Veterans Business Resources

a portal for all Veterans and SDV Small Business Owners

Certified and Homegrown help Minority Businesses

Recently I attended an agency’s Business Update Meeting about a local project in the greater Dallas area.  Mind you, this meeting could and in fact does happen virtually everyday in Anywhere, USA.  There was plenty of networking before and after the meeting.

The City officials talked about the project in detail, discussing contracting opportunities directly and indirectly impacting the project.  Two points stood out more than anything else.  First, there were an unusually high percentage of contracting opportunities available to minority firms.  Second, there was an absolute requirement to use local contractors on the project.

No, there are no preferences for Veterans in the State of Texas.  That’s a different story for another time.  There are however minority participation goals for this city and this state.  What about where you live?  Do you know?  You should, because you could be letting opportunities and money slip right through your fingers.

Find out about certification requirements and using local contractors on projects where you live.  Essentially, if you are part of the tax base, you deserve an opportunity to be part of the contractor team for area projects.

 

See you on the high ground!

 

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Filed under: Government Contracting, Networking, Registrations & Certifications, Strategy, Woods Consulting Group, , , , , , , ,

Women/Veteran-Owned Small Businesses

There has been much discussion about the Women Owned Small Business Program and you can get even more information from the SBA’s site at:  http://www.sba.gov/content/women-owned-small-business-federal-contract-program.  We want to take this opportunity to share some key points with our members. 

The SBA has created a new designation, not only is there the WOSB, now there is also the EDWOSB or Economically Disadvantaged Women Owned Small Business.  This new designation also creates another set aside category.  This can be a good thing. 

The requirements for WOSB/EDWOSB status are now harder than before.  Not only must the women own 51% and manage the day to day operations; but, they must be full-time and hold the highest officer position in the company.  But, there is no minimum time to be in business.  This can be a good thing as well. 

There are NO SOLE SOURCE CONTRACTS for WOSBs/EDWOSBs. 

Until SBA determines an official certifier, this is still a self certification process.  You can upload required documents into the SBA repository at the SBA site above. 

Women Veterans; take advantage of this additional certification.  Go back and re-read last week’s Blog Post if necessary.  

See you on the high ground!  

Filed under: Registrations & Certifications, , , , ,

Inside the Numbers – A Closer Look

Each year, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) negotiates socioeconomic procurement preference program, or ‘contracting,’ goals with Federal agencies. These goals are based on statute, and require that, in the aggregate, agencies award contracts as follows: 23% to small businesses; 5% to Small Disadvantaged Businesses; 5% to Women-Owned Small Businesses; 3% to HUBZone Small Businesses; and 3% to Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Businesses.  In fiscal year 2009, the actual goal attainment was 21.9% or $96.8 billion. 

If true, the $96.8 billion would represent a hefty amount of money flowing into and through the Small Business community.  There however, exists several problems that greatly reduce that total dollar spend in the Small Business community.  Let’s’ just list a few; 1. Many contracts designated for small businesses go to a large business masquerading as a small business, 2. Many small businesses allow themselves to be used as pass throughs, resulting in the bulk of the money going to big business 3.  Many contracts that could/should go to small businesses are bundled with other requirements, thus exceeding the capacity and capabilities of most small businesses – effectively making the requirement large and taking it out of the small business arena and 4.  Actual contract awards are incorrectly recorded and counted against the goal attainment for small businesses.  

Depending on whom you talk to or where you choose to get your data, the federal government spend each year exceeds $1 trillion, which in turn sets the goal for small business spending at $230 billion, per year.  My friends, we are no where close to $230 billion per year coming to the Small Business community.  In this scenario, it appears the truth is a moving target, and, as we all know, a moving target is hard to hit. 

See you on the high ground!

Filed under: Registrations & Certifications,

Parity in Contracting: What Does That Really Mean?

Parity; the American Heritage Dictionary gives us a rather lengthy definition, but when it all comes right down to it, parity simply means “Equality, as in amount, status or value.”  All the federal contracting programs are now on a level playing field.  Everything is equal.  If that is true, why then are there different contracting goals for each program?  The HUBZone Small Business contracting goal is 3%, the 8(a) BD Small Business contracting goal is 5%, the Women-Owned Small Business contracting goal is 5% and the Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business contracting goal is 3%. 

By assigning different “values” to different programs, we are regulating the “amount” of growth and prosperity businesses within those respective programs can achieve.  Is that parity?  Parity in contracting really only means there is parity in the language governing the use and selection of those federal programs.  In essence, the language has changed from “shall” in ONE program to “may” in ALL programs.  Language really does matter.  There will be more on that topic later.   

From my perspective, “parity in contracting” is a distraction, a ruse played on the Small Business community yet again.  Parity in contracting signals increased infighting among members of the federal contracting programs as they jockey for position prior to contract awards.  Small Businesses with any of the federal designations remain very attractive to large business and others that understand the power, significance and leverage of certifications.  

How many ways and how many times are we going to slice the 23% share of work supposedly coming to the Small Business community?  Instead of infighting among members of the Small Business community over a greater share of the juvenile 23% federal contracting goal, let’s increase that amount to oh let’s say 46%.  Let’s really create “Parity” in contracting by further leveling of the playing field.  Let’s give more Americans the opportunity to achieve and live out the American Dream.  Small Business is the engine that drives this country and our economy will continue to sputter until we properly and fairly address the issue of “Parity in Contracting.”  Just some random thoughts.  What do you think?

See you on the high ground!

Filed under: Registrations & Certifications,