Business (HUB) Zone program interested in learning how to better manage your business relationships?&nbsp;</p> <p>If so, you&rsquo;ll be happy to know that the SBA is teaming up with Experian&rsquo;s Business Information Services, the leading global information services provider, to launch BusinessIQ ExpressSM, an online cash flow management tool for small businesses certified in SBA&rsquo;s 8(a) Program and HUBZone certified-firms.</p> <p>The webinar will take place on April 2, 2013, from 2:00 &ndash; 3:00 p.m. EST, to help educate firms in SBA&rsquo;s 8(a) Business Development and HUBZone programs on how can help to manage business relationships.&nbsp;</p> <p>All 8(a) and HUBZone firms can register for the event at:&nbsp; <a href="http://event.on24.com/r.htm?e=592082&amp;s=1&amp;k=9EBFCA1FFEF608DF520915F788868AE7" title="Website" type="Website">http://event.on24.com/r.htm?e=592082&amp;s=1&amp;k=9EBFCA1FFEF608DF520915F788868AE7</a>.</p> <p>BusinessIQ Express is an online cash flow management tool that provides small businesses with the resources to make quick and informed decisions on prospective customers&rsquo; ability to pay by providing insight on the financial health of the business.</p> <p>The online tool will help small business owners to:&nbsp;</p> <ul> <li> evaluate prospective customers&rsquo; and suppliers&rsquo; ability to pay;</li> <li> monitor business relationships with alerts and notifications of key changes; and</li> <li> collect outstanding debts and avoid future losses.&nbsp;</li> </ul> <p>The <a href="http://www.sba.gov/content/8a-business-development-0">8(a) Business Development program</a> is a nine-year program which provides socially and economically disadvantaged firms access to government contracting opportunities and specialized business training and counseling to help them become viable competitors in the federal marketplace.&nbsp;</p> <p>The <a href="http://www.sba.gov/hubzone/">HUBZone program</a> helps small businesses located in economically depressed areas and urban and rural communities with high unemployment get contract assistance and promote job growth and economic development in their communities. &nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/webinar-cash-flow-management-8a-and-hubzone-firms#comments Open For Business Government Contracting SBA News and Views Thu, 21 Mar 2013 19:51:27 +0000 TiffaniC 547411 at http://www.sba.gov/community Making Procurement Better: RFP-EZ http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/making-procurement-better-rfp-ez <p>&nbsp;</p> <div> <em>Note: This post is authored by SBA&#39;s Presidential Innovation Fellows - Clay Johnson, Jed Wood, and Adam Becker.</em></div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> This past summer, our team of Presidential Innovation Fellows (PIFs) was challenged by this&nbsp;<span style="font-size: 12px;">Administration to&mdash;in the span of six months&mdash;make it easier for small businesses to sell to the&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: 12px;">Federal government, and for the Federal government to buy technology from the private sector.&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: 12px;">Just a few weeks ago, working with our colleagues at the Small Business Administration (SBA),&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: 12px;">we launched the first iteration of an experiment we think will help make that goal a reality: <a href="https://rfpez.sba.gov/" title="RFP EZ">RFP-</a></span><span style="font-size: 12px;"><a href="https://rfpez.sba.gov/" title="RFP EZ">EZ</a>.</span></div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Early on in our project, we discovered that selling to government and government making&nbsp;<span style="font-size: 12px;">purchases are two different problems with two unique audiences. The former required us to&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: 12px;">make it easier to discover new contracts and simplify the bidding process. The latter required&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: 12px;">streamlining the creation of requests for proposals (RFPs), review of bids, and improved capacity&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: 12px;">for market research.</span></div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> On one side of the equation, small businesses need tools that make it easier to discover and&nbsp;<span style="font-size: 12px;">compete for opportunities. On the other side, government contracting officers (who make&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: 12px;">purchasing decisions) need tools that streamline their work and ensure they can effectively weigh&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: 12px;">their options. The RFP-EZ system is a start at addressing both sides of the equation.</span></div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> If you&#39;re a web designer or developer, see for yourself. Check out the <a href="https://rfpez.sba.gov/projects">current RFP-EZ projects</a>&nbsp;<span style="font-size: 12px;">and bid on one. You can probably find and bid on a government contract in less than 10 minutes.</span></div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> For contracting or program officers in government, we&#39;ve streamlined the process of building&nbsp;<span style="font-size: 12px;">an RFP. For example, the system has a feature inside of it called SOWComposer, which allows&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: 12px;">government contracting officers to easily share statements of work (SOWs)&mdash;just like developers&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: 12px;">can share open source code on websites like <a href="https://github.com/">GitHub</a>. This allows contracting officers to&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: 12px;">collaborate on templates and share best practices, so they don&rsquo;t need to reinvent the wheel along&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: 12px;">with each new procurement. And finally, with RFP-EZ, bids come in all in one place, where they&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: 12px;">are easily sortable so that contracting officers and program offices can figure out which ones are</span></div> <div> the best ones.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> The best part? RFP-EZ is built entirely as an open source platform. It&#39;s built in a PHP framework&nbsp;<span style="font-size: 12px;">called <a href="http://laravel.com/">Laravel</a> and if you&#39;re a developer, you can check out the <a href="https://github.com/presidential-innovation-fellows/rfpez">source code on GitHub</a>. And,&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: 12px;">if you&#39;re a state or local government, this means there&#39;s now a freely available procurement&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: 12px;">marketplace available for you to acquire and deploy.</span></div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Since its launch just a few weeks ago, more than 200 businesses have signed up to bid, and&nbsp;<span style="font-size: 12px;">many of them are completely new to government contracting. RFP-EZ has the potential to save&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: 12px;">taxpayers substantial amounts of money, improve services by giving government greater access&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: 12px;">to better technology, and create more jobs by making government more accessible to small&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: 12px;">businesses&mdash;that&rsquo;s the promise of RFP-EZ.</span></div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> As an added bonus, if you&#39;re considering applying for the next round in the Presidential&nbsp;<span style="font-size: 12px;">Innovation Fellows (PIF) program, you&#39;re actually going to use <a href="https://innovationfellows.usa.gov/apply">this</a> modified version of RFP-EZ&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: 12px;">to do it &ndash;and all of the tools on the back-end will help PIF project sponsors to better analyze the&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: 12px;">applicant pool.