Government Contract Opportunities
Federal Contract Opportunities in 2011
Given today’s economy, small businesses face an even tougher dilemma – how to increase revenues. There are several discussions concerning government contract efforts to provide more federal contract opportunities for smaller business entities. The reality is that there likely will not be too much change in the current efforts because the push would have to stem from congressional mandates.
The executive agencies tend not to change too much given the many controversies and arguments made against the constitutionality of the existing programs.
For example, the existing SBA program is currently being challenged as unconstitutional. A recent article referencing a federal court decision demonstrates such controversy. The best possible avenue for small businesses to take is to seek out potential teaming partners that have past performance with government contracts to seek opportunities in the current federal marketplace.
The Air Force tends to be consistent in welcoming teaming efforts for new opportunities. However, there are still substantial trends that demonstrate a need for oversight.
Government contract opportunities are published on fbo.gov every day. However, when reviewing the trend, there is a decline in total small business set-asides, an increase in service disabled projects, and more and more 8a competitive opportunities.
Will Small Business Contracting Goals Help You in 2010?
Although the Congress has set an overall contracting goal of 23%, it appears that agencies very seldom try to reach a higher mark when providing government contract opportunities to small businesses. There can be an argument that improvement in the economy can be accomplished by either increasing the goal amount or setting a temporary rule that forces the agencies to set aside more projects for any small business. This push could more than likely jump-start the economy and create more revenues for the Congress.
Given the separation of powers, the Congress might be hard-pressed to dictate to the Executive Branch directly. However, one avenue could be to set higher standards for the SBA to increase oversight on the procuring agencies. It is no secret that the Congress has more direct control over the SBA.
Suggestions to Increase Government Contracting Opportunities
Small businesses must aggressively seek ways of increasing the likelihood of success with government contract opportunities. This can be done by increasing training initiatives that involved more focused objectives for the specific industry or NAICS Code. An example would be to gather more solid data on the government’s spending habits by geography and set-aside practices.
To further make the point, if the government, for example, showed a pattern of awarding proportionately more landscaping opportunities in HUBZone awards, and you were not a HUBZone, then the likely initiative would be to seek out a potential HUBZone teaming partner for future opportunities.
Currently, many small businesses simply rely on attending the many events put on by the government in hopes of landing an opportunity. Although these events can be fruitful at times, the reality is that contractors oftentimes leave the events with nothing but hope.
The economy will more than likely continue in its current state for at least another year or two. Small business federal government contracts have to do more to survive. There is no other way to put it.
SBA 8a Program
Many small businesses still consider applying for the 8a program in hopes of getting government contract opportunities by sole source. The truth is that your 8a certification takes quite a while, especially with the decrease in government manpower. Contractors must take a more realistic approach to survival.
Small businesses can also seek out government subcontracting contract opportunities by monitoring awards to large businesses. The FAR clearly states that if the government awards a contract to a large business, and the amount is over $550,000, there must be a subcontracting plan to give opportunities to small businesses such as woman-owned, HUBZone, service-disabled veterans, and small disadvantaged businesses.
Small businesses should refocus and adopt new initiatives for 2009 government contracting opportunities. Consulting with government contract experts to develop an individual plan of action may be well worth the time and effort.
For more information on this topic, contact us or call 720.941.7200 or 1-866-601-5518
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