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Woman-Owned Small Business Lands First Government Contract
A-Zone Environmental Service, LLC (A-Zone), a small woman-owned disadvantaged company, signed their first federal contract with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Norfolk District. A-Zone, based in Charles Town, W.Va., is a participant in the U.S. Small Business Administration’s 8(a) Business Development Program. The company is owned by Adrienne Flores Morgan, a first generation born Hispanic American whose parents were raised in rural Venezuela and Argentina.
A signing recognition ceremony took place at the Eastern Panhandle Entrepreneurs Forum held at The Clarion Hotel & Conference Center in Shepherdstown on Thursday, Nov. 3., A-Zone President and CEO Adrienne Morgan, SBA’s West Virginia District Director Judy K. McCauley and Melissa Loder, business opportunity specialist for SBA in West Virginia, participated in the recognition ceremony.
The $4 million dollar sole-source contract was awarded for Environmental Remediation Services within the Norfolk District area of operation. Some of the services include, but are not limited to, environmental restoration, pollution prevention, erosion and sediment control, storm water and water reuse, energy management, and base support.
“A-Zone is a perfect example of how the SBA’s 8(a) business development is designed to function,” said McCauley. “The program provides opportunities for small companies such as A-Zone to develop business experience through the federal procurement process.”
“We were ecstatic to hear the news of our first 8(a) contract,” said Morgan. “We are excited by the prospect of providing the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers with solutions to help manage their environmental challenges. A-Zone looks forward to working on this contract and winning additional government contracts in the future.”
“The 8(a) program is an essential instrument for helping socially and economically disadvantaged entrepreneurs gain access to the economic mainstream of American society,” said Loder. “This program has helped thousands of aspiring entrepreneurs gain a foothold in government contracting.”
Divided into two phases over nine years, certified companies advance from a four-year development stage to a five-year transitional stage. The program provides access to sole-source contracts, up to a ceiling of $4 million for goods and services and $6.5 million for manufacturing. While the 8(a) certification program helps firms build competitive and institutional know-how through sole-source contracts, the SBA also encourages participation in competitive contracts as well as commercial contracts.
A-Zone has operated since April of 2004 and provides services to private and government clients on sites across the country. The company specializes in environmental investigation, remediation, and site operations and maintenance. Recent projects have been completed in Davie, FL; Front Royal, VA; Millsboro, DE; and Ft. Belvoir, VA.