The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) recently announced major changes to its long-standing Mentor-Protégé Program. Originally, this program was designed to support the growth of small businesses that were certified as 8(a) Program participants; the program is intended to serve as a business development tool, with the mentors providing financial, technical and/or management assistance to their protégés.
As of Aug. 24, all types of small businesses may now participate as protégés, including those certified as 8(a), HUBZone, service-disabled and woman-owned. One does not need a special certification to participate, and even those that only qualify as small businesses are eligible. This broadening of the Mentor-Protégé Program opens the doors to increased federal contract opportunities for small, mid-size and large businesses that are willing to work within the program requirements.
From concrete repair to calendars, the federal government purchases more than $500 billion each year in goods and services. Join us Dec. 13 for a FREE marketing webinar and learn surefire selling suggestions from the SBA and our panel of experts.
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The Senate voted 63-36 to clear a continuing resolution that will keep billions of dollars flowing to federal departments and agencies through April 28, narrowly avoiding a government shutdown. The vote followed hours of negotiations over a dispute about extending coal miners' health benefits that threatened to hold up the spending bill. Democrats had been holding out for an extension that would run beyond the four-month continuing resolution, or CR, but they agreed to provide the votes needed to move forward after Republican leaders provided assurance they would work for a longer extension next year.
After the final vote, lawmakers said they would quickly transmit the spending resolution (H.R. 2028) for President Barack Obama's signature. The White House had indicated the president would sign the bill, which the House passed, 326-96, on Dec. 8.
Things are looking up for veteran-owned businesses that are seeking government contracts. At the federal level, contract dollars awarded to Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Businesses (SDVOSBs) reached an historic high in FY15. For the 4th consecutive year, the federal government exceeded the goal for SDVOSBs, achieving 3.93 percent or $13.8 billion of all federal small-business-eligible contracting dollars compared to the 3.68 percent or $13.5 billion it achieved in FY14.