</span></div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> We&rsquo;re excited about RFP-EZ, and whether you&rsquo;re a developer looking for code, a small business&nbsp;<span style="font-size: 12px;">looking to sell, or a government office looking to buy&mdash;we think you should be too.</span></div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> <span style="font-size: 12px;">Clay Johnson, Jed Wood, and Adam Becker are Presidential Innovation Fellows working on&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: 12px;">RFP-EZ at the Small Business Administration.</span></div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> To learn more about or apply for the Presidential Innovation Fellows program, please visit:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.whitehouse.gov/InnovationFellows"><span style="font-size: 12px;">WhiteHouse.gov/InnovationFellows</span></a></div> http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/making-procurement-better-rfp-ez#comments Open For Business Government Contracting SBA News and Views Mon, 04 Feb 2013 17:10:49 +0000 esrobins 461941 at http://www.sba.gov/community 10 Tips for Veteran-Owned Businesses Seeking to Sell to the U.S. Federal Government http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/community-blogs/small-business-matters/10-tips-veteran-owned-businesses-seeking-sell <p>Are you a veteran-owned small business and thinking of selling to your former boss &ndash; the U.S. federal government?</p> <p>Part of the mission of the SBA is to provide assistance to veterans and service-disabled veterans who return home to start, resume or grow their businesses.&nbsp;In addition to supporting veteran business owners through entrepreneurial training, and providing access to capital, the SBA also provides resources, tools and support to help veterans start and grow businesses through government contracting.</p> <p>If you are a veteran-owned small business, check out these 10 tips for getting started selling to the U.S government and winning a government contract.</p> <p><strong>1)</strong>&nbsp;<strong>Boots to Business &ndash; Get Help Starting Your Business</strong> - <a href="http://www.sba.gov/bootstobusiness" title="Boots to Business program">Boots to Business&nbsp;</a>is a public-private partnership program that gives service members support to help them learn the nuts and bolts of how to start and grow a business and access SBA tools and resources available to them.</p> <p><strong>2) Find a Veterans Business Outreach Center</strong> &ndash; The SBA&rsquo;s Office of Veterans Business Development oversees multiple <a href="http://www.sba.gov/content/veterans-business-outreach-centers" title="Veterans Business Outreach Centers directory">Veterans Business Outreach Centers</a> across the country. In addition to helping veterans build a business plan and start a business, these centers can help veterans <a href="http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/sba-stands-ready-help-more-veterans-start-and-grow-business" title="SBA information about helping veterans land government contracts">land government contracts</a>, get access to mentoring services, and find training.</p> <p><strong>3) Review your Financing Options </strong>&ndash; In addition to a range of other <a href="http://www.sba.gov/category/navigation-structure/loans-grants">loan programs</a>, SBA&rsquo;s <a href="http://www.sba.gov/content/patriot-express">Patriot Express Program</a> is specifically designed for small businesses that are more than 51 percent owned or controlled by veterans or members of the military community and are available up to $500,000.</p> <p><strong>4)&nbsp;Familiarize Yourself with Small Business Incentives for Government Contracting </strong>&ndash; The law mandates that government agencies establish <a href="http://www.sba.gov/content/small-business-goaling" title="Small business contracting goals">contracting goals</a> that require them to reach out and consider small businesses and <a href="http://www.sba.gov/content/service-disabled-veteran-owned-small-business-concerns-sdvosbc" title="Information about government contracting for service-disabled veteran-owned businesses">service-disabled veteran-owned businesses</a> for procurement opportunities. Currently, 23 percent of contracts must be awarded to small businesses and three percent to service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses. These opportunities will help open doors, but you must still be able to sell your business on performance, price and ability. Contact your <a href="http://www.sba.gov/content/veterans-business-outreach-centers" title="Veterans Business Outreach Center directory">Veterans Business Outreach Center</a> to learn more about these and other incentive opportunities.</p> <p><strong>5)</strong> <strong>Learn About How the Government Buys </strong>&ndash; The government applies standardized procedures to buy products and services it needs from suppliers that meet certain qualifications. The primary contracting methods used by the government include micro-purchases, simplified procedures, sealed bidding, contract negotiations and consolidated purchasing. Learn more about these in another SBA online training course, <em>Government Contracting 101: How the Government Buys</em>, or read a quick overview of the process in my earlier blog: <a href="http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/government-contracting-%E2%80%93-learn-how-federal-government-buys-small-businesses" title="Article about how the government buys from small businesses">Government Contracting &ndash; Learn how the Government Buys from Small Businesses</a>.</p> <p><strong>6)&nbsp;Understand the Rules &ndash; </strong>Understanding the government&rsquo;s procurement rules is critical to your success as a government contractor.&nbsp; The FAR, or <a href="http://www.sba.gov/content/federal-acquisition-regulations-far" title="Information about the Federal Acquisition Regulations">Federal Acquisitions Regulations</a>, is the roadmap for doing business with the government. Check out these <a href="http://www.sba.gov/content/federal-acquisition-regulations-far" title="Information about Federal Acquisition Regulations">resources</a> on SBA.gov to help you become familiar with the regulations that apply to most federal contractors.</p> <p><strong>7)</strong> <strong>Size Does Matter </strong>&ndash; As a small business, certain government programs may apply to you. The question then becomes: What is a small business, or, more specifically, is your firm a small business? Over the years, SBA has established and revised numerical definitions for all for-profit industries, and this numerical definition is called a &quot;size standard.&quot;&nbsp; Use SBA&rsquo;s <a href="http://www.sba.gov/size-standards-tool?ms=nid4060" title="Size Standards Tool">Size Standards Tool</a> to help determine if your business is truly &ldquo;small&rdquo; and qualifies for government contracts.</p> <p><strong>8) Learn the Process of Selling to the Government and Find Opportunities </strong>&ndash; Selling to the government is not as big of a mystery as you might think. There are several fundamental steps you should follow:</p> <ul> <li> Define your business and products using a <a href="http://www.sba.gov/content/getting-d-u-n-s-number" title="How to get a DUNS number">DUNS number</a> and <a href="http://www.sba.gov/content/north-american-industry-classification-system-codes-and-small-business-size-standards" title="How to find your NAICS code">NAICS code</a>.</li> <li> Register your firm in the <a href="https://www.sam.gov/portal/public/SAM/" title="System Awards Management system">System for Awards Management</a>.</li> <li> Market directly to agencies.</li> <li> Use established procurement vehicles.