Home Federal Contracting 101 Federal Government Contracting Opportunities on Guam: Not Just for the Big Guys
Wednesday, February 16, 2011

GUAM - Getting your foot in the door of federal government contracting may appear to be a daunting task, but many small businesses benefit from the security that comes with government work. The series Federal Government Contracting 101 will demystify the seemingly overwhelming process of searching out government contracts and obtaining them.

Volume 1: Not Just for the Big Guys

The federal government buys products and services from private companies to support a variety of operations every day. Services may include design, engineering, transportation, maintenance, security, clerical, technology, and other services. Since the federal government's main role is not to run a business, but to govern, the government relies on private businesses to provide many of the services it needs to operate.

The government spends billions buying services from billion-dollar corporations such as Lockheed Martin or its multi-million-dollar affiliate DZSP 21. But the majority of government contracts are $1 million or less—a size that rarely attracts big businesses like these. This leaves a booming market for small business.

Recognizing small business as the backbone of America, the federal government assists small businesses by setting small business spending goals for every government agency. This small business spending is tracked by agency and reviewed annually to identify which agencies are compliant. Typically, the Department of Defense is the biggest small business spender in terms of actual dollars.

To reach these small business goals, government agencies often "set aside" contracts exclusively for small business owners, women business owners, veteran business owners, and others.

In the Department of Defense's military construction program for the $10 billion-$15 billion Guam buildup, the government has set aside $500 million for its Small Business Multiple-Award Construction Contract (MACC), $400 million for its Small Business HUBZone MACC (Historically Underutilized Businesses), and $100 million for its 8(a) Small & Disadvantaged Business MACC. Firms who have won these small business "set aside" MACCs will also look to partner with other small businesses on military construction task orders ranging from $1 million to $15 million.

Even more, there is plenty of room for small businesses to also participate in the much bigger MACCs of the Guam buildup by subcontracting with the major contractors to compete for task orders in the higher range of $15 million-$300 million.

Contracts that exclude big business or that require big business to allocate portions of their work to small business open the door for many smaller entities that might otherwise find it hard to compete. Not only is federal government contracting not just for the big guys—the majority of contracts are not for the big guys at all. And many of them require the big guys to make room for the small guys to participate.

GuamBuildupNews.com will continue to demystify government contracting in GBN's multi-part series Federal Government Contracting 101.


Sharla Torre Montvel-Cohen contributed to this story.

Image used in this article courtesy jscreationzs / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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