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Defense Health Agency

"On October 1, 2013, the Department of Defense established the Defense Health Agency (DHA) to manage the activities of the Military Health System. These activities include those previously managed by TRICARE Management Activity (TMA), which was disestablished on the same date. During the next several months, all TMA websites will change to reflect the new DHA. We appreciate your patience during this transition."

Small Business News and Events – Archive


Events

Navigate the SBA’s 8(a) Business Development Program - Webinar Series
January 15, 2014 and January 21, 2014
The Small Business Administration (SBA) will conduct two one-hour webinars to help small businesses learn about eligibility requirements for 8(a) Certification; technical assistance available through the 8(a) Program; common myths and misconceptions about the 8(a) Program; and the top reasons why an 8(a) application is declined or returned. For more information, please refer to the link provided.

Women As Veteran Entrepreneurs (WAVE) Town Hall Meeting Policy Update
January 29, 2014
The Women’s Memorial
Arlington National Cemetery
Arlington, VA
What’s new in 2014? Start the New Year off by learning what small businesses can expect in 2014. Join the Small Business Administration (SBA) Region III Administrator, Washington Metropolitan Area District Office, moderate this Policy Update Town Hall and provide an update on new SBA policies and agency initiatives to help small businesses. For more information, please refer to the link provided.

2013 NMSDC Conference and Business Opportunity Fair
October 27 - 30, 2013
San Antonio, TX
The National Minority Supplier Development Council is hosting a Conference and Business Opportunity Fair. The event provides minority-owned businesses a forum in which to meet and discuss potential business opportunities with corporate and government entities. For more information, please refer to the link provided.

National Small Business Federal Contracting Summit
October 24, 2013
Washington, DC
This is an informational event focusing on federal contracting and is sponsored by both the National Association of Small Business Contractors and the U.S. Women’s Chamber of Commerce. The event will provide the opportunity to connect with federal entities and prime contractors. For more information, please refer to the link provided.

Warriors to the Workforce Hiring Event
October 21 - 23, 2013
Washington, DC
This event is being hosted for the benefit of providing employment opportunities to U.S. veterans, who will have the opportunity to meet and discuss with potential employers their corporate qualifications, as well as participate in workshops and possible on-the-spot job interviews. For more information, please refer to the link provided.

3rd Annual East Coast SDVOSB Conference and Expo
October 15 - 16, 2013
Norfolk, VA
The Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small business Council (SDVOSB Council) will be hosting its annual conference and expo this October in Norfolk, VA. The intent of the event is to promote SDVOSB growth and development by providing the opportunity to meet and talk with government entities, as well as prime contractors. Please refer to the link provided for further information.

New York State MWBE Forum
October 3 - 4, 2013
Albany, NY
This two-day event is an opportunity for Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprises (MWSE) to meet with New York State agencies and authorities and learn about possible contracting opportunities. There will be workshops available, as well as the ability to network. For more information, please refer to the link provided.

National HUBZone Conference
September 9 - 10, 2013
Fairfax, VA
The HUBZone Council will be sponsoring a 2-day conference where small businesses will be able to talk with federal agencies and prime contractors about opportunities for HUBZone small business concerns to perform contracting with the federal government, as a prime and/or as a subcontractor. For further information on this event, or to register, please refer to the link provided.

10th Annual National Convention of Services Disabled Veteran and Small Businesses
August 21 – 23, 2013
San Diego, CA 92101
The Elite Service-Disabled Veteran Owned Business Network is a Nationwide Veterans Organization with the mission of assisting Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Businesses (SDVOB) start and grow their businesses. The goal of this conference is to further that cause and provide SDVOB opportunities to meet and partner with Government Agencies and Prime Vendors who understand the value of utilizing SDVOB partners. For more information and to register for this event, please visit their website.

Small Disadvantaged Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) Industry Day
August 13, 2013
Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD
Please contact Ms. Ann Haase via e-mail at elizabeth.a.haase@nasa.gov or call at (301) 286-3443 for additional information.

