Departments and agencies across the federal government have pushed to increase opportunities for small businesses. Especially after the COVID-19, various Offices of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU), such as the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) and the General Services Administration (GSA), have educated business owners on new resources and contracts.
GovConWire will host its Winning Business and FY21 Opportunities Forum on Oct. 20th. During the event, notable speakers will educate and inform small to midsize GovCon professionals on the current Federal Marketplace and FY21 opportunities.
As an effect of the pandemic, many large and small businesses took major hits; however, VA’s OSDBU has worked to ensure small, Veteran-owned businesses maintain vital resources to support businesses.
VA’s OSDBU highlighted many of the virtual resources available to veterans, as well as new initiatives enacted to support business. In fiscal year 2019, VA awarded over $12.8 billion to Service Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Businesses and Veteran-Owned Small Businesses, with more than $8 billion awarded to date for fiscal 2020.
“We have a dedicated mission centering around the broadening of access for Veteran-owned small businesses to Federal procurement opportunities throughout the government,” said Chanel Carter-Bankston, director of Strategic Outreach and Communications for VA’s OSDBU.
Sharon Ridley, deputy executive director for the OSDBU at the VA, will serve as a panelist during GovConWire’s Winning Business and FY21 Opportunities Forum to further discuss the department's goals and priorities to support business through these unprecedented times.
Additionally, GSA’s OSDBU has reported that the department will increase awareness and opportunities for small businesses across subcontracting and larger federal contracts. Deputy associate administrator at GSA’s OSDBU, Amy Lineberry, recently discussed the best advantages of subcontracting and the impact it has on prime contractors.
“Whether you’re a startup business or a seasoned small business, there’s a place for both in subcontracting,” Lineberry said. “If you’re a small business, you can start your path in Federal procurement troops and contracting and if you’re a seasoned small business subcontracting can provide additional opportunities for winning more Federal work while minimizing administrative obligations and lowering business development costs.”
Brian Barnes, associate administrator of OSDBU with the GSA will be featured as keynote speaker during the Winning Business and FY21 Opportunities Forum. He will discuss how to navigate the GSA schedule and what industry can do to help.
In 2019, the federal government passed the Homeland Procurement Reform Act (HOPR Act) to allocate a minimum of one-third of procurement funds to small businesses. The bill was developed by Rep. Lou Correa, who leads the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Transportation and Maritime Security.
Correa said that the legislation is “a necessary step to ensure our DHS frontline personnel have access to domestically sourced, high-quality uniforms and equipment while allowing domestic small businesses to better compete for federal government contracts.”
“This is a critical step in helping our men and women in the field get the tools and equipment they need to do their jobs,” Correa added. “I am proud of this legislation and proud to say this bill protects our national security and helps small businesses.”
Darlene Bullock, executive director of the Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), will also join the panel during GovConWire’s Winning Business and FY21 Opportunities Forum on Oct. 20th. She will address how the department has created new opportunities for small businesses and the additional steps DHS will support them in this time of need.