</li> </ul> <p>For a deeper dive into this process, read <a href="http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/community-blogs/business-law-advisor/selling-government-%E2%80%93-get-started-with-these-5-s" title="5 steps to getting started in government contracting">Selling to the Government &ndash; Get Started with These 5 Steps</a> or check out SBA&rsquo;s information about <a href="http://www.sba.gov/content/register-government-contracting" title="How to register to be a government contractor">Registering for Government Contracting</a>, which explains the easy steps you need to follow to being bidding on government proposals.</p> <p><strong>9)</strong> <strong>Find Subcontracting Opportunities </strong>&ndash; An alternative to seeking prime contracts is to explore <a href="http://www.sba.gov/category/navigation-structure/contracting/contracting-opportunities/sub-contracting">subcontracting opportunities</a>. Subcontracting with a prime contractor can be a profitable experience as well as a growth opportunity for a business. To help small businesses find opportunities, SBA maintains <a href="http://www.sba.gov/content/sub-net" title="SUB-Net">SUB-Net</a>, a searchable database of available subcontract opportunities.</p> <p><strong>10)</strong> <strong>Have a Question?</strong> &ndash; If you have questions about the federal marketplace, government contracting methods, contract opportunities or winning recovery and other federal contracts, check out the following resources:</p> <ul> <li> <a href="http://www.sba.gov/category/navigation-structure/contracting" title="SBA Government Contracting Guide"><strong>SBA&rsquo;s Government Contracting Guide</strong></a> &ndash; Explore the process of government contracting with easy how-to guides and resources.</li> <li> <a href="http://www.sba.gov/sba-learning-center/series/government-contracting-101" title="Online training about the process of government contracting"><strong>Government Contracting Classroom</strong></a> &ndash; Available via <a href="http://www.sba.gov/sba-learning-center/" title="SBA&quot;s online Learning Center">SBA&rsquo;s Learning Center</a>, these self-paced, free online courses cover the fundamentals of selling to the government as a small business owner.</li> <li> <strong>Get In-Person Assistance and Training</strong> &ndash; SBA and its resource partners can answer your questions about the federal market place, government contracting methods, and finding contract opportunities. Find your local SBA office, Veterans Business Outreach Center and more with this <a href="http://www.sba.gov/local-assistance" title="Find small business assistance in your community">interactive map</a>.&nbsp;</li> </ul> http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/community-blogs/small-business-matters/10-tips-veteran-owned-businesses-seeking-sell#comments Small Business Matters Government Contracting Starting Thu, 31 Jan 2013 12:21:15 +0000 Caron_Beesley 455041 at http://www.sba.gov/community SBA Announces Changes to Contracting Program to Help Women-Owned Businesses Compete for Federal Contracts http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/official-sba-news-and-views/open-business/sba-announces-changes-contracting-program-help-women-owned-businesses-compete-federal-contracts <p>Are you a woman-owned business looking to get a slice of the more than $400 billion dollar federal contracting pie? Under the new National Defense Authorization Act of 2013, the SBA will make changes to its <a href="http://www.sba.gov/content/contracting-opportunities-women-owned-small-businesses" title="website" type="website">Women-Owned Small Business Federal Contract Program</a> to help women-owned small businesses get more federal contracts and help the federal government meet and exceed its statutory five percent women&rsquo;s contracting goal. &nbsp;</p> <p><strong>How Will the National Defense Authorization Act of 2013 Affect Women-Owned Small Businesses?</strong></p> <p>Prior to the new law, the anticipated award price of a contract for women-owned (WOSB) and economically disadvantaged women-owned small businesses (EDWOSB) could not exceed $6.5 million for manufacturing contracts and $4 million for all other contracts. The new law removes these thresholds for WOSBs and EDWOSBs allowing them greater access to federal contracting opportunities without limitations or restrictions to the value of a contract.&nbsp;</p> <p>The law also requires the SBA to conduct another study to identify and report industries underrepresented by women-owned small businesses. As a result, more eligible women-owned businesses may be able to participate in SBA&rsquo;s Women&rsquo;s Federal Contract Program and compete for and win federal contracts.</p> <p><strong>How Do You Know If You Are Eligible for the Women&rsquo;s Contracting Program?</strong></p> <p>To be eligible for the program, you must meet the following criteria:</p> <ul> <li style="margin-left: 38.25pt;"> Your business must be 51 percent owned and controlled by one or more women, and primarily managed by one or more women.</li> <li style="margin-left: 38.25pt;"> You must be a U.S. citizen.</li> <li style="margin-left: 38.25pt;"> Your business must be considered to be a &ldquo;small&rdquo; business according to SBA&rsquo;s size standards.&nbsp; To view the various size standards for individual industries, take a look at <a href="http://www.sba.gov/size">SBA&#39;s Table of Small Business Size Standards by North American Industry Classifications Systems (NAICS)</a>.</li> <li style="margin-left: 38.25pt;"> Your business must be&nbsp;<a href="http://www.sba.gov/about-sba-info/3690">&quot;economically disadvantaged&quot;</a>.&nbsp;This is determined by specific financial requirements set forth in SBA&rsquo;s program regulations.</li> </ul> <p><strong>Third Party Certification and Self-Certification</strong></p> <p>Every firm that wishes to participate in the WOSB program must meet the <a href="http://www.sba.gov/wosb"><u>eligibility requirements and either self-certify or obtain third party certification</u></a>. There are four approved third-party certifiers that perform eligibility exams: El Paso Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, National Women Business Owners Corporation, U.S. Women&rsquo;s Chamber of Commerce, and the Women&rsquo;s Business Enterprise National Council.</p> <p><strong>Contracting Opportunities for Women-Owned Businesses</strong></p> <p>The <a href="http://www.sba.gov/content/contracting-opportunities-women-owned-small-businesses">WOSB Program</a> identifies eighty-three four-digit North American Industry Classification Systems (NAICS) codes where WOSBs are underrepresented or substantially underrepresented. Contracting officers may set aside contracts in these industries if the contract can be awarded at a fair and reasonable price and the contracting officer has a reasonable expectation that two or more WOSBs or EDWOSBs will submit offers for the contract.</p> http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/official-sba-news-and-views/open-business/sba-announces-changes-contracting-program-help-women-owned-businesses-compete-federal-contracts#comments Open For Business Government Contracting SBA News and Views Tue, 22 Jan 2013 21:12:37 +0000 TiffaniC 439851 at http://www.sba.gov/community GSA and SBA Open Doors to Small Businesses. Literally. http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/gsa-and-sba-open-doors-small-businesses-literally <p><em>Editor&#39;s Note: This blog is co-authored by GSA Acting Administrator Dan Tangherlini and SBA Deputy Administrator Marie Johns. It was <a href="http://gsablogs.gsa.gov/gsablog/2013/01/18/sbopenhouse/" title="GSA">originally posted</a> on GSA&#39;s blog.</em></p> <p>Sometimes small businesses looking to do business with the federal government just need a little help getting the process started. That&rsquo;s why the U.S. General Services Administration, in partnership with the Small Business Administration, hosted a small business open house and procurement fair at its headquarters today in Washington, D.C.