DVIDS – News – Pentagon Leader Says Small Businesses Are Heart of U.S. Economy

Recent data on small businesses in the defense industrial base show losses. According to Defense Logistics Agency information, the Defense Logistics Agency lost about 22%, or about 3,000 vendors, between 2016 and 2022. Small businesses accounted for 2,300 of the losses. A DLA study found that the Department of Defense reported a 40% decline in small businesses over the past decade.

While these numbers may be worrying, there is some good news for small businesses in the country. Over the past two years, 10.5 million Americans have applied to start small businesses, creating 3.5 million jobs, a record amount, according to Farouk Misa, director of the Defense Department’s Small Business Programs Agency. It is said that

“In our local communities, we are truly the heart of the American economy,” Misa said May 4 at the Defense Logistics Administration Supply Chain Alliance Conference and Exhibition in Richmond, Virginia. .

The OSBP is working with the Department of Defense to make it easier for small businesses to comply with its regulations, he said. The DLA and military services helped shape the agency’s new small business strategy announced in January. Promote a strong industrial base for SMEs by reducing barriers to entry, promoting competition, and focusing on leveraging programs to grow the industrial base.

The OSBP has also created a small business integration program to help businesses share best practices and communicate with each other, as well as a website to serve as a single source of forecast information, resources and other data, Mita said. said.

Additionally, his office’s mentor apprenticeship program invites large companies to provide business development assistance to small businesses and teaches them how to work with the Department of Defense. Misa said the program has been a success, with former parents donating $3 billion to $5 billion in work to the federal government, including the Pentagon.

Initially, only mentor companies that provided development assistance through the program were paid, he said. Currently, through a pilot program, OSBP is able to offer protected companies a 25% reimbursement for certain areas of manufacturing and software development.

“We have learned that small businesses can mentor other small businesses better than large corporations, so we have worked with Congress to lower the required revenue standards for mentor companies,” he said.

OSBP has established a common credential at the Defense Procurement College that provides training to employees of small businesses. The office encourages contractors and program managers to take the course, he added.

OSBP is also focused on aligning national security priorities with SME activities to ensure that disadvantaged SMEs have a better chance of succeeding.

“We spend a lot of money prototyping projects, building technology in the department, and bringing in new veteran and non-traditional companies,” he said. “By the end of my time here, I know that all these programs will be in a really great place to really give everyone the opportunity to make sense of these programs in a consistent way. It’s my wish.” You will be able to gain a deeper understanding of how to participate and the fact that you are continuously accredited and funded. ”

Another important part of aligning small business activities with national security priorities is rethinking supply chains, Mita said. This is done through a suite of market intelligence tools that capture data to look for new entrants and companies that have not previously done business with the Pentagon or won a contract for several years, he said. Stated.

His office oversees the APEX Accelerator program, formerly known as the Procurement Technical Assistance Center. A program that helps small businesses win contracts with the Department of Defense, he has 96 offices nationwide.

“The bottom line is that we have a new leadership team, an entirely new name, and a new mission. , we will be able to reach our local communities in unprecedented ways that can be leveraged across the department,” said Meesa.

APEX Accelerators also help companies with cybersecurity compliance. Networks must be protected, but many small businesses see current cybersecurity requirements as a barrier, he said.

“We really wanted to help small businesses understand what the threats are, understand how to comply with regulations, and understand the resources available at our expense,” Misa said. said.

Small businesses can visit the Project Spectrum website for training on current cybersecurity standards and threats, cyber readiness checks, and tracking compliance with the Cybersecurity Maturity Model certification.

He added that Project Spectrum will eventually provide tools that allow companies to protect their networks for free or at low cost.

Acquired data:May 11, 2023
Posted on:May 11, 2023 08:31
Story ID:444507
position:Richmond, Virginia, USA

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