New DoD Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMCC): Everything you need to know.
Though contracting opportunities for small businesses are abundant, cybersecurity poses a threat to small businesses in the defense industrial base and our national security. To help mitigate cybersecurity threats, the Department of Defense (DoD) will soon require all businesses bidding on contracts and performing on current contracts to certify that they meet at least a basic level of cybersecurity standards when responding to solicitations.
The Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) is a five-level certification process developed by the DoD to help ensure contractors have a system for protecting sensitive data and information.
- Level 1: Demonstrate basic cyber hygiene
- Level 2: Demonstrate intermediate cyber hygiene
- Level 3: Demonstrate good cyber hygiene
- Level 4: Proactive
- Level 5: Advanced/progressive
Project Spectrum, an initiative of the DoD Office of Small Business Programs to strengthen the cybersecurity of small and medium-sized businesses, and the Florida Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC), will host a no-cost webinar to help small business owners understand the CMMC Level 1 certification.
Don’t miss out! Join us for this no cost, informative event to better understand the CMMC requirements to help better position your business as a government contractor.
Register through GoToWebinar by clicking the Register Here button below. You will receive a “virtual ticket” to attend the webinar. If you have trouble accessing the webinar, please contact Ron Scott, Chief Curriculum Architect at Project Spectrum at email@example.com.
May is National Small Business Month and we at Fedmine want to honor the close to 30 million small businesses and those individuals who run them. After all, we are a small business ourselves. 🙂
What better way to kick off the month than to look into the data and trends for those small businesses that work with the federal government. We have a reporting suite within Fedmine that shows the Top Small Business Federal Contractors as well as the Top Small Business Federal Contracting Agencies who award government contracts. For FY20, the top small business prime contractor is Eastern Shipbuilding Group, Inc. based in Florida with close to $500M in awards. The second company on this list, Modernatx, Inc. based in Massachusetts has $430.30M in awards so far. Interestingly, they did not perform nearly as well in previous years. Taking a deeper look, I realized that they were awarded a contract for development of a COVID-19 vaccine by HHS. This accounts for the entire $430.30M. Here is the award as well as the associated solicitation for the vaccine. Let’s hope they develop one that works and FAST!
The other 4 small businesses that round out the top 5 for this FY are T-Rex Consulting Corporation, Atlantic Diving Supply and RER Solutions, Inc. Both Atlantic Diving Supply and T-Rex Solutions, LLC were in the top five for FY19 as well.
Looking again at the top 5 for this year, RER Solutions, LLC is another small business that is winning COVID-19 related awards. They won a $360M award from SBA for data analysis and loan recommendation services for COVID-19. Wow! Fedmine’s federal spending and opportunity data comes direct from the source, FPDS-NG and beta.SAM.
Moving onto the next report which highlights the Top Small Business Federal Contracting Agencies. Since FY17, Defense agencies account for over half of the awards made to small business prime contractors, with Army consistently leading the pack. The top civilian agency is Department of Veterans Affairs, followed closely by HHS and DHS.
In regards to total awards made to small businesses, this FY* so far, there have been approximately 1.2M total actions totaling $42.62B awarded to around 60k companies. Check out the list of the top 200 HERE. It’s interesting to see that only $8.12B of this was set-aside, which is around 20%. Comparing this to last year’s numbers of close to 3M total actions totaling $140B awarded to over 90k companies. Do you think small businesses will finish this FY with more awards? We all know COVID-19 is greatly impacting all businesses, but especially small, so it will be interesting to see how the rest of the year pans out.
*note that there is a 90 day lag in Defense reporting which affects the FY20 numbers
Written by, Lindsay Carry, Fedmine.us
April 24 2020
Proposal Points to Ponder
by Carole Hart, Florida PTAC, Florida Atlantic University
When considering how to answer a proposal put forth by a government agency, the following best practice steps should be considered:
- Decide Bid or No Bid based upon time to prepare, resources that are available to present your best effort and capability of the business to deliver what the Agency is seeking.
- Once the decision is made to proceed; consider these steps:
- Prepare a timeline chart that identifies major milestones which include start date and the delivery date of the overall proposal.
- Start working backwards from the delivery date, allowing one day for delivery, 3 days for final production and if necessary 1 day for a security reviews where applicable.
- Are subcontractors going to be a part of the proposal? What is their capability, their timelines and expectations of delivery to you; the Prime? For you as the Prime, manage plenty of time to receive critical information needed. DO NOT wait until the end to simply “insert information” into the document.
- Prepare for “Murphy’s Law”
- A server to go down where documents couldn’t be uploaded in a timely fashion to the Agency; do not wait until right before the proposal date to submit.
