With the increasingly negative economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the federal government has detailed its efforts to support an effective economic recovery in an effort referred to as “smart buying for America.”

The Executive Office of the President sent a memo to the various heads of executive departments and agencies detailing the newest initiatives. The goal is to simplify the procurement process and give agencies access to a wider range of companies.

Small Business Focus

The Federal Government is emphasizing the support of small business-types, to include small disadvantaged businesses, women-owned small businesses, service-disabled veteran owned small businesses, and HUBZone small businesses. Not only do small businesses continually provide the most unique solutions, the support of small businesses directly encourages economic growth. Agencies that meet their small business goals help to create more jobs in the economy.

Additional emphasis is being put on the AbilityOne program and Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).

The AbilityOne program continues to employ approximately 45,000 people who are blind or have other significant disabilities, including 3,000 veterans. In 2019, AbilityOne was responsible for an all-time high of $3.9 billion is acquisitions, resulting in the creation of 2,000 jobs. AbilityOne use will continue to be the mandatory for many of the products and services government agencies use.

HBCUs have and will continue to receive support. In addition to the previously signed E.O. 13779 to increase HBCU involvement in federal programs, government agencies need to strategize an increase in involvement that HBCUs have in government contracting.

Buy American. E.O. 13881

E.O. 13881 mandates that agencies prefer goods manufactured in America. This also included an increase to the percentage of US-manufactured needed to qualify for this preference. This endeavor encourages the movement of manufacturing to the U.S, as well as the buying of U.S. materials.

Faster Payments

Agencies currently aim for a payment date 15 days after the receipt of an invoice for small businesses. In response to COVID-19, agencies are being encouraged to extend this to medium to large business-types. FAR Council is also implementing section 873 of Public Law 116-92 to allow for accelerated payments to small business subcontractors. As of now, the government has already mandated accelerated payments to small business prime subcontractors.

Small Business is Big Business

The Federal Government serves as the most economically impactful buyer. Last year, the government purchased over half a trillion dollars from 130,000 contractors, of which, two-thirds were small businesses. Ninety percent of products involved in these transactions are made in the U.S. In 2020, the need for contractors has not subsided, while now needing to support its COVID-19-related needs.

This would be a good time to expand your offerings to provide government buyers an option for more American made products.  Coley currently supports clients grow their business with the government and are ready to work with government contractors to update their contracting vehicles, including their GSA Schedules. For any questions, reach out to Coley directly at 210-402-6766 or by email at [email protected]

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