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Gaining a Foothold in Federal Contracting with SBA and Resource Partner Assistance

April Broderick


April Broderick grew up in her father’s fire extinguisher company starting at the lowest rung on the job ladder at A & A Fire and Safety Company in Arkansas. Some 14 years later in 2014, all that changed when April became the majority owner. At the helm, April made the strategic decision to diversify the company’s business interests to include federal government contracts. She soon learned that she needed training and certification to be successful in the federal arena. April also learned that to be competitive as a woman in an industry dominated by men, she would have to overcome many barriers to keep her business solvent.

As April Broderick continued to lead the business and pursue new contracts, she worked with the Arkansas Procurement Assistance Center (APAC) to learn about federal contracting opportunities. The Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center also provided support for their business website. Later with continued assistance from APAC (now named the Arkansas Procurement Technical Assistance Center), she gained entry into SBA’s 8(a) Business Development Program earning 8(a) certification in 2016. April Broderick was also accepted into SBA’s prestigious Emerging Leaders Program that advances the entrepreneurial training for executives of small businesses with high growth potential. April graduated with the Class of 2016 and was now armed with the knowledge to fully gain entry into federal contracting.

Eight months after completing 8(a) certification April Broderick landed a five-year, $1 million contract with Little Rock Air Force Base.  In 2018, A & A Fire and Safety Company was awarded a two-year contract with a large steel plant, a five-year GSA contract, and a $250K blanket purchase agreement. Shortly thereafter, the company earned a second five-year 8(a) contract for $360K.

“The value of training and support from SBA, APAC, and ASBTDC has been phenomenal,” said April Broderick. “The $1 million 8(a) contract we landed in 2016 was a game changer. At that time, our revenues were between $300,000 and $400,000.  That contract propelled A & A to the next level by providing resources needed for expansion of equipment and personnel.  I will forever be thankful for the tools that SBA provides to hard working small businesses.”

Note: This article and the accompanying photograph do not constitute or imply an endorsement by the SBA of any opinions, products, or services of any private individual or entity.

Company Name: 
A & A Fire and Safety Company
Cabot, Arkansas