View as Webpage

Photo caption: South Sound government agencies share insights into how they buy at the Meet the Agencies event hosted by the Thurston EDC’s APEX Accelerator and MRSC on November 30.

Construction Contractors: Washington’s Small Works is Changing. 

Public Works contracting represents a significant opportunity for small construction firms. Last year, 42,000 public works contracts worth $7 Billion were awarded. Nearly half of those projects were awarded through a Small Works Roster. Effective July 1, 2024 new changes to state law may make it easier for small businesses and public agencies to use the small works roster process to contract small public works projects valued at $350,000 or less. The law passed during the previous Legislative session:

  • Creates a statewide small works roster through MRSC to ease the burden of registering on multiple sites
  • Establishes a NEW “Public Works Small Business Enterprise Certification” through the Office of Minority & Women’s Business Enterprises. This new certification will launch in early Spring.
  • Adds a direct contracting option for projects under $150,000. If there are 6 or more available certified small businesses to select from, the direct award must first be offered to a small business. 
  • Allows agencies to waive or reduce retainage bonds for projects $5,000 or more (there is no retainage or performance bond requirement for under $5,000)

Read the recommended next steps

SDVOSB Certification Grace Period ends Jan 1 – On January 1, 2024 Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Businesses that are not certified by the Small Business Administration will be ineligible for SDVOSB or VOSB set asides and sole source awards. So far this year, the SBA has certified more than 8,300 firms. Need help getting certified? Your local APEX Accelerator can assist.

Expect More Oversight for SDBs – President Biden recently increased the spending goal to Small Disadvantaged Businesses (SDB) to 13% in Fiscal Year 2024. The SDB designation is a simple checkbox in the System for Award Management that many firms check without fully understanding the definition. Recently, the Office of Inspector General issued a report warning the SBA of significant numbers of firms that are falsely certified due to gaps in oversight. Your Washington APEX Accelerator advises firms to double-check their SAM representations and certifications to make sure they are not falsely representing their firm. And, if your firm is owned and controlled by a socially and economically disadvantaged individual (definition linked here), consider checking that SDB box! Federal contracting officers have an aggressive goal to meet and may be on the lookout for you. Contact your advisor for further assistance.

Contact Us

Contact a Government Contracting Specialist today for assistance with all your government contracting questions.

[email protected]

Main Center

Thurston EDC

4220 6th Ave.

Lacey, WA 98503



Administrative Staff

Tiffany Scroggs, Program Manager

Marnie Tyson

Lisa Lagerstrom

Tori Stoner


Innovation Station

Kate Hoy


Thurston EDC

Grady Smith

Leslie Miller


Washington APEX Accelerator in Pierce County

Trena Payton

Maryam Lynch-Tate


Sub Centers

Economic Alliance Snohomish County

Cara Buckingham


Greater Spokane Inc.

Aleesha Roedel


Columbia River Economic Development Council

Julia Krivoruk


Green River College

Darrell Sundell

Melinda Martirosian

Kitsap Economic Development Alliance  

Mary Jo Juarez

James Davis

Terry Homburg


Tri-City Regional Chamber of Commerce

Maria Alleman

Washington State ranks 19th for Small Business Contracting and Federal Contract rankings in Fiscal Year 2022. With more than $9 Billion in spend each year since 2018, Washington firms are significantly impacted by federal contracting activity. Small businesses received 21% of those contracts in FY22, up from 15% in FY21. Washington lags behind several smaller states in small business spend including Alaska ($5.3 Billion), Alabama ($4.8 Billion), and Colorado ($4 Billion). See this and more data at Thank you to Set Aside Alert for compiling the data.

Fond Farewell – The team at the Washington APEX Accelerator wishes a fond farewell to SBA District Director Kerrie Hurd who is retiring at the end of the year. “We appreciated how Kerrie was always quick to partner with us to benefit the small businesses of the Northwest. We wish her a joyful next adventure!” Commented APEX Accelerator Program Director Tiffany Scroggs

Who’s the Prime? The Washington State Department of Transportation website includes easy to find bid data and forecasted information. They also offer an up-to-date listing of Active Contracts linked here so that you can see the prime and pull progress payment data here.   

Welcome, Mark!

Mark Johnson has joined our team at the Economic Alliance of Snohomish County. As the new Assistant Advisor with Washington APEX Accelerator (formerly PTAC), Mark will assist small businesses in understanding how to find, bid, win, and perform on government contracts.

Mark’s previous role was with the Washington State Senate where he supported committees with their high-level administration needs. Before serving the Washington state legislature, Mark supported the City of SeaTac’s Department of Community and Economic Development with their 2021 Business Synergy outreach project dedicated to understanding the needs of the local business community.

Cybersecurity Requirements for Defense Contractors continues to evolve and strengthen. Most recently, the FAR Council has released two new proposed cybersecurity rules. If adopted, the new rules would require contractors to report cybersecurity incidents within 8 hours (instead of the 72 hours currently required). Read more here.