</p> <p>Delivering on President Obama&rsquo;s commitment to helping America&rsquo;s small businesses grow and prosper, GSA and SBA opened their doors to nearly 400 small business owners from across the country to provide information to small business on opportunities to work and partner with Federal agencies. Businesses also received updates on the Administration&rsquo;s small business initiatives and resources available to them in their local communities. The event was held to coincide with 2013 Presidential inaugural activities, where many small business owners would be visiting the Nation&rsquo;s Capital.</p> <p>The open house kicked off with welcoming remarks from GSA Acting &nbsp;Administrator Dan Tangherlini and Deputy SBA Administrator Marie Johns.</p> <p>&ldquo;We are here today to help you because we know the value that your businesses can provide the federal government and the American people, said GSA Acting Administrator Dan Tangherlini. &ldquo;Expanding opportunities for small businesses is part of our mission and we will continue to strengthen these partnerships and support the success of our vendors.&rdquo;</p> <p>&ldquo;This event is just the latest example of SBA&rsquo;s commitment to to providing the access and opportunity they need to build successful businesses that create good jobs,&rdquo; said SBA Administrator Marie Johns. Since President Obama took office, SBA has supported more than $104 billion in lending to more than 185,000 small businesses.</p> <p>Each year since taking office, the Administration has provided nearly $100 billion in contracts to small businesses, with 2011 and 2012 being the two highest years of lending for SBA ever. &nbsp;GSA works closely with SBA to assist small businesses in helping the government improve efficiencies and bring savings back to the taxpayer. Last fiscal year,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.sba.gov/sites/default/files/files/FY11%20Final%20Scorecard%20GSA_2012-06-29.pdf" target="_blank" title="GSA Score Card">GSA was rated an &ldquo;A+&rdquo;</a>&nbsp;for exceeding SBA small business contracting goals in nearly all categories.</p> <p>Together, SBA, GSA and the Obama administration will be with small businesses every step of the way &ndash; helping build businesses and a stronger, more durable middle class.</p> http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/gsa-and-sba-open-doors-small-businesses-literally#comments Open For Business Government Contracting SBA News and Views Fri, 18 Jan 2013 20:28:12 +0000 Marie Johns 435811 at http://www.sba.gov/community 5 Things You Need to Know About the FY13 National Defense Authorization Act http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/5-things-you-need-know-about-fy13-national-defense-authorization-act <p>President Obama recently signed the Fiscal Year 2013 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which appropriates funds for military activities of the Department of Defense and other national security programs. You may be asking yourself, &ldquo;Why am I reading about national security on the SBA website&rdquo;&nbsp; Well, if you&rsquo;re a small business and are doing business with the government, the NDAA includes a number of provisions that impact you. That&rsquo;s why we thought it would be beneficial to highlight the top five things small businesses should know about the FY13 NDAA.</p> <ol> <li> <strong><a href="http://www.sba.gov/content/contracting-opportunities-women-owned-small-businesses" title="WOSB">Women-Owned Small Business Contracting Program</a>:&nbsp;</strong>Removes the award caps ($6.5M and $4M) from set-asides under the Women-Owned Small Business Contracting Program. For more on the updated rules, see our <a href="http://www.sba.gov/about-sba-services/7367/432861">recent press release</a>. (<em>Section 1697)</em><br /> &nbsp;</li> <li> <strong><a href="http://www.sba.gov/content/mentor-prot%C3%A9g%C3%A9-program">Mentor Prot&eacute;g&eacute; Program</a>:&nbsp;</strong>Establishes a Mentor Prot&eacute;g&eacute; Program modeled after the 8(a) Mentor Prot&eacute;g&eacute; Program for all small businesses. (<em>Section 1641)</em><br /> &nbsp;</li> <li> <strong><a href="http://www.sba.gov/surety-bonds">Surety Bond Limits</a>: </strong>Raises the SBA guaranteed surety bond limits from $2 million to $6.5 million, and allows for bonds up to $10 million on federal contracts if the contracting officer certifies that the surety is needed for award of the contract. The increased caps will allow small businesses to compete for more contracting opportunities with limited risk to the taxpayer. <em>(Section 1695)</em><br /> &nbsp;</li> <li> <strong>Senior Executives:</strong>&nbsp;Requires that agency heads ensure members of the Senior Executive Services (Senior Leadership) receive training with respect to Federal acquisition requirements, including training requirements under the Small Business Act. The law also requires that the head of each respective agency take steps to ensure that members of the SES are held accountable to meeting small business contracting goals. <em>(Section 1633)</em><br /> &nbsp;</li> <li> <strong>Small Business Contracting Requirements Training:</strong>&nbsp;Requires the Defense Acquisition University and the Federal Acquisition Institute establish a mandatory course on small business contracting in order for members of the federal acquisition workforce to get certified in contracting. <em>(Section 1622)</em></li> </ol> http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/5-things-you-need-know-about-fy13-national-defense-authorization-act#comments Open For Business Government Contracting SBA News and Views Thu, 17 Jan 2013 21:02:19 +0000 John Shoraka 434691 at http://www.sba.gov/community Can You Get a Federal Contract during Inauguration Weekend? It could happen! http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/official-sba-news-and-views/open-business/can-you-get-federal-contract-during-inaugu <p>Are you a small business owner planning to visit Washington, DC for President Obama&rsquo;s Inauguration? &nbsp;&nbsp;Are you a small business owner looking for more business?&nbsp; Are you a small business owner looking to partner with larger businesses or federal agencies on federal contract opportunities?</p> <p>If your answer is &ldquo;yes&rdquo;, then you don&rsquo;t want to miss the Small Business Open House/Procurement Fair that will be held during an exciting weekend of Inauguration events hosted by the U.S. Small Business Administration, General Services Administration, Department of Defense and several other federal agencies!&nbsp; Small businesses from across the country will learn about contracting opportunities and opportunities to work and partner with federal agencies.&nbsp; They also will receive updates on the Obama Administration&rsquo;s small business initiatives and resources available to them in their local communities.</p> <p><strong>Opportunities for Small Business in Every Community&mdash;How Can You Benefit?</strong></p> <p>SBA&rsquo;s Deputy Administrator Marie Johns, the Acting GSA Administrator Dan Tangherlini and other Administration officials will be on hand at GSA&rsquo;s newly renovated headquarters on January 18<sup>th</sup> from noon to 4pm to discuss important issues facing small businesses and how they can connect to federal opportunities in their area.&nbsp; There also will be representatives from more than 20 federal agencies on site to answer questions from small businesses about contracting opportunities, how to do business with the government, how to win a contract and available resources to small businesses.&nbsp;&nbsp; Hundreds of small businesses are expected to attend.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Where and How Can I Participate?</strong></p> <p>The Small Business Open House/Procurement Fair will be held at GSA&rsquo;s headquarters at 1800 F St. NW, Washington, DC&nbsp; 20006 (Entrance on F St.) in the front lobby hallway and the auditorium from noon to 4pm.