WashingtonExec recently conducted a survey with Small Business CEOs asking what they thought needed reform in regards to federal acquisition and procurement. Today, WashingtonExec presents the suggestions of NOVAD, a small management consulting business founded by native Washingtonian Davon Kelly.
Kelly provided WashingtonExec with independent small business statistics as well as his personal opinion regarding federal procurement and acquisition:
What the Small Business Administration is doing right:
–I recently read a report issued by a SBA task force on contracting stating that since 2006, the Federal government has missed its goal of providing 23% of contracts to small business and that by 2009 it was a $4 billion gap. Last year, small businesses won 22.7% of eligible contracts, just shy of the 23% goal. NOVAD received its first big break by bidding on a contract listed in the FedBizOpps and understands firsthand the role that federal contracts can provide growing firms. FedBizOpps is a tremendous resource; but finding the contract is only half the story. For small businesses, having a one-stop resource that will enable them to plan, network and seek growth opportunities through subcontracting will be invaluable in developing the small business contracting community thus providing a larger pool of small businesses that can successfully bid on Federal contracts.
What small business needs from the federal government:
–OFPP to coordinate the development of a government-wide training module on small business contracting and subcontracting with small businesses.
-Census statistics indicate that 78% of all small businesses start as a one person operation. In 2003, NOVAD started as a one person shop and now has 15 employees. Since receiving our first federal contract in 2007, I have been fortunate to work with many COTR’s (contracting officers) that understand and support the small business community. Conversely, I have also met COTR’s that would benefit from training on small business contracting and continuous learning. The acquisition workforce must also enforce the rules and assist agencies in identifying those small businesses that can satisfy their requirements. As a vital segment of the U.S. economy, the small business community needs the support of well-trained COTR’s to help it continue to grow and flourish.