Saturday, May 24, 2008

SBA Effort Aims to Bring More Small Businesses into Federal Contracting

The U.S. Small Business Administration announced today (May 23, 2008) that Fay Ott, associate administrator for government contracting and business development, will host the SBA’s May Web chat on “How to Do Business with the Federal Government.”

The chat will increase awareness of government contracting opportunities, encourage more small business participation in SBA’s government contracting programs and educate the small business community on the SBA’s newly developed tools aimed at helping small businesses get their fair share of contracting opportunities.

Ott will answer questions from chat participants on Thursday, May 29, 2008, from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m., EDT, on how small businesses can gain access to the more than $400 billion federal marketplace, how to navigate the federal marketplace and understand the procurement process and register their small business profile in the Central Contractor Registration (CCR) database—a necessary step for doing business with the federal government. She will also answer questions on how small businesses can develop their companies through SBA’s 8(a) Business Development program and HUBZone programs and leverage their Small Disadvantaged Business certification.

“This chat is just one of many tools that the SBA has launched to educate the small business community on how to navigate the federal marketplace and get their fair share of contracting opportunities,” said SBA Deputy Administrator Jovita Carranza. “We recently launched an online contracting course, and in the coming months we plan to make other tools available such as a contracting podcast and live streaming video for all small businesses.” “However, special emphasis will be placed on reaching women-owned, small and disadvantaged, HUBZone-certified and service-disabled veteran-owned businesses who continue to be underrepresented in the federal marketplace.”

In her current position, Ott is working to increase small business procurement opportunities and overseeing implementation of agency initiatives within GCBD, including the 8(a) Business Development program, and the HUBZone program. Ott is leading the agency’s efforts to ensure

small business contracts are awarded to businesses that meet the appropriate size standard, and help federal agencies meet their small business contracting goals. Ott has been instrumental in developing tools to assist these efforts, such as the Procurement Scorecard and a new rule requiring companies with federal contracts to recertify their size status if acquired by another company and after five years of a long-term contract.


Some of the government contracting tools currently available to small businesses include a free online course, Business Opportunities: A Guide to Winning Federal Contracts, which is a self-paced guide and easy-to-follow training course that can be accessed by visiting www.sba.gov/training, clicking on the menu of free online courses and selecting the first course listed under Government Contracting. Participants will receive a certificate of completion upon completing the 30-minute tutorial.

Other tools include a brochure entitled Opening Doors to Federal Government Contracting Opportunities available at www.sba.gov/openingdoors and three fact sheets--Federal Contracting Opportunities for HUBZone Entrepreneurs, Federal Contracting Opportunities for Women-Owned Small Businesses and Federal Contracting Opportunities for Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Businesses available at http://www.sba.gov/tools/resourcelibrary/publications/index.html.

The Web chat provides business owners with the opportunity to have conversations about relevant business issues with industry leaders and successful entrepreneurs. Participants will have direct, real-time access to the Web chats via questions they submit online in advance and during the session, with instantaneous answers.

Participants can join the live Web chat by going online to www.sba.gov, and clicking “Your Small Business Voice Online Chat.” Web chat participants may post a question for Ott
before the May 29th chat by visiting http://app1.sba.gov/livemeeting/may08/ and posting their questions online.

For more information about past live Web chats, visit online at http://www.sba.gov/tools/monthlywebchat/index.html .

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