The topic of the February 6, 2019 MCCC Business EXCELerator was “Follow the Money – Get the Win.” The meeting was moderated by Erin Allen, President, CONTEMPORARIES, Inc. and Vice Chair of the MCCC Small Business Committee.
The first presentation was made by Yvette Williams, Business Diversity Coordinator, Office of Procurement & Strategic Sourcing, University of Maryland (UMD) College Park. Ms. Williams encouraged small businesses to participate in UMD procurements and to actively pursue interests. It is important to register in the e-Maryland marketplace and participate in Maryland’s Small Business Reserve Program. Procurements at College Park provide opportunities in many business sectors, sometimes for multiple campuses. Small businesses are advised to work directly with the program officers or the awarded prime contractors.
The second presentation was made by Dan Snyder, Deputy Director of Government Contracts Research, Bloomberg Government followed by Ann Sullivan, President & Founder and Elizabeth Sullivan, Director of Government Relations, Madison Services Group, Inc.
Mr. Snyder presented data and trends of current Federal Government spending. 75% of the government is funded until September 30, 2019. Contractors should be mindful of the funded agencies (e.g. the Department of Defense and Veterans Affairs) and pursue those opportunities. He reported that the percentage of awards going to small business is relatively flat at 35% of the total spend. Simplified acquisition procedures have increased which helps businesses compete more easily on procurements. He presented ten markets to watch and noted that many of those markets may be offered as bundled opportunities. It is imported to understand this data to develop strategic goals.
Ann and Elizabeth Sullivan explained the detailed steps