Florida Procurement Technical Assistance Center Rebrands to Florida APEX Accelerator  

PENSACOLA, FLA. – The Florida Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) is changing its name to the Florida APEX Accelerator, but its mission to help businesses research and bid on federal, state and local government contracts remains the same.

The name change coincides with the program’s transition nationally from the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) Defense Logistics Agency to the DoD Office of Small Business Programs. 

“Small businesses are critical to our economy and play a central role in bolstering our nation’s defense,” said Jane Dowgwillo, interim program manager of the Florida APEX Accelerator. “Government contracting, however, can be complex and small business participation in the defense industrial base has declined over the past decade. This shift is aimed at reducing barriers and equipping businesses with greater resources to be capable of competing in the federal, state and local government marketplace.”

Under the oversight of the DoD, APEX Accelerators nationally will focus on accelerating innovation, fostering ingenuity, and establishing resilient and diverse supply chains in the government marketplace. 

Although the program’s name is changing, its mission remains the same. The Florida APEX Accelerator helps Florida-based businesses compete for and win federal, state, and local government contracts. Through the program, the Florida APEX Accelerator matches businesses with contract opportunities, helps them prepare bids and navigate requirements, and assists them after winning contracts. 

Consultants also help businesses apply for certifications that may help them get an edge when competing for contracts, including minority-owned, veteran-owned, woman-owned, or HUBZone small businesses. These services are provided at no-cost to businesses.

In addition to these services, the program will expand to provide training and awareness on cybersecurity, risks of foreign ownership, control and influence, intellectual property protection, and assistance with government-led innovation programs. 

More than 90 PTACs around the country – including the Florida APEX Accelerator – will change to the new name. 

The Florida APEX Accelerator program plays an important role in the state. The U.S. government is the largest purchaser of goods and services in the world, and every year, contracts are available to businesses at the local, state, and federal level.

Last year, the Florida APEX Accelerator program served 1,387 new clients, resulting in 25,919 jobs supported and helping businesses secure $246 million in government contracts. 

The announcement coincides with National APEX Accelerators Day. Held today, October 12, 2023, National APEX Accelerators Day celebrates the success of tens of thousands of small businesses that have leveraged APEX Accelerators’ training and technical assistance to successfully compete for and win federal, state, and local government contracts. This is the first national event for APEX Accelerators since rebranding from PTAC.

For more information, and to find a government contracting consultant in your area, please visit www.FLAPEX.org

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Capability Statement 101: Communicating Your Experience To A Government Agency

When working with Florida businesses, the government contracting experts at the Florida Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) are often asked about how to connect with government decision makers in securing contracts at the federal, state, and local level. 

While there are many commonalities between government contracting and doing business commercially, such as needing a website, business cards, and to market your business, there are certain nuances unique to government contracting, including needing a capabilities statement. 

A capabilities statement is very similar to a resume. It communicates the capabilities of your business and highlights why a government agency should buy from you. It includes: 

  • Your contact information
  • Your previous experience and where you’ve sold before
  • A description of your business and capabilities
  • Customer testimonials or kudos you’ve received for past performance 

Additionally, it includes information unique to government contracting, including your discriminators, your business codes, and your certifications. 

Discriminators are what make your business stand apart—whether your product or service is more economical, better quality, etc. Your capabilities statement also includes your business codes. These are unique identifiers that communicate what product or service your company offers. The State of Florida uses United Nations Standard Products and Services Codes (UNSPSC), an eight-digital code that breaks down into four levels of hierarchy: segment, family, class, and commodity. Lastly, there are preferred small business certifications for certain socio-economic groups that can provide you with more opportunities to win contracts, including if your business is minority-, women-, or veteran-owned. 

Part of a national network, the Florida PTAC offers a team of procurement specialists, many of whom are former government decision makers and government contractors, who provide technical assistance and advice—at no-cost. As part of our service offering, we can help your company determine what certifications are available to you, identify the proper codes, secure small business certifications, and develop your capability statement. Best of all, we’re a no-cost service to you. 

Additionally, PTACs offer dozens of workshops throughout the year. The Florida PTAC at the University of North Florida will host a no-cost, virtual webinar on developing a capability statement Thursday, October 21 at 1:00 p.m. EST. To register, please click here.To learn more, and to schedule an appointment with a Florida PTAC near you, please visit www.fptac.org.

Florida PTAC to Host Cybersecurity Webinar – Navigating the CMMC Ecosystem

Navigating the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Ecosystem - 3.18.21

Do you want to successfully grow your business with the Federal Government, particularly DoD contracts?

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 Florida PTAC is hosting a Navigating the CMMC Ecosystem cybersecurity webinar on March 18 at 1:00-2:30 pm EDT. Cybersecurity industry experts from ScySec, Cyber Security Solutions, and Gathol Gates will provide a discussion of CMMC requirements and DFARS rules. This webinar will provide useful information to companies that want to do business with the Federal Government.   