- The Subcontractor to be delinquent with critical information needed for the proposal.
- In the case of suppling product, if the manufacturer is offshore, perhaps build in additional lead time in quoting to the Agency.
- Define a draft and final date for the document to be completed; consider if others need to be brought in and do that early.
- Prepare cost-related data early so that any cost estimating, labor hours and amount of people to be included in the work is calculated properly and there is time to review.
- Finally and most importantly, ensure that the proposal to be submitted is not rushed; that you have enough time to provide your best professional and well thought out effort. Failure to do so will result in your bid not being accepted and a reflection that your document is not as professional as you ultimately wish to portray.
- Never provide more information than the Agency is seeking. You don’t obtain “extra credit” for additional information that they have not asked for. In many cases in the final Agency evaluation, points will be deducted for not adhering to their proposal rules.
For further no cost and confidential assistance for your business relating to proposal writing and government contracting, contact your local Procurement Technical Assistance Center(PTAC) by visiting here: http://fptac.org/locations/
As the Coronavirus pandemic continues to wreak havoc on many businesses, the government is still spending money. History has shown us that in times of recession, the Federal government spends even more money than usual in hopes of reviving the economy. Take the so-called “Great Recession” of 2008, for example. In response, the government passed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, an $800 billion stimulus package designed to save jobs and boost the economy. Some federal contractors did not only survive “The Great Recession” but had their best years ever. Unfortunately, many businesses on the outside of the Federal market struggled to stay afloat.
On March 27th, 2020, the Feds passed the Coronavirus, Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, also known as the Cares Act, thus providing an unprecedented $2.2 trillion in stimulus funding with more in the works. Much of the news regarding this stimulus funding has been around SBA loans and direct payments to individuals, which is not surprising since it affects the larger part of the population. But what the news media have been relatively quiet about are the provisions in the Act to keep the government contracting base stable (check out the recommended readings below for details). Have you heard the recent talks about an infrastructure spending bill to further boost the economy? If you have anything to do with construction – you are in luck. Opportunities may be knocking on your door sooner than you think, of course assuming you’ve already positioned yourself as a reliable and trustworthy contractor.
So, what does this mean for you?
The Federal marketplace is not a lifeboat – you don’t reach for it when your business is about to go down. You have to get your foot in the door in good times so it will be there for you when things get bad. And they will. Recession is a natural economic phenomenon that has many triggers, so the question is not “IF” it’s coming but ‘WHEN.”
If you’ve been enjoying success in the commercial sector – that’s great. But you’re leaving yourself exposed to the harmful effects of a recession. The demand in the commercial sector depends mainly on consumer spending, which tends to dry up in bad economic times. To protect your business, you should diversify your revenue streams, and what’s a better way to do it than federal contracting? The demand in the Federal marketplace depends entirely on federal spending, which tends to spike when the economy tanks.
Yes, federal contracting is not a piece of cake. It can be complicated and even frustrating at times. But there are people who can help you figure it out and become successful at winning government contracts. Reach out to your Florida PTAC and schedule a counseling session, if you have not done this in a while. It’s your choice, are you going to be a player or a spectator?
Free Small Business Webinar
Wednesday, April 22, 2020
9:00 AM – 11:00 PM (CST) / 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM (EST)
Prime Contractor Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Company, LLC (GLDD LLC) & Florida Procurement Technical Assistance Center
Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Company, LLC (GLDD LLC) & Florida Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC), Florida Atlantic University
Join us for this free webinar focusing on Small Business Opportunities, education and networking. This webinar will provide the following presentations
· Brief summary of the free resources from SBA (Small Business Administration), by Norma Alberts, GLDD LLC.
· GLDD’s specific project needs: tugboat & towing services, endangered species observers, diesel fuel (#2 low sulfur-marine diesel), safety products, rental equipment, welding machining, rental apartments and marine hardware and supply.
· Special Guest Speaker: Mike Bell, Government Contracting Consultant, Florida PTAC, Florida Atlantic University
· Question and Answer period.
This webinar is Free to attend, however advance registration via email is required. Please fill out the Supplier Size Business form in the link below and email to firstname.lastname@example.org along with your capabilities statement.
Link to our Supplier Size Business form: https://www.gldd.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/Corporate_SupplierSizeBusForm20190301doc.pdf
After I receive your email, I will forward you the access/ link for this webinar. We hope you can join us
Best Regards, Norma Alberts
After registering in the System for Award Management, many new small business government contractors receive calls and emails from third-party consulting firms promising to help them “get on a schedule” with the GSA. While GSA Schedules are lucrative due to the high-value, multi-year contracts for which contractors can compete, it is important to realize that not every small business government contractor needs to get onto a GSA Schedule.
