Recently in the Stimulus Category

SBA's Associate Administrator for Government Contracting Business Development, Joe Jordon, testified before the Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee that agencies are not meeting their women-owned goal of 5% with respect to stimulus contracts. According to Mr. Jordan, as of October 2, nearly 26 percent of all federal stimulus contracting dollars, or more than $4 billion, was awarded to small businesses.  Specifically, more than $1 out of every $4 spent on federal Recovery Act contracts has gone to small businesses, even though the Recovery Act does not set a specific goal for small business contracting.  In most cases, agencies have been instructed to follow the government's annual goal of awarding 23 percent of all prime contract monies to small businesses.  This means that out of the approximately $60 billion in stimulus funds expected to be awarded through federal contracts, about $13 billion should go to small businesses. 
 
While other disadvantaged business categories have received amounts in excess of the relevant goals, agencies have failed to meet the women-owned small business goal of 5 percent.  Rather, women-owned small businesses have received only 4 percent of all Recovery contracts.  "Until the SBA implements the Women's Procurement Program which gives contracting officers a tool to restrict competition to women-owned firms, we will continue to fall behind," said Barbara Kasoff, WIPP President.  The SBA has developed its first online training course specifically geared toward women in federal contracting: Winning Federal Contracts: A Guide for Women Entrepreneurs.  Click here to access the free course. 


Sadie Wathen, Small Business Policy Analyst

WIPP, The Center for Women's Business Research, The National Women's Business Council and Walmart announced exciting new data at the Economic Summit on Friday, October 2nd.

  • If women-owned businesses were their own country, they would have the 5th largest GDP in the world, ahead of countries, including France, the United Kingdom and Italy.
  • If women-owned businesses were their own country, they would have a greater GDP than Canada, India and Vietnam COMBINED.
  • Women-owned firms have a total economic impact of $3 trillion, including creating and/or maintaining 23 million jobs, 16% of the total workforce.

The economic impact analysis explains the direct, indirect, and induced economic impact of women-owned businesses nationwide.  Moving well beyond the traditional number of women-owned firms, industries, and revenue levels, this research takes things to the next level by analyzing the economic ripple effect of the women-owned business communiety, i.e. what their direct spending is in addition to subsequent spending by their suppliers and employees.  

The survey data provides:

  • industry specific data that can be used for programming and public policy;
  • data that can drive private and public investments; and
  • data that can illuminate the true production capacity of women-owned firms.

The objective of this important research was to broadly quantify the economic contributions of women-owned firms and is unprecedented.  This is the first time that this type of analysis has been undertaken for women-owned firms in the nation and the results will have significant and wide-ranging impact for policymaking, economic development, and private investment focused on women business owners and their communities.  Please go to www.cfwbr.org and www.wipp.org for further information and SBTV.com for a video recording.

 

 

What Happened to the Stimulus Money?

1:28 PM June 17, 2009

What Happened to the Stimulus Money?

By Ann Sullivan, WIPP Government Relations

 

Recently, I have had the opportunity to present a comprehensive look at the stimulus money in different parts of the country. I have been surprised to find that the perception among small businesses is that the stimulus money--all $787 billion of it--has already been dispensed and in the hands of large contactors. There is a perception that there is nothing left for small businesses. 


Nothing could be further from the truth. The Vice President's quarterly report to the President issued in May contains a very compelling chart that shows that very little of the money has been dispensed. That is not even taking into account the money at the state and local level that has yet to be spent. The agencies have just recently completed their spending plans. With respect to state and local government, the same is true.
Since the contracting rules remain the same as the ones currently in place, agencies must follow the standard contracting procedures. Preparing those solicitations, takes time. With respect to small business participation, the Office of Management and Budget Chief Peter Orszag issued a directive to all agencies that small businesses should be used to the maximum extent practicable. The Congress and the Administration have made it pretty clear that they expect large contractors to use small businesses in their plans to spend the stimulus money.  Small businesses ought to leverage that pressure to their advantage.

 
It's pretty clear that with respect to stimulus money, it is not business as usual. The website www.recovery.gov is much more than a transparency tool - it is a way for small businesses to follow the money. Agencies issue weekly reports, opportunities are posted on FedBizOpps and states are listing their projects as well on the website.


If you are not a federal or state contractor, now is the time to explore a new segment of business. Form alliances with small and large contractors who already contract with the government. Become a subcontractor and learn the ropes. If you are a federal contractor, look for ways to expand existing contracting vehicles you have in place.  Designate a staff member to follow www.recovery.gov and www.Grants.gov daily. 

 
The money trail is pretty easy to follow. Don't walk away from a huge sector of business because someone told you that there is not money left. If you are a WIPP member, take advantage of the training opportunities WIPP offers in the Give Me Five program. Go for it - you have 12 to 18 months to make it happen.

Briefing on Stimulus and Broadband

5:04 PM April 15, 2009

WIPP, attended a briefing hosted by the Internet Innovation Alliance on April 15th. This briefing was on the Stimulus and Broadband and was moderated by Larry Irving and Bruce Mehlman, founders of IIA who discussed the broadband programs being developed by the National Telecommunications Information Administration (NTIA) and the USDA's Rural Utility Service (RUS). Both of these programs were created from the $7.2 billion in stimulus money allocated for broadband efforts- $4.7 Billion in grants to NTIA and $2.5 Billion in grants and loans to RUS.

The IIA has set four principles to guide the funding priorities:

1), the stimulus funds should go towards well-defined, "shovel ready" broadband projects to ensure immediate stimulus in 2009; 2), the top priority for stimulus investment should be deployment of broadband to un-served areas; 3), tap local knowledge from State, cities and non-profit organizations to identify community needs; and 4), implement sustainable solutions that focus on digital literacy and facilitate consumer education for improved broadband adoption.

Many proposals on how best to use the stimulus funds have been put forth, but the underlying issue is the need for a national broadband strategy to set the foundation. The FCC is expected to produce this strategy for Congress by February 2010. According to the IIA, this strategy should focus on the supply side by improving information to the market, promoting competition, and encouraging next generation technology and should focus on the demand side by expanding digital literacy, encouraging transformative applications, and aggregating broadband demand.

Stimulus Tip of the Week

1:12 AM April 15, 2009

Usually government websites are dreary, outdated and hard to navigate.  WIPP says not so with the new website the White House has dedicated to tracking the stimulus money.  www.recovery.gov contains an incredible amount of information which allows small businesses to track the money to the states and to each individual agency. 

Check it out - it's not business as usual.

 

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