&nbsp; GSA&rsquo;s headquarters building is undergoing its first full renovation in 70 years, which will double its capacity and showcase the next generation of federal office space and green building technology.&nbsp;</p> <p>Small businesses that would like to rsvp for the event, <a href="http://www.sba.gov/events/opportunities-small-business-every-community" title="event">Click Here</a>.&nbsp; For more information about the Small Business Open House/Procurement Fair, visit SBA&rsquo;s Web site at: <a href="http://www.sba.gov/events/opportunities-small-business-every-community" title="event">http://www.sba.gov/events/opportunities-small-business-every-community</a>. &nbsp;</p> http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/official-sba-news-and-views/open-business/can-you-get-federal-contract-during-inaugu#comments Open For Business Government Contracting SBA News and Views Mon, 14 Jan 2013 21:55:11 +0000 TiffaniC 418631 at http://www.sba.gov/community Why Your Business Needs to Get a DUNs Number http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/why-your-business-needs-get-duns-number <p>Did you know that a DUNS number is the most widely used number for identifying companies in the United States?</p> <p>Did you also know that suppliers and creditors alike pull a Dun and Bradstreet (D&amp;B) credit check on your business when you apply for credit?</p> <p>Part of establishing a creditworthy company includes establishing positive credit ratings with major business credit reporting agencies such as D&amp;B. If you are serious about establishing credit for your business, then the first thing to do is get listed in D&amp;B&rsquo;s database and set up your company&rsquo;s credit file.</p> <p>When you apply for a DUNs Number with D&amp;B, the Data Universal Numbering System issues a nine-digit number that is unique to your company. This DUNs number is used to create your business credit file, similar to how your social security number is used to identify your personal credit reports.</p> <p>To <a href="http://www.businesscreditblogger.com/2013/01/08/get-a-duns-number/" target="_blank" title="Business Credit Blog" type="Business Credit Blog ">obtain your DUNs number</a>, first enter your legal business name, city, and state in the search box on the D&amp;B website and click on the search tab. This will verify if your company is already listed with D&amp;B and has been issued a DUNS number.</p> <p>You&rsquo;ll see a list of possible matches, but click on the tab only if you believe there is a match to your company name. Doing so requires that you verify specific information about your business.</p> <p>Once you gain authorization, D&amp;B provides you access to your files via iUpdate, where you can review, update, correct and add company information. If your company does not show up in the search results, then most likely you do not have a DUNs Number.</p> <p>The next step is to apply for one.</p> <p>It is important to note that once you apply for a DUNS Number at no charge, your file will be created. But it will be considered an incomplete file (marketing file) if you have no trade references reporting. If this is the case, you can either add trade references to your file by enrolling in a monitoring program or you can apply for credit and wait for a supplier to report your company&rsquo;s payment activity.</p> <p>Remember, once you obtain your DUNS Number, the next step is to start establishing business credit by adding positive trade references to your file. This only happens when you start making purchases with creditors that report payment activity.</p> <p>With more than 500,000 suppliers in the U.S. and less than 6,000 that actually report to the business, credit agencies don&rsquo;t get caught up in the mistake of applying for credit with non-reporting creditors when your chief aim is to build your company&rsquo;s credit file.</p> <p>Ultimately, a creditworthy profile will help creditors, lenders and suppliers assess the creditworthiness of your company when you apply for credit.</p> http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/why-your-business-needs-get-duns-number#comments The Industry Word Financing Government Contracting Starting Thu, 10 Jan 2013 16:55:44 +0000 Marco Carbajo 406641 at http://www.sba.gov/community Government Contracting – Learn How the Federal Government Buys from Small Businesses http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/community-blogs/small-business-matters/government-contracting-%E2%80%93-learn-how-federal-go <p><img alt="SBA Government Contracting Classroom" longdesc="http://www.sba.gov/sba-learning-center/series/government-contracting-101" src="/sites/default/files/images/GovClassroom.JPG" style="width: 265px; height: 304px; float: right;" title="Government Contracting Classroom" /></p> <p>Are you thinking of breaking into the federal government contracting marketplace in 2013? This lucrative market is worth nearly $100 billion in sales to small businesses each year, but selling to the government is quite different than selling to the commercial sector.</p> <p>For example, the government applies standardized procedures to buy products and services it needs from suppliers that meet certain qualifications. But how agencies across the government actually make those purchases (or &ldquo;contracts&rdquo; them) can vary enormously. Purchases can sometimes be made quickly using a simple credit card; other times, sealed bids, negotiations or consolidated purchasing programs are used.</p> <p>To help small business owners navigate this unfamiliar territory, SBA offers free online training &ndash; the <strong><a href="http://www.sba.gov/sba-learning-center/series/government-contracting-101" title="SBA Government Contracting Classroom">Government Contracting Classroom</a> </strong>&ndash; a soup-to-nuts overview of the process. &ldquo;How the Government Buys&rdquo; is one of three self-paced courses that can help you understand contracting methods the government uses to buy goods and services.</p> <p>If you are new to this market, check out this training. In the meantime, below are some key learning points about how the government buys!</p> <p><strong>Primary Buying Methods the Government Uses</strong></p> <p>In the private sector, business customers purchase products and services in a number of ways &ndash; some use credit card purchasing authority while others issue formal requests for proposals (RFPs). It&rsquo;s not too dissimilar in federal contracting; however, contracting officials who oversee the procurement process must follow the procedures outlined in the Federal Acquisition Regulation, commonly known as the FAR, to guide government purchases.</p> <p>Here&rsquo;s an overview of the different rules and procedures that control how the federal government makes its purchasing decisions and how these may favor small businesses: &nbsp;</p> <ul> <li> <strong>Micro-purchases with credit cards</strong> &ndash; Government purchases of individual items under $3,000 are generally considered to be micro-purchases. They don&rsquo;t require competitive bids or quotes and agencies can simply pay using a Government Purchase Card or credit card, without involving a procurement officer. Seventy percent of all government purchases are for micro-purchases under $3,000; in 2010, this represented more than $19 billion.</li> <li> <strong>Simplified acquisition procedures</strong> &ndash; Purchases under $150,000 can use simplified purchasing procedures that involve less paperwork and fewer approval levels. The good news for small business is that purchases above $3,000, but under $350,000 are also reserved or &ldquo;set aside&rdquo; exclusively for small businesses.</li> <li> <strong>Sealed bids </strong>&ndash; This method is used when the government buys competitively and has very specific requirements. Agencies will issue an &ldquo;Invitation for Bid&rdquo; (IFB), much like an RFP in the commercial sector. Businesses will then submit sealed bids that are opened by a contracting officer in a public setting, read aloud and recorded. Contracts are awarded to the lowest bidder who is determined to be fully responsive to the needs of the government.