One easy way to determine whether a GSA Schedule is worth pursuing is to ask your PTAC Counselor to help you do some market research, using tools like USASpending.gov or the Schedule Sales Query Plus System. If the total amount of money that the government spends on your primary NAICS code falls into the billions, but only a small portion of that total is procured using a GSA Schedule, it may not be in your best interest to invest the time and energy it takes to get on a schedule. Another way to determine if a GSA Schedule is right for your business is by asking federal small business liaison officers how exactly their agencies prefer to procure your type of goods or services. If the majority of procurements for your items are accomplished via task orders on a GSA schedule, then it may be worth your while to pursue becoming a schedule holder.
Keep in mind that having a GSA Schedule grants you only a “license to hunt.” You will need to indicate in your marketing collateral that you have a GSA schedule so that agencies know that they can procure items via that contract vehicle.
Finally, be aware that the GSA allows contractors two years after they initially obtain a schedule contract to make their first $25,000 via their schedule. Every year after that, the GSA requires you to make a minimum of $25,000 annually in schedule sales. If you fail to meet this threshold, you risk being removed from your schedule contract.
Tag: GSA Schedules
Many veterans have some important misconceptions about how the federal government awards SDVOSB contracts. in this article, Steven Koprince debunks one of the most pervasive misunderstandings about SDVOSB contracts and provides practical tips that will benefit your SDVOSB.
On November 12th, 2019, FBO.Gov was retired, and beta.SAM.Gov is the new authoritative source for Contract Opportunities. For the most part, the transition appears to have gone smoothly, according to GSA (click here to listen to a recent interview with a GSA senior executive on the Federal News Network about the current status of “Contract Opportunities” at BETA.SAM.GOV). There are additional resources posted at the beta.SAM.Gov website to provide information and training for contractors. For your convenience, we have listed direct links to some of these resources below.
- Transition fact sheet
- Contractor Quick Start Guide
- Click here to watch the instructional video for non-federal users (contractors)
We will post additional information, tips, and future updates about the new Contract Opportunities website – so, stay tuned!
If you have ideas or suggestions for improvement, please use the “provide feedback” button on the beta.SAM.gov website.
If you would like to find small business events and vendor collaboration opportunities, look for these specific links toward the top of the page when you visit the Contracting Opportunities page on the beta.SAM.Gov website. If you are logged in, you can save these searches after clicking on the applicable links to quickly access these opportunities in the future.
As of November 12, 2019, Federal Business Opportunities, the website for publishing all public government procurements, will be officially decommissioned. After Veterans Day, the authoritative source for federal solicitations will be under a page on beta.SAM.gov. According to the current timeline from the General Services Administration (GSA), the current FBO.gov site will enter a “data freeze” beginning on November 8. During that freeze, no new procurement data will be uploaded to the site as it is fully decommissioned over the holiday weekend. Beginning on November 12, all federal procurements will be posted on beta.SAM.gov under the “Contract Opportunities” tab.
Users will have to use an existing account through Login.gov or create a new one, in order to get full use of the new opportunities site. The Contract Opportunities site will have most of the same capabilities as FBO.gov, with some additional bells and whistles. For example, the new site will allow users to choose between more filter options, including by solicitation type and four-digit product services codes.
The new site will also users to download search results and individual notices directly and will have access to new APIs that will replace the ftp.FBO.gov capability.
Non-government users—vendors—also will have to do some initial legwork to ensure their current watch lists and other settings migrate to the new site:
- Confirm FBO account details such as what notices are being watched, what’s in the Search Agent, what attachments the account can access and which vendor lists include the account.
- Create your SAM.gov account through Login.gov with a business or federal email.
- No need for roles. The system will automatically give non-government users permission matching the legacy “vendor” role.
- Check out the new workspace, including the account’s profile, opportunities being followed and saved searches.
Users who forget about the transition will still be able to use the FBO.gov link, which will redirect to a landing page with additional information about the new Contract Opportunities section. GSA is also offering a host of resources to ease the transition, including an official fact sheet, transition guides for federal users and administrators, FAQs on system accounts and federal hierarchy, video tutorials and quick-start guides for users, administrators and contractors, among others.
The SAM.gov site itself is still in beta as more functionality is shifted from the old awards management site. GSA says the site is expected to come out of beta in fiscal 2020 as the final capabilities from the legacy SAM.gov site are migrated over.
If you enjoy listening to podcasts on the way to work, check out www.govconpodcasts.com. This is a relatively new website that features a collection of some of the nation’s top podcasts and information from top experts in government contracting. A great way to learn on the go!