This presentation will provide an overview of the CMMC, discuss best practices, and examine the new DFARS requirements that can help you understand how these new requirements will apply to your business.

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.

This Florida Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) is funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the Defense Logistics Agency.

When: March 18, 2021, 1:00 – 2:30 PM EDT 

Who: Presented by: Cybersecurity Experts from ScySec, Cyber Security Solutions, and Gathol Gates

Cost: No Cost

How To Register: 
Register by clicking here. For registration questions, please contact Horacio Maysonet, hmaysonet@securedbycss.com at Cyber Security Solutions.

The Department of Energy’s Phase 0 SBIR/STTR Assistance Program is Back and Ready with Virtual Assistance for New Applicants and New Technologies

DOE Phase 0. City lights glow in the distance.ROCHESTER, NY (November 11, 2020) – With the release of the Department of Energy (DOE)’s FY21 Phase I Release 2 Topics Document, the agency is pleased to re-launch its Phase 0 SBIR/STTR assistance program. The DOE Phase 0 Assistance Program aims to increase the number of high quality SBIR/STTR proposals submitted by first-time applicants to the Department of Energy by eligible small businesses.

The DOE SBIR/STTR Phase 0 Assistance program is administered by Dawnbreaker and provides a variety of services – free of charge – to eligible small businesses. These services become available once an SBIR/STTR Topics Document is released from the DOE, and will be available on a first-come, first-served basis to eligible applicants. During the program, business Coaches will work one on one with companies who have a technology related to a DOE need and help them to prepare a compelling SBIR/STTR proposal. As always, these services are provided remotely and leverage virtual platforms for all participants. Eligible parties receive one or more specialized services following an initial assessment by a member of the Dawnbreaker team. Available services include:

  • Letter of Intent (LOI) writing assistance
  • Phase I Proposal Preparation, Review and Registration Assistance
  • Market Research Assistance
  • Indirect Rates and Financials
  • Intellectual Property Consultation
  • Technology Advice and Consultation

If you have a background in Science, Technology, Engineering or Mathematics (STEM), you are the ideal applicant, and if you have never submitted an SBIR or STTR application to the Department of Energy, you meet the first eligibility criteria. While all first time applicants are eligible the DOE particularly encourages applications from U.S. women-owned, and socially and economically disadvantaged small businesses located anywhere in the U.S. and its territories that work with advanced technologies. Further, any U.S. small, advanced technology firms currently located in underrepresented states, districts, and territories are encouraged to apply.

DOE’s Phase 0 services are designed to be complementary to state assistance and may be used in tandem with services provided by professional organizations, SBDCs, universities, incubators, and other state organizations.

Please visit https://doephase0.dawnbreaker.com to review the full list of eligibility requirements and to apply for Phase 0 services. The official Topics Document was released on Monday, November 9th. You may view the full list of topics at: https://science.osti.gov/sbir/Funding-Opportunities.

About Dawnbreaker

Dawnbreaker is a leading provider of commercialization services that support the Small Business Innovation (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) communities. Since 1990, Dawnbreaker has provided commercialization assistance to over 9,600 Phase I and Phase II SBIR/STTR awardees. Cumulatively these firms have received more than $2.5B in Phase III funding.

Disaster Contracting Webinar: How to Do Business with FEMA and the State of Florida

A business owner is holding a digital tablet while standing in the doorway of her shop.

Thank you for participating in the Florida Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) Headquarters’ and Florida PTAC at FAMU‘s “How to Do Business with FEMA and the State of Florida” webinar that took place on Tuesday, November 17, 2020.  During the webinar, representatives from the Florida PTAC, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Industry Liaison Program, and the Florida Division of Emergency Management discussed specialized topics for small businesses including the agencies’ procurement policies and practices, business registrations and requirements, and common goods and services purchased.

The webinar materials can be downloaded here:

Webinar: Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) Level 1 Training | June 17, 2020, 10:00 AM (EST)

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 ron.scott@eccalon.com.

Register Here

Click here to download the flyer.

Let’s Celebrate National Small Business Month


Top Small Business Federal Contractors - 2020

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.

Top Small Business Federal Contractors - 2020

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.



Federal Agencies by Category


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


Proposal Points to Ponder

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:

  1. 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.
  1. Once the decision is made to proceed; consider these steps:
    1. Prepare a timeline chart that identifies major milestones which include start date and the delivery date of the overall proposal.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. 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.
    5. Define a draft and final date for the document to be completed; consider if others need to be brought in and do that early.
    6. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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/

Doubling Down On The Government Marketplace May Save Your Business

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

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 njalberts@gldd.com 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



NORMA J. ALBERTS, ‘Advocate for the advancement of Small Businesses’
Small Business Plan Administrator and Small Business Liaison Officer

Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Company, LLC

2122 York Road | Suite 200 | Oak Brook, IL 60523 | USA

+1 (630) 574-3023 | office
+1 (630) 574-1515 
| fax


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