</li> <li> <strong>Contracting by negotiations </strong>&ndash; This is a more complex and time-consuming process. In certain cases, when the value of a government contract exceeds $150,000 and when it necessitates a highly technical product or service, the government may issue an RFP. Typically, the government will request a product or service it needs and solicit proposals from prospective contractors on how they intend to carry out that request and at what price. Proposals in response to an RFP can be subject to negotiation after they have been submitted. If the government is merely checking into the possibility of buying, it may issue a Request for Quotation (RFQ). A response to an RFQ by a prospective contractor is not considered an offer, and consequently, cannot be accepted by the government to form a binding contract.</li> <li> <strong>Consolidated purchasing vehicles </strong>&ndash; Many agencies have common purchasing needs such as software or offices supplies. To achieve economies of scale, purchases of certain types of products or services are centralized. In&nbsp; this &ldquo;consolidated purchasing,&rdquo; acquisition vehicles are typically used, the most common being GSA Schedules or Government Wide Acquisition Contracts, called G-WACs. These centralized buying vehicles are negotiated by the government with awards to many vendors and used by multiple agencies.</li> </ul> <p>Contracting and contracts can seem like interchangeable terms in this business. But now that you know the buying methods used by the government, it&rsquo;s important to understand how the government navigates pricing and what form the actual contracts or agreements take once you&rsquo;ve won the business.</p> <p>From fixed-price contracts to blanket purchase agreements, these contracts and agreements take multiple forms &ndash; too many to list here. Check out the &ldquo;<a href="http://www.sba.gov/sba-learning-center/series/government-contracting-101" title="Government Contracting Training Part 2: How the Government Buys">Government Contracting 101, Part 2: How the Government Buys</a>&rdquo; for a detailed overview. Then move on to &ldquo;Part 3: How to sell to the Government&rdquo; and for other insights and tools, go to <a href="http://www.sba.gov/sba-learning-center/search/training/government-contracting" title="Learning Center's Government Contracting resources">SBA&rsquo;s Learning Center for its government contracting resources</a>.</p> <p>Don&rsquo;t forget: it&rsquo;s very important to find out whether your business actually qualifies for government contracts as a small business concern. This new <a href="http://www.sba.gov/content/am-i-small-business">SBA Size Standards Tool</a> can help you decide.</p> <p><strong>Useful Information</strong></p> <ul> <li> <a href="http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/community-blogs/business-law-advisor/selling-government-%E2%80%93-get-started-with-these-5-s" title="Get started selling to the government with these 5 steps">Selling to the Government &ndash; Get Started with these 5 Steps</a></li> <li> <a href="http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/community-blogs/small-business-matters/selling-government-%E2%80%93-4-tips-meeting-and-build" title="Tips for meeting and building relationships with the right people in government contracting">Selling to the Government &ndash; 4 Tips for Meeting and Building Relationships with the Right People</a></li> <li> <a href="http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/government-contracting-made-easy-sba-introduces-new-8a-training-course-small-busines" title="SBA introduces new 8(a) training course for small businesses">Government Contracting Made Easy: SBA Introduces A New 8(a) Training Course For Small Businesses</a></li> </ul> http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/community-blogs/small-business-matters/government-contracting-%E2%80%93-learn-how-federal-go#comments Small Business Matters Government Contracting Thu, 06 Dec 2012 11:44:28 +0000 Caron_Beesley 376911 at http://www.sba.gov/community Don’t Get Scammed Just Because You Want to Get Into SAM http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/don%E2%80%99t-get-scammed-just-because-you-want-get-sam <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>You can count on it, just like clockwork: when a new federal program or interface or system is put in place, someone is going to try to squeeze some extra cash out of people who want to use it.&nbsp;</p> <p>Here at SBA HQ, we&rsquo;ve heard recently of attempts to do just that to people who want to register their small businesses in the new <a href="http://www.sam.gov" title="SAM">SAM database</a>.&nbsp; SAM stands for System for Award Management.&nbsp;</p> <p>SAM, which is being developed in phases &ndash; the first was released in July 2012 &ndash; is changing the way you do business by consolidating nine separate and distinct federal systems into one, thus allowing companies to use one login to access all the capabilities previously found in the nine separate legacy systems. &nbsp;Among the systems it&rsquo;s replacing is the Central Contractor Registration, or CCR, a database where companies that want to do business with the government register.&nbsp;</p> <p>It wasn&rsquo;t long before the questions started bubbling up. One of the first was &ldquo;Does it really cost $599.00 to register for SAM?&rdquo;</p> <p>SBA field offices and resource partners &ndash; such as the Procurement Assistance Center at the Mohawk Valley Small Business Development Center &ndash; started hearing several reports over the past few months that their small business clients were being contacted by firms offering to get them set up in SAM for a fee of $500 to $599.</p> <p>As Roxanne K. Mutchler, the Government Contracting Coordinator at the Mohawk Valley SBDC pointed out recently to some of these clients: &ldquo;Please make your current and future clients aware that these are private, for-profit businesses that will charge the client for registering their business. &nbsp;<strong><em>There is no cost to register at the new SAM website!&nbsp;</em></strong>We can assist them with the process for FREE!&rdquo; &nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>The real SAM website is: <a href="https://www.sam.gov/">https://www.sam.gov/</a>.&nbsp;Always look for the &ldquo;.gov&rdquo; after &ldquo;SAM&rdquo; in the URL address. Private, for-profit businesses will not have the &ldquo;.gov&rdquo; suffix.&nbsp; Even if a site looks a lot like a federal government website, don&rsquo;t be fooled. Without the .gov ending, it isn&rsquo;t.&nbsp;</p> <p>A couple of good places for helpful info about getting into the SAM database are the <a href="https://www.sam.gov/sam/transcript/SAM_User_Guide_v_1.8.pdf">User&rsquo;s Guide</a> issued by the General Services Administration, and the <a href="https://www.sam.gov/sam/transcript/SAM_FAQs-June2012.pdf">SAM FAQ</a>. Both of these are in a PDF format, so you can download them easily to your own desktop. &nbsp;You can access many more online aids at the <a href="https://www.sam.gov/">SAM website</a> by clicking on the &ldquo;Help&rdquo; button and &ldquo;User Guides.&rdquo;</p> <p>One caution: Some people have been unable to reach the new SAM site.&nbsp; Mohawk Valley&rsquo;s Mutchler recommends changing one computer setting: In your Internet Explorer browser, go to &ldquo;Tools&rdquo; then &ldquo;Internet Options&rdquo; then &ldquo;Advanced&rdquo; and put a check mark at &ldquo;Use TLS 1.0&rdquo; (it&rsquo;s down near the bottom).&nbsp;</p> <p>Another caution: Don&rsquo;t get sucked into paying for something that&rsquo;s free, and for which you can get free help from a Small Business Development Center in your area. Find one <a href="http://www.sba.gov/local-assistance">here</a>. All you need is a zip code.