Growing New Customers with Government Contracting - the Federal Small Business HUBZone Program

The Federal government buys pretty much everything - from military vehicles, tree planting services, office furniture, plumbing services, facility maintenance and IT support.  There are over 1,700 Federal contractors in Wisconsin and many, many more subcontractors.  Over the last two fiscal years, every county in Wisconsin has recorded sales to the Federal government.  Sales have been to a broad range of agencies from the Department of Defense, Department of Veterans Affairs, Smithsonian, Department of Energy, US Forest Service, and many more.
Although it may seem like the big companies get all the work, being a small business is actually an advantage when selling to Federal government agencies and their large prime contractors.  23% of this work is directed to small businesses.

The US Small Business Administration (SBA) administers a number or small business programs that give qualifying companies a competitive edge in government sales.  One of the programs that support economic development in distressed areas of the country is the Historically Underutilized Business Zones (HUBZone) program. This program helps small businesses in urban and rural communities gain preferential access to federal procurement opportunities.  The program encourages small businesses to locate in and hire employees from economically disadvantaged areas.  The HUBZone goal is 3%.

Why is this important - the Federal government in NOT MEETING the 3% CONTRACTING GOAL. 

Could this be an opportunity for your business?
The US SBA and Wisconsin Procurement Institute (WPI) will be presenting a series of workshops across the State focusing on Federal Small Business Programs with an emphasis on the HUBZone program.
What you will learn:
  • An overview of Federal contracting
  • An overview of Federal Small Business Programs
  • Value of the HUBZone program
  • Who qualifies for the HUBZone program
  • What is the application process
  • What benefits can the program provide
  • What are your obligations under this program
  • Marketing your certification
  • Strategies in the marketplace
The 2017 Qualified Census Tracts (QCTs) have been posted on The QCT spreadsheet is available at However, the HUBZone Maps do not currently reflect the update. Please refer to the spreadsheets for the most current designations. 
The series will be held statewide and begin in Milwaukee February 28th. Register today at
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Update from the SBA

The Senate approved Linda McMahon to lead the SBA on February 14th. 
Wisconsin's own ERIC NESS (WI District Director) is serving as the ACTING REGIONAL ADMINISTRATOR for the U.S. Small Business Administration's REGION V. In this role, he oversees the delivery of the agency's financial assistance, technical assistance and government contracting activities throughout Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin.

GSA moves one step closer to replacing DUNS

The General Services Administration took an important step toward reducing its reliance on a proprietary business entity identifier system in government contracting.

The agency released a request for information on Feb. 13 in advance of the possible adoption of a new numbering system for "government-wide entity identification and validation services."

Currently the federal contracting system relies on the Data Universal Numbering System, or DUNS number, from Dun & Bradstreet.
The pitfalls associated with using a proprietary reference system first came to public attention in 2014, when a key contract covering data use on the website expired, and D&B pulled its data
from the site. was considered at the time the gold standard for spending transparency, and the loss of rich transactional data activated many in the open government community to advocate for an open standard as a replacement.

Continue reading: 
OMB approved the Voluntary Self-Identification of Disability form for 3 years.  The form now expires on January 31, 2020.
Inclusiveness isn't just good for workers; it's smart for business. Also, ensuring that everyone has an equal employment opportunity is the law. That's why the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) requires federal contractors to ask workers to voluntarily identify if they have a disability.
Federal contractors also need this information to measure their progress toward achieving equal opportunity for people with disabilities.
Any changes on the form? No changes have been made to the form.  The only difference is the expiration date.
When must contractors begin using the form? Federal contractors must begin using a form with the January 31, 2020 expiration date immediately. 
Why should I self-identify?
Disclosing whether you have a disability enables contractors to measure their progress toward equal employment opportunity.   The form is voluntary and cannot be used against you, or shared with your supervisor or coworkers.

Society of American Military Engineers Midwest Small Business Conference 2017

Registration is open for the 2017 SAME Small Business Conference held March 29th and 30th in Northbrook, IL.

This year's conference for architecture/engineering, construction, environmental and related trades will focus on CHANGE and OPPORTUNITY.

Register today:

Mattis outlines defense-budget planning; Lockheed lets an F-35 appeal deadline pass; Talkin' tech with NATO; and more...

The Pentagon generally doesn't discuss its annual budget request before sending it to Congress, trial balloons and other advance leaks notwithstanding.

But all bets are off this year. One week into the Trump administration, the Pentagon has already released a lot of paper (actually PDFs, but you get the gist). Yesterday came the official release of a four-page memo that Defense Secretary James Mattis sent to...well, just about everyone laying out the department's 2018 budget planning process. It solidifies some of the rumors that have been circulating for months and details how the Pentagon will prepare cap-busting spending plans to Congress.

Continue reading at