National Small Business Federal Contracting Summit
July 25, 2013
Washington, D.C.
The National Association of Small Business Contractors and the U.S. Women’s Chamber of Commerce is hosting an event for contractors to discuss opportunities with federal agencies and prime contractors, as well as other contract related items. For more information, please refer to the link.

Veteran Entrepreneur Training Symposium – VETS 2013
June 10 - 13, 2013
The Veteran Entrepreneur Training Symposium (VETS) is hosting an event that brings Veteran entrepreneurs together with Federal agencies, prime contractors, and seasoned Veteran business owners. The intent is to assist with business development within the Federal contracting arena.

Information Technology Initiatives and Contracting with Small Business at U.S. Customs and Border Protection
May 30, 2013
Washington, DC
The US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) will be available to talk with small business concerns (SBCs) in an information exchange. It is an opportunity for SBCs to discuss with federal entities the elements required for contracting with the CBP, as well as to network with other SBCs. For further information on this event, or to register, please refer to the link provided.

The Department of Energy ChallengeHER – WOSB Forum
May 23, 2013
Washington, DC
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) will be hosting the ChallengeHER – Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB) Opportunity Forum in partnership with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), Women Impacting Public Policy (WIPP) and American Express OPEN. The intent of the Forum is to provide information for WOSB’s who wish to meet and talk with key government entities, as well as network with other WOSB’s operating in the industry.

It’s FOSE Time!
May 14 – 16, 2013
Walter E. Washington Convention Center
Washington, D.C.
It’s that time of the year when FOSE makes its presence known for “government technology professionals.” For further information on this event, or to register, please refer to the link provided.

Washington Days Conference
May 6 - 7, 2013
Washington, DC
The Federal Allies Institute is hosting its 4th annual National Small Business Conference. For further information on this event, or to register, please refer to the link provided.

DHA SB eBulletin - Spring 2013

DHA SB eBulletin - October 2012


News

Sequestration is a reality, but a small business can still grow despite spending cuts. How? One effective way is through teaming – formally banding together with another business to go after a contract. Teaming has become very valuable for small business owners in government contracting because it opens up more opportunities and enables small business owners to qualify for larger contracts.

With the support of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), U.S. veterans will be receiving strong financial support by top national, regional, and community lenders to either jump start a small business or provide loans and/or training for existing businesses. Together, the SBA and top lenders will be providing the support that will assist U.S. Veterans take the steps to entrepreneurship.

In an effort to expand on small business opportunities within the Federal Contracting arena and to provide a significant savings to the U.S. taxpayer, a new online government platform was created, RFP-EZ. As a collaborative effort between Federal innovators working within the SBA and private-sector entrepreneurs, the RFP-EZ is intended to help small businesses submit proposals, particularly those under the Simplified Acquisition Threshold (SAT). For more information about this program, please visit the provided link.

Next year the federal government will begin charging health insurance firms a new fee as part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). This will ultimately mean higher premiums for small businesses that purchase healthcare plans from insurance firms, as opposed to businesses that set up and operate their own health insurance plans, which are exempted from the new fee. The new fee charged to insurance firms is likely to be passed on to small businesses, according to the article. For more information, please refer to the link provided.

In today’s environment, small businesses rely on technology to help create and sustain their businesses, as well as their need for technology-based security mechanisms to help protect those businesses. Unfortunately, many small businesses have become victims of an ever increasing war occurring within those same mechanisms that are meant to support their businesses. In short, small business owners are becoming victims of cybercrimes, such as fraud and identity theft. Still, there are ways to help combat the problem and lessen the chance of becoming a victim of such cybercrimes. To find out more about ways small business owners can reduce the possibility of being a victim, please click on the link provided.

What does ChallengeHER have to do with WOSB’s? The answer is very simple, a lot! In a collaborative effort, the Small Business Administration (SBA), Women Impacting Public Policy (WIPP), and American Express OPEN are brining WOSB’s together in order to promote procurement opportunities within the Federal Government. For further information about the program, please refer to the link provided.

