OSBP helps small business with contracting opportunities
June 5, 2013
With more than 100 years of collective contracting and acquisition experience, the Army Contracting Command's Office of Small Business Programs staff spends its days matching small businesses with contracting opportunities around the world.
According to Associate Director Alice Williams, the OSBP was very busy in fiscal year 2012 monitoring contract awards and advising small business specialists in the field. Across the Army Materiel Command more than $51 billion in eligible contracts were awarded, out of that more than $19 billion was awarded to small businesses.
"We're a small office but we're dedicated and give 110 percent," said Williams, who oversees more than 60 small business advisors across the command's more than 100 locations worldwide.
Christopher Evans, ACC OSBP deputy associate director, says the purpose of their office is to assist small businesses in finding and attaining procurement opportunities with the Army.
"Small businesses are essential to the success of our nation. They strengthen our economy and keep our nation strong, agile and resourceful," said Evans. "Small businesses bring special capabilities with a solid sense of commitment and innovation. To that end, Army small business offices do our best to ensure that a fair portion of contract awards are placed in the hands of small businesses."
The OSBP staff estimates it trained more than 75 Huntsville, Ala., small businesses through four workshops and attended or facilitated at more than 125 small business outreach events and workshops. According to Evans, businesses seek their guidance on a range of issues from getting started to writing a business plan and developing marketing tactics. He said the staff also trains members of the acquisition workforce on various issues affecting small businesses throughout the year.
"The advice and recommendations we offer are available to anyone wanting to do business with ACC. We're here as a resource to small businesses to help them obtain government contracts. It's our job to make sure we get as many small businesses involved in the procurement process as we can," said Evans. "And that can only be accomplished with a hard-working and experienced staff."
According to Dawn Robinson, Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business program manager, several of the 2013 small business initiatives were created in direct response to emails and phone calls identifying specific needs. In fiscal year 2012, AMC awarded more than $1 billion in contracts to SDVOSBs.
Managed by Darlene Brakefield, the intent of the Women Owned Small Business program is to provide contracting officers with a tool to meet the WOSB goal, level the playing field for WOSBs to compete for and win federal contracts, and ultimately, help create and retain more jobs for WOSB.
"I serve as an advocate and program manager for WOSB concerns," explained Brakefield. "I monitor ACC's progress in meeting its assigned WOSB goals and work closely with our small business specialists in the field to identify opportunities for WOSB."
In fiscal year 2012 AMC awarded $1.6 billion in contracts to WOSB.
The ACC Historically Underutilized Business Zones program is managed by Constance Jones-Hambrick.
"The purpose of the program is to provide federal contracting assistance for qualified small business concerns located in historically underutilized business zones in an effort to increase employment opportunities, investment and economic development in those areas," said Jones-Hambrick. We help small businesses find opportunities by making sure that they know about resources that are available to them. We make sure that they have all available information and know how to contact the appropriate government personnel."
According to Jones-Hambrick, more than $735 million of eligible contracts awarded across AMC went to HUBZones businesses.
Providing a conduit from small businesses to Army contracting opportunities, the ACC OSBP is available to assist both contracting professionals and small business owners. To contact the office or for more information, visit www.acc.army.mil/smallbusiness.