Expanding Opportunities for Small Businesses

While I’ve only been at GSA a short time, I have been an acquisition professional for almost my entire life. Ensuring that the government fully leverages the creativity and innovation of America’s small businesses has always been an important part of my job. Given that GSA is uniquely positioned to help small businesses find the opportunities in the marketplace, Acting Administrator Dan Tangherlini is committed to doing whatever we can to help them succeed.

We’ve already made significant accomplishments. Just consider these numbers:

  • In FY12, more than $2 billion went to companies on our small business governmentwide contracts (GWACs) such as Alliant SB, 8(a)STARS I and II, and VETS.

  • More than $1.2 billion in GSA contracts went to small businesses in FY12 and the SBA gave us their Leadership Award for our strong record in using small and disadvantaged businesses.

  • More than 80 percent of all suppliers on the Multiple Award Schedules are small businesses.

  • 100 percent of the companies on our telecommunications strategic sourcing initiative are small businesses, which saw almost $25 million in sales last year.

  • 76 percent of the vendors on our office supply strategic sourcing initiative are small businesses.

  • Almost 6,000 small businesses took our Pathways to Success training program in FY12, helping them learn the ins-and-outs of the government market while, combined with our Vendor Toolkit, helping them assess whether serving in the government market is a good business decision for them.

GSA is building on the foundation of these successes by increasing the acquisition workforce’s knowledge of how we can help them meet their small business and socio-economic goals. Last year we trained almost 4,400 acquisition professionals on the new ways that the Schedules could be used to access small businesses. As a result, one in every five requests for quotations on our eBuy system, over 13,000 requests, are for small business. This increases competition and reduces costs for the government while also increasing opportunities for small businesses.  After taking our free training, the Department of Energy (DOE) fulfilled an estimated $250 million in small business requirements though the Schedules.

We’re not done yet. Our National Information Technology Commodity Program (NITCP)  is now open, giving agencies a single, consolidated place to buy things like tablets, video equipment and laptops from 43 small,  women, disadvantaged, veteran and/or service-disabled veteran-owned businesses. Our new integrated professional services solution, OASIS, will have a small business specific contract, ensuring they have a fair opportunity to bid for business in the estimated $60 billion professional services market. Using this program, you can comment on the draft request for proposal and share your feedback through our online community Interact. We’re also refining our processes to reduce contract duplication, giving small businesses more resources to research, bid and develop proposals that will be most effective for them.

We’ve got a lot going on, but we need your help. If you are a large company, consider joining our Mentor-Protégé Program, and look for subcontracting and teaming opportunities. We also want to hear ideas, plans, and suggestions from small business owners on how we can better support you. The government needs your unique skills, experience and expertise in order to work better for the American people, and we want to do what we can to help you succeed. Serving our country is a team sport, and we only make progress when all of the players have a chance to play.

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Related posts:

  1. Setting the Record Straight on Small Business Contracts
  2. GSA Unveils Draft RFPs for New Acquisition Program, OASIS
  3. Laying Foundation For Integrated Services