Foreign Ownership Requirements Expanded: The US Department of Defense has long been concerned about restricting contracts with classified information to firms that are free from Foreign Ownership Control or Influence (FOCI) by countries of concern (currently Russia, North Korea, Iran, and China). The SBIR and STTR Extension Act of 2022 expanded FOCI oversight. Click here to read a short blog post about the expansion.

Upcoming SBIR/STTR Releases

Small business innovation research (SBIR) funding is available to small businesses working on cutting-edge technology. Find out if the federal government needs your innovation.


Upcoming Events for Innovators

2023 Innovation Ecosystem Summit – December 13, 2023

Find more events on the APEX calendar

Other Funding Notices

Other Important Links

Find statewide resources for innovators visiting Innovation Station.

Learn more about Small Business Innovation funding at the SBIR Website.

Looking for help? Register as an APEX Client for no-cost assistance.


Questions? Kate Hoy, [email protected]

Events - Virtual unless otherwise noted

  • Focused Classes 
  • Monthly Meetings
  • Tradeshows

Focused Classes

JBLM Industry Day Discussion: General Maintenance, Repair, and Minor Construction Work MATOC

12/5/2023         11:00 AM - 12:00 PM                      

Join APEX and Mission & Installation Contracting Command office at Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM) representatives for a Q&A on the Sources Sought Notice: Multiple Award Task Order Contract (MATOC) General Maintenance, Repair, and Minor Construction Work.


Dept of Navy Office Hours: DCAA Audits      

12/5/2023         10:00 AM - 11:00 AM          

This is an opportunity to gain valuable insights and guidance directly from professionals who understand the intricacies of navigating the DCAA audit process.              


Understanding Capabilities Statements        

12/6/2023         3:00 PM - 4:30 PM   

This class is for firms with a desire to learn about the differences between federal and state capability statements. Knowing how to speak the correct language when writing a capability statement is half the battle. Be prepared to learn the importance of having the right elements to describe what your business does and the importance of knowing what each agency wants to see in a capability statement.


Take-Away Tuesday: Small Business Needs Big Cybersecurity Training       

12/12/2023       6:00 AM - 7:00 AM  

Take-Away Tuesdays deliver high-value content, in short order, with substance, as well as an opportunity to ask the SME! The Blue Cyber Education Series addresses Small Business risk management for all IT to keep DoD (Department of Defense) data secure.


DoD Cybersecurity Requirements

12/13/2023       3:00 PM - 5:00 PM  

Poulsbo Library

700 NE Lincoln Rd, Poulsbo, WA,98370

Learn about DoD cybersecurity requirements. After you have taken this class, you will be to differentiate between CMMC and DoD Interim Rule.


Building Our Community: Projects from Six School Districts in Snohomish County 

12/14/2023       1:00pm - 3:00pm    

Edmonds School District Office

20420 68th Ave W, Lynnwood, WA, 98036

Find out about upcoming projects from six Snohomish County school districts.

Monthly Sessions

Contracting Coffee Hour

12/6/2023      8:00 AM - 10:00 AM  

Got contracting questions? We have answers!


University of Washington Virtual Workshops for Suppliers

12/7/2023      10:30 AM - 12:00 PM

The orientations will provide a learning opportunity to assist in navigating potential business prospects at the University and with other state agencies, as well as educational and other resources to assist businesses. 

APEX & SBDC First Friday Follow-up

12/1/2023         12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

Friday Follow-up is an open forum, and roundtable for businesses to get answers from your local PTAC counselor and SBDC Advisor. Bring your questions regarding government contracting and learn from knowledgeable Small Business Experts. Our focus is to share resources for growing your business.


APEX: Prime Connect

12/13/2023    8:00 AM - 9:00 AM

A structured matchmaking event for Primes and Subcontractors to connect on future projects.

Wednesday with the Deputy for Small Business

12/20/2023    10:00 AM - 11:30 AM

Wednesday with the Deputy for Small Business is an opportunity for Industry partners to learn about doing business with the Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC) Division, Keyport.


2023 Innovation Ecosystem Summit 

12/13/2023       9:00 AM - 1:45 PM  

The SBA (Small Business Administration) Innovation Ecosystem Summit connects organizations across sectors to learn from one another as we work together to build a thriving national innovation ecosystem that promotes equitable access to capital and resources for innovators nationwide.


Alliance Northwest Conference

3/14/2024        8:00 AM - 4:00 PM

Tacoma Convention Center  

1500 Commerce St, Tacoma, WA, 98402

Alliance Northwest is the largest business-to-government conference in the Pacific Northwest and is in its 38th year. There is a strong history of federal agency support, and it is where business and government learn and make connections with small and disadvantaged businesses.

Govology classes, live and on-demand, are Free for Washington APEX clients – contact your APEX counselor for access. Click here for the list of Govology this month’s live classes. 


Recorded webinars available 

APEX Calendar

Washington APEX Accelerator, formerly Washington PTAC provides technical assistance to help Washington businesses successfully compete in the government marketplace. A program of the Thurston Economic Development Council, in partnership with the following subcenters: