A bipartisan group of United States Senators led by Olympia J. Snowe (R-Maine) and Mary L. Landrieu (D-Louisiana) were successful in adding an amendment to bolster contracting opportunities for women-owned small businesses (WOSBs) to the National Defense Authorization Act for FY 2013 (S. 3254). The measure would eliminate a current-law restriction on the dollar amount of a contract that women-owned small businesses can compete for, putting them on a level playing field with the other federal small business socio-economic contracting programs. The federal government has consistently failed to meet its annual women's contracting goal of five percent, and this provision will assist in satisfying, if not exceeding that goal. The amendment was cosponsored by Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D-New York), Scott P. Brown (R-Massachusetts), Barbara Mikulski (D-Maryland), Mark Kirk (R-Illinois), and Bob Casey (D-Pennsylvania).
"Simply put, women-owned small businesses have yet to receive their fair share of federal contracting dollars, and as the fastest growing segment of our economy, women-owned small businesses will play a critical role in helping our nation recover from the recent recession," the Senators said. "This inequity was the impetus behind the women's contracting program that Congress authorized on December 21, 2000, and over a decade later, the program was finally implemented by the SBA. While we applaud this Administration's efforts to finally put in place a functioning program, the unfortunate fact is that women-owned small businesses will still face a disadvantage when compared to HUBZone, 8(a), and service-disabled veteran-owned businesses. Our amendment will help put women-owned firms on a level playing field with these other socio-economic groups to ensure their maximum participation in the federal contracting process."
Women-owned small business advocates and leaders praised the news.
"This is a very important step toward bridging the gap for women entrepreneurs who wish to do business with the world's largest consumer - the federal government," said Barbara Kasoff, President of Women Impacting Public Policy. "We would like to thank Senator Olympia Snowe and her colleagues for their commitment to building a better partnership between government and the women-owned small business community."
"Implementing a women-owned small business procurement program but limiting the size of the awards was akin to opening the door of opportunity only part-way," said Julie R. Weeks, chair of the board of the Association of Women's Business Centers and president & CEO of Womenable. "This amendment not only will provide more opportunities for WOSB contractors, it will increase competition and provide greater value to federal agencies."
"We congratulate this bipartisan group of Senators on their leadership moving forward the first of the several modifications that are needed to improve the effectiveness of the Women's Procurement Program," said Margot Dorfman, Chief Executive Officer of the U.S. Women's Chamber of Commerce. "Removing the cap on federal contracts for women is an important first step to bring parity to the set aside programs. We hope that Congress will build on the Senators' efforts to bring the rest of the needed changes to provide fair access to federal contracts for women-owned firms." Read full article.
If there was ever any question about the course correction the federal contracting market has been going through over the past three years, a new survey from Grant Thornton puts it all to rest.
Not only is revenue down, but profits are down too. Grant Thornton found the percentage of vendors making less than 5 percent profit or no profit grew in 2012 by 31 percent over 2011.
Federal procurement spending down $20 billion. Read Full Article.
Tis' the Season to be Teaming!
It's the Holidays and in the spirit of the season, GovPartners is pleased to announce the launch of our SubTeamPartners (STP) network and offer it as a digital stocking stuffer for all of our newsletter subscribers. STP is a networking resource designed to assist contractors find teaming and/or subcontracting opportunities with prime contractors and government vendors. This network is not a government-wide opportunity search; it is a live network of targeted opportunities posted by government contractors, seeking to form team(s) of qualified vendors to respond to active solicitations.
With access to this invaluable network, your company will have the ability to source and post opportunities, request business, participate in forum discussions, search for subcontractors and teaming partners; with the added capability to facilitate partnerships between prime and subcontractors within any socio-economic category, worldwide. This online tool will reduce the amount of effort and time needed to research opportunities, while exposing your business to government requirements with a demand for your product or service offerings.
Below are images of a few of the features that the SubTeamPartners network provides to its users:
To find out more and register, click here.
Not sure what opportunities to pursue or team? GovPartners is paying it forward by offering a market analysis to selected small businesses, as a stocking stuffer to ring in the New Year. E-mail us and find out what government contracting opportunities are available for your business today.
Below is a list of the top ten Agencies that distributed government contracts for Fiscal Year 2012.
These contracts demonstrate previous opportunities awarded to commercial contractors, ranging from the acquisition of transportation services to the provision of paper clips. This proves that there’s a wide range of products and services that the government procures from the commercial market.
There are currently two versions of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) and the government anticipates deliberations this week. The House version of the Act includes a provision that would increase the goal for small-business contracting from 23 percent to 25 percent of all contracting dollars; while this provision is not included in the Senate version of the bill.
The entire team at GovPartners wishes you a safe and happy holiday season and best wishes for a fulfilling 2013.