It appears that small businesses may once again be the unfortunate recipient of the sequestration fallout. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has stated “…[T]hat due to sequestration, there will be a reduction to the refundable portion of the Small Business Health Care Tax Credit for certain small tax-exempt employers.” However, this impending change is only expected to affect small businesses until the end of the fiscal year – which happens to coincide with the Continuing Resolution, which was just extended until September 30, 2013.

Cyber security has long been a hot topic for government agencies and businesses alike. However, with the increase in Small Businesses, so too are the cyber-crimes attacks on SB’s. To assist SB’s in this cyber warfare, the Federal Communications Commission has identified and developed online tools, addressing small business needs and concerns. For more information, please refer to the link provided.

Big Pains for Small Businesses
February 28, 2013

Set now to expire September 30, 2013, the Continuing Resolution (CR), which occurs when the President and Congress do not agree on the specific amount of money allocated towards federal programs, was extended from March 27, 2013 to the end of the government’s fiscal year. A CR is passed in order for the government to run smoothly until an agreement can be made and based on the inability for the President and Congress to come to an agreement. CR's then become part of the total impending budget crisis that will be felt by many, but especially by small businesses. The Office of Management and Budget Controller, Danny Werfel is respectfully reminding agencies of their fiscal responsibility in handling their contracts. For more information, and to view the article, please refer to the link provided.

As the lawmakers are still in a quandary as to handle sequestration, the effects on small business contractors are already being felt, and seen. With many agencies not meeting or maintaining their Goaling numbers, small businesses are bearing the brunt of the budget cuts and may continue to do so. This article highlights much of this information, as well as what small business contractors should expect.

The SBA is streamlining its loan process in order to give borrowers and lenders more accessibility to capital. Additionally, there are proposed changes for the better on two of the SBA’s largest loans, the 7(a) and the 504 loan. SBA states that all of the intended changes are meant to “…[Give] entrepreneurs and small business owners the financial resources to grow and create jobs.” For more information, please refer to the link provided.

A major revision in the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Surety Bond Guarantee (SBG) Program more than triples the eligible contract amount, from $2 million to $6.5 million, the Agency will guarantee on surety bonds for both public and private contracts. The higher surety bond guarantee limits are expected to help construction and service sector small businesses gain greater access to private and public contracts and secure larger contracts vital to small business growth. The revisions are a result of the Fiscal Year 2013 National Defense Authorization Act.

Women-owned small businesses (WOSB) will have greater access to federal contracting opportunities as a result of changes included in the National Defense Authorization Act of 2013 (NDAA) to the U.S. SBA’s WOSB Federal Contract Program.

The U.S. Small Business Administration, in conjunction with the White House’s Presidential Innovation Fellows, today launched a “beta” (pilot) version of RFP-EZ, a new online marketplace that streamlines the government contracting process, making it simpler for small businesses to find and bid on low-dollar contracts from federal agencies.

Give Me 5
January 2013

The Give Me 5 Program, named after the 5% federal contracting goal for women-owned businesses, was created by Women Impacting Public Policy (WIPP) and American Express OPEN to educate women business owners on how to apply for and secure federal procurement opportunities. For more information on the services they provide, as well as upcoming events, visit their website.

The Small Business Administration (SBA) is making an effort to assist Disaster Area Recovery efforts and promote small business participation in debris removal and reconstruction. Small business contractors are encouraged to visit this SBA website, www.sba.gov/osg to obtain information on Surety Bond Guarantees for a contract related to debris removal and reconstruction. Any construction or service prime or subcontract up to $2M in value is eligible for this assistance.

Executive Order 13360 directs that at least 3 percent of all federal agencies’ contracting dollars go to businesses owned by service-disabled veterans. Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business owners have access to certain federal contract set-asides—a contract set-aside refers to reserving a portion of public contracts to be awarded to a minority or small business enterprise. They also can take several avenues to contracting with GSA and the rest of the federal government.

