JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas (April 1, 2014) -- More than $366 million in contracts were awarded to small businesses throughout the nation during the second quarter of this fiscal year by contracting officials with the Mission and Installation Contracting Command.Through March 31, MICC contracting officers have awarded more than $592 million in contracts for fiscal 2014 to small businesses representing 39.6 percent of total small business eligible dollars awarded by the command. In fiscal 2013, the command executed more than $2.1 billion to American small businesses."Small businesses are important to the economic vitality of the nation, and the MICC is resourced and ready to help those companies form, grow and succeed," said Mark Massie, associate director of the MICC Office of Small Business Programs.The MICC Office of Small Business Programs consists of personnel around the country who provide aid, advice and counsel to small businesses. In addition to providing advice to individual small businesses, the program also advocates within the command's 33 contracting offices to ensure small businesses have the maximum opportunity to compete for Army contracts awarded by those activities. Dollars awarded on these contracts help support the achievement of annual government-wide goals required by the Small Business Act.MICC representatives play a critical role in numerous outreach events in their local areas. Maureen Huston, a procurement analyst with MICC-Fort Hood, Texas, recently assisted small-business owners during the annual Fort Hood Region Government Vendor Conference and Expo at Killeen, Texas. The expo brought together more than 100 vendors, contractors and government agencies to learn about government contracting opportunities.From a practical perspective, Huston said it is very important that the Army engages small-business owners at events such as these."Many of the companies are new to the federal procurement process," Huston said. "It is critical to engage small businesses so they know that we know how important they are."In addition to attending conferences and networking, she added that small-business owners should seek low- or no-cost training from agencies whose mission is to support small businesses, such as procurement technical assistance centers, small business development centers and local chambers of commerce.Small-business directors at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston monitor each small business category throughout the fiscal year to ensure contracts are awarded in each of the following small business categories:- Small disadvantaged business - Service-disabled veteran-owned small business - Woman-owned small business - Historically underutilized business zone small businessThe MICC is responsible for providing contracting support for the warfighter at Army commands, installations and activities located throughout the continental United States and Puerto Rico. In fiscal 2013, the command executed more than 43,000 contract actions worth more than $5.3 billion across the Army. The command has also managed more than 780,000 Government Purchase Card Program transactions this fiscal year valued at an additional $880 million.