</p> http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/don%E2%80%99t-get-scammed-just-because-you-want-get-sam#comments Business Law Advisor Government Contracting SBA News and Views Wed, 05 Dec 2012 20:18:26 +0000 Stephen Morris 376311 at http://www.sba.gov/community 4 New SBA Online Tools That Can Take Your Small Business to New Levels http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/community-blogs/small-business-matters/4-new-sba-online-tools-can-take-your-small-bu <p>The old adage &ldquo;time is money&rdquo; is perhaps one of the most pertinent statements that you can apply to small business owners. Whether you&rsquo;re starting a business or managing a growing one, entrepreneurs and business owners wear many hats and have many questions:</p> <ul> <li> What laws and regulations apply to my business?</li> <li> How do I start to write a business plan?</li> <li> Where can I get help with X, Y and Z?</li> </ul> <p>Many of us invariably turn to our networks and the Internet to find answers. But how can you trust that the information you are getting is truly applicable to your business and, let&rsquo;s face it, even accurate?</p> <p>As part of its mission to help business owners start, succeed and grow, SBA, through the SBA.gov website has developed numerous online tools and guides to help small businesses get information and answers they need quickly and efficiently. For example, these <a href="http://www.sba.gov/content/follow-these-steps-starting-business" title="10 Steps to Starting a Business">10 Steps to Starting a Business</a> and these <a href="http://www.sba.gov/content/10-steps-hiring-your-first-employee" title="10 Steps to Hiring your First Employee">10 Steps to Hiring your First Employee</a> guides are essential reading. <a href="http://www.sba.gov/sba-direct" title="SBA Direct online tool">SBA Direct</a> is another useful tool that personalizes business owners&rsquo; experience on the SBA.gov website. Then there are the <a href="http://www.sba.gov/content/search-business-licenses-and-permits" title="Licenses and Permits Search Tool">Licenses and Permits Search Tool</a> and the <a href="http://www.sba.gov/loans-and-grants" title="Loans and Grants Search Tool">Loans and Grants Search Tool</a>.</p> <p><strong>New Online Tools to Help Business Owners Plan, Manage and Grow</strong></p> <p>Over the past couple of months, SBA has expanded its capacity and selection of tools and information business owners need by developing a whole range of new online features! Check them out:</p> <p><strong>1.&nbsp;</strong><strong>Get to Know Your Market and Competition Better with the SizeUp Tool</strong></p> <p>Want to know how your business stacks up against the competition? Where your potential competitors are located? Where the best places are to advertise your business? These are all critical inputs for your business plan and can also help back up any financing applications.</p> <p>Now with the new <a href="http://www.sba.gov/sizeup" title="SBA.gov SizeUp tool"><strong>SizeUp</strong></a> tool you can crunch millions of data points and get customizable reports and statistics about your business and its competition. Just enter your industry, city, state and other details. SizeUp then runs various reports and provides maps and data related to your competition, suppliers and customers. It also highlights potential advertising opportunities.</p> <p><strong>2.&nbsp;</strong><strong>Build a Business Plan Tool</strong></p> <p>Business planning can seem a daunting task, but it doesn&rsquo;t have to be that way. To help you plan and steer your business, this new &ldquo;<a href="http://www.sba.gov/business-plan/1" title="SBA.gov Build a Business Plan tool"><strong>Build a Business Plan</strong></a>&rdquo; tool guides you through the process of creating a basic, downloadable business plan. The great thing about it is you can build a plan in smaller chunks of time, save your progress and return at your leisure.</p> <p>To use the tool, simply log into SBA.gov (registration is free, <a href="http://www.sba.gov/community/register" title="Register to join the SBA.gov Community">sign up here</a>) and enter information into a template for each section of the business plan including, market analysis, company description and financial projections. The tool is secure and confidential and will keep your plan on record for up to six months. You can also save, download or email the plan at any time.</p> <p><strong>3.&nbsp;</strong><strong>Size Standards Tool &ndash;Find Out Fast if You Qualify for Government Contracts</strong></p> <p>In order to be eligible to sell to the government and compete for small business &ldquo;set-aside&rdquo; contracts, business owners had to rummage through various rules and matrices to find out if their business is truly &ldquo;small&rdquo; according to <a href="http://www.sba.gov/content/am-i-small-business-concern" title="SBA business size standards">SBA size standards</a>. Now, with this new <a href="http://www.sba.gov/size-standards-tool?ms=tid157" title="Size Standards Tool"><strong>Size Standards Tool,</strong></a> you can follow three simple steps to cut through the guesswork and quickly find out if you qualify for government contracting opportunities. SBA also offers other resources including <a href="http://www.sba.gov/sba-learning-center/series/government-contracting-101">government contracting training courses</a>, and <a href="http://www.sba.gov/category/navigation-structure/contracting">guides to help you register as a contractor</a>.</p> <p><strong>4.&nbsp;</strong><strong>Events Calendar &ndash; Locate Business Training and Seminars</strong></p> <p>SBA and its partners, including Small Business Development Centers, Women&rsquo;s Business Centers, and SCORE, hold hundreds of small business training seminars and workshops across the country. Until now, there was no single repository for these events. Now, with SBA&rsquo;s <a href="http://www.sba.gov/events" title="SBA Events Calendar"><strong>Events Calendar</strong>,</a> you can quickly find and sign up for training. Enter a date range and/or zip code to locate events in your area. Results are filtered by topic such as &ldquo;starting a business,&rdquo; &ldquo;managing a business,&rdquo; &ldquo;business planning,&rdquo; and &ldquo;financing a business.&rdquo;</p> <p align="center"><strong>Tell us what you think about the new tools below. You can also Tweet </strong><a href="http://www.twitter.com/SBAgov" title="SBA.gov on Twitter"><strong>@SBAgov</strong></a><strong> or post your feedback on the </strong><a href="http://www.facebook.com/SBAgov" title="SBA Facebook Page"><strong>SBA Facebook page</strong></a><strong>.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/community-blogs/small-business-matters/4-new-sba-online-tools-can-take-your-small-bu#comments Small Business Matters Government Contracting Managing Marketing Mentoring and Training Starting Thu, 29 Nov 2012 12:08:59 +0000 Caron_Beesley 370521 at http://www.sba.gov/community Celebrating Veterans and America's 2.4 Million Veteran-Owned Small Businesses http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/celebrating-veterans-and-americas-24-million-veteran-owned-small-businesses <p>Each Veterans Day we honor veterans: those serving to protect us at home and abroad, and those who previously served.&nbsp; America&rsquo;s service members put themselves in harm&rsquo;s way to protect our freedoms and safety here in the U.S.</p> <p><a href="http://www.sba.gov/veterans"><img alt="Veterans" src="/sites/default/files/images/2887_SBA_VeteransCampaign_FACEBOOK_v3(2).jpg" style="width: 400px; height: 238px; float: right; margin: 5px;" /></a></p> <p>As a fellow veteran, I, too, understand the many sacrifices our men and women serving in the military and in the National Guard make daily, whether it&rsquo;s serving overseas, or serving in a location here in the U.S. For more than 20 years I had the privilege of serving with many of these fine men and women in peacetime and in wartime.