The U.S. Small Business Administration continues to build on its successful programs for America's military veterans, helping tens of thousands of veterans each year with small business financing, comprehensive business training and counseling and access to federal contracts. SBA supports veteran business owners through entrepreneurial training and mentoring, access to capital, and business development opportunities through government contracts.

November is Native American Heritage Month. It is celebrated of American Indian and Alaskan Native people, their culture, and their communities. "According to the 2010 Census, there are over 5.2 million American Indian and Alaska Native people (in combination or alone) and there are 566 federally recognized tribal nations - that exist as sovereign nations within 33 states of the United States." Events will be taking place throughout the month of November, times and days are listed. If you would like to learn more about American Indian and Alaska Native tribal governments and communities, please visit the National Congress of American Indians.

The Small Business Administration (SBA) is increasing the small business size standards for certain industries and sub-industries in North American Industry Classification System (NAICS). Size guidelines define the maximum size that a firm (including its affiliates) can be to qualify as a small business for most SBA programs. Size standards usually are a measure of a business's number of employees or its average annual receipts. Based on those criteria, the SBA has established the following common standards for a small business, depending on its NAICS code: 500 employees for most manufacturing and mining industries, and $7M in average annual receipts for most non-manufacturing industries. There are many exceptions, but these are the primary size standards for most industries.

The U.S. Small Business Administration’s Small Business Investment Company (SBIC) debenture program provided a record $2.95 billion to small businesses in fiscal year 2012, a 14 percent increase over last year’s $2.59 billion and an 85 percent increase over 2010, also a record year.

Vendors, who need to renew their registration, are reminded that they will need to migrate their registration to the System for Award Management (SAM), when it is time to renew their, CCR and ORCA registration. The same applies to contractors who need to update or change the information on their registration. "A break in your registration right now could have critical repercussions," explained Eric Knellinger, President of US Federal Contractor Registration. "With federal budgets shrinking and competition for contracts increasing, vendors need every advantage they can get. An expired registration is a definite disadvantage."

Defense procurement officials have added a clause to their contracts to get prime contractors to pay their small subcontractors faster. The clause requires contractors to make accelerated payments to small subcontractors after they have receipt of a proper invoice. The goal is to put money into the small firms’ hands within 15 days of receiving the invoice.

For the federal government to finally hit its 23 percent small business goal, the Defense Department will have to step up its efforts to contract with small firms. But the nature of DoD’s large contracts often leaves out small companies. That doesn't mean the Pentagon is abdicating its influence or responsibility. DoD is finding ways of carving out a space for small firms on large contracts and targeting businesses for certain industries, but it has been a challenging endeavor for the agency.

The Obama Administration announced that 10 public-private partnerships across America will receive $20M in total awards to help revitalize American manufacturing and encourage companies to invest in the U.S. The 10 winning initiatives—based in Arizona, California, Michigan, New York, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Washington—will each receive approximately $2M to fund projects that are expected to train a total of 1,000 workers and help nearly 650 companies leverage a cluster’s resources in their regions and create jobs across the country.

In an effort to address [unemployed workers looking to start a small business], the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Act signed into law by the President in February 2012, made available $35 million to encourage states to enhance and promote Self-Employment Assistance (SEA) programs. SEA entitles unemployed individuals to claim jobless benefits while getting access to small business development assistance. If you live in a state with an existing SEA program, check your state’s website for more specifics on how to apply. All U.S. states have until June 30, 2013, to apply for grant funds to implement SEA programs. Contact your local SBA office or state employment or labor office for more information about what your state is doing to establish a program.

For those who are unaware: the Small Business Administration releases and stores its Strategic Plan outlining its goals for the identified Fiscal year(s). This Strategic Plan provides a framework that will maximize the Agency’s strengths and resources in order to help small businesses.