NAVFAC Marianas aims to maximize small business participation in Federal Contracting
ASAN, Guam – Achieving the military’s mission in Guam and in the region is significant business for government contractors and industry partners.
“The Navy in Guam relies heavily on expertise from the private sector to meet the government’s requirements,” said Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Marianas Small Business Professional Al Sampson. “It is our duty and obligation, as acquisition professionals, to ensure we are facilitating opportunities for maximum participation of small businesses.”
Sampson and small business advocates on the island observed National Small Business Week, May 5-12. A team of professionals to include, the Small Business Development Center (SBDC), the Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC), and the NAVFAC Office of Small Business Programs, along with private-sector business organizations assist small businesses in positioning themselves for success.
“We are able to help people start businesses and then help them to grow,” said Denise Mendiola, senior certified small business advisor at SBDC Guam. SBDC advisors help businesses develop a business plan and provide training in record keeping, financial planning, and other vital aspects of running a business.
SBDC also works with the Navy’s Fleet and Family Support Center to offer Boots to Business, a two-day program designed for military spouses, active-duty service members and those transitioning to civilian life. “We go through how to start a business,” said Jane Ray, certified small business advisor with SBDC. “We cover what you need to think about when you’re doing your initial business plan - financing, contracting.”
Counseling and workshops are also provided by Guam PTAC. “Once a company is established and they have their business license, we can assist in everything,” said Gerardine Mendiola, procurement counselor with Guam PTAC.
PTAC may assist small businesses in getting certified to participate in such small business programs as 8(a) Business Development Program, Women Owned Businesses, Historically Underutilized Business Zone (HUBZone) Program or the Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business program. The Navy has goals and contracts set aside for businesses in each of the categories.
Due, in no small part, to that team’s collective efforts NAVFAC Marianas awards contracts worth hundreds of millions of dollars every year to certified small businesses. Most recently $215 million in fiscal 2017 and $228 million in fiscal 2018. These figures are anticipated to grow as a result of increased activity in the region by all services.
With the Marine Corps realignment in progress, construction companies are most in demand. “But once the buildings are completed they will have to be painted, cleaned, kept pest-free, the plumbing will have to be repaired and the lighting maintained,” said Sampson. Small businesses are also contracted by the Navy for grounds maintenance, safety services, IT support and numerous other services and products.
The Navy also requires that prime contractors on large projects to commit to hiring small-business subcontractors. “The contractor for the basic infrastructure of the new Marine Corps Base, for example, has a subcontracting plan in which about 66% of all their subcontracts will go to small business concerns,” Sampson said. “That contract is $165 million, so we’re talking about a lot of money for small businesses.”
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