&nbsp; I have a deep gratitude for those who have gone before us, paying the ultimate sacrifice, and the many who still pay the price every day from injuries received while in service to our nation.&nbsp;</p> <p>We, as a country, have such a strong and proud military heritage, as remembered this year with commemoration events to mark the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812 and the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War.&nbsp; But it&rsquo;s not just historical events that remind us of the selfless contributions made by services members; we are thankful every day to welcome veterans home from today&rsquo;s conflicts across the globe.</p> <p>Our men and women in uniform are everyday heroes, whose strength, duty, devotion, and resolve to protect and defend that which has kept our country safe for over 200 years.&nbsp; In times of peace and conflict, there is no doubt that their accomplishments have been extraordinary.&nbsp; The best way to honor veterans and their sacrifice is to provide them with the best possible service and opportunities here at home.</p> <p>Part of the mission of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is to provide assistance to veterans and service-disabled veterans who return home to start, resume, or further grow their businesses.&nbsp; In fact, SBA supports Veteran business owners through entrepreneurial training and mentoring, access to capital, and business development opportunities through government contracts. To see all of the opportunities SBA has for veterans, please visit <a href="http://www.sba.gov/veterans" title="Veterans">www.sba.gov/veterans</a>.</p> <p>Many of the transitioning service members apply the skills and experience they develop on the battlefield to a life of service here at home.&nbsp; They take on roles in their communities as doctors and police officers, engineers and entrepreneurs, and mothers and fathers.&nbsp; Did you know that nearly one in 10 small businesses nationwide is veteran-owned?&nbsp; And collectively, these 2.4 million small businesses employ nearly six million Americans and generate more than $1 trillion in receipts.&nbsp; In the private sector workforce, veterans are 45 percent more likely than those with no active-duty military experience to be self-employed.</p> <p>For veterans who choose self-employment after military service, SBA is focused on outreach efforts for programs such as <a href="http://www.sba.gov/bootstobusiness" title="B2B">Boots to Business</a>, an entrepreneurial training program; to <a href="http://www.sba.gov/content/veterans-business-outreach-centers" title="VBOCs">Veteran Resource Centers</a> for business counseling; and supporting access to capital for veterans through our <a href="http://www.sba.gov/content/patriot-express">Patriot Express</a> Loans.&nbsp;</p> <p>If you are a veteran or know one, please check out <a href="http://www.sba.gov/vets">www.sba.gov/veterans</a>&nbsp;and <a href="http://www.sba.gov/reservists">www.sba.gov/reservists</a> &nbsp;to learn more about how we can help.</p> <p>With the highest gratitude and respect, thank you, veterans, for your service.&nbsp; Your commitment to our nation, your communities and your families are the foundation on what makes this country great. &nbsp; &nbsp;</p> http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/celebrating-veterans-and-americas-24-million-veteran-owned-small-businesses#comments Open For Business Financing Government Contracting Managing Mentoring and Training SBA News and Views Starting Fri, 09 Nov 2012 18:21:28 +0000 Rhett_Jeppson 362241 at http://www.sba.gov/community Celebrating National Native American Heritage Month: Giving Native-Owned Small Businesses the Tools They Need http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/celebrating-national-native-american-heritage-month-giving-native-owned-small-busine <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>National Native American Heritage Month gives us a chance to reflect on the importance to the national economy of American Indian and Alaska Native populations.&nbsp; Growing up in a small family business in Cherokee, North Carolina, I know first-hand how essential Native-owned small businesses are to our tribes and communities. &nbsp;I have seen how small Native American-owned businesses can shape a community and how tribal citizen entrepreneurs flourish by creating sustainable and lasting jobs. &nbsp;</p> <p>Today, there are nearly 240,000 Native American-owned small businesses in the U.S., and SBA is doing what it can to increase those numbers and encourage their growth. In just the last four years SBA supported more than $400 million in lending to Native American-owned small businesses.</p> <p>Emphasizing the importance of Native Americans in helping to shape the nation&rsquo;s character and cultural heritage, President Obama has issued a <a href="http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/11/01/presidential-proclamation-national-native-american-heritage-month-2012" title="proclamation on National Native American Heritage Month" type="proclamation on National Native American Heritage Month">proclamation on National Native American Heritage Month</a>.&nbsp; The President&rsquo;s proclamation said, &ldquo;In collaboration with tribal nations, we are making critical investments to improve health and education services, create jobs, and strengthen tribal economies.&rdquo;</p> <p>SBA developed the <a href="http://www.sba.gov/content/online-courses-starting-your-business">Native American Small Business Primer: Strategies for Success</a> to help Native American entrepreneurs prepare for business ownership.&nbsp; It&rsquo;s a free online business course that gives an overview of essential business principles and of SBA&rsquo;s programs and services that help business owners get started.&nbsp; The course is an important tool for American Indians, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian business owners that can help in our nation&rsquo;s overall economic health by creating new businesses and creating jobs.</p> <p>One such Native-owned small business is Mark Masters, CEO of Choleta Fire LLC, in Oklahoma City. Mark was the <a href="http://web.sba.gov/sbsuccess/2012/act_searchform.cfm">SBA&rsquo;s 2012 Young Entrepreneur of the Year Winner</a>. &nbsp;A tribal member of the Oklahoma Cherokee Nation, Mark launched Choleta Fire in 2009 at the age of 26.&nbsp; Within two years the company had grown from one employee to 65.&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 10pt; ">We want to help create more success stories like Mark&rsquo;s so that Native American companies can thrive in business. And we expect to make additional tools available to help Native American companies start and grow like the&nbsp;</span><a href="http://www.sba.gov/gcclassroom">SBA&rsquo;s Government Contracting Classroom</a>, a series of online courses to help prospective and existing small businesses learn how to contract with federal agencies.</p> <p>We also continue to work with our Native Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) and other community lenders to encourage them to make more small-dollar loans available in Native American and underserved communities with <a href="http://www.sba.gov/content/advantage-loan-initiatives">SBA&#39;s Small Loan Advantage </a>and <a href="http://www.sba.gov/content/microloan-program">Microloan </a>programs.</p> <p>SBA&rsquo;s <a href="http://www.sba.gov/about-offices-content/1/2960">Office of Native American Affairs</a> is working hard to provide the needed tools and resources, and our ultimate goal is to help spur job creation and to stimulate economic and business development in Native American communities.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/celebrating-national-native-american-heritage-month-giving-native-owned-small-busine#comments Open For Business Government Contracting SBA News and Views Thu, 08 Nov 2012 17:53:01 +0000 Christopher James 361001 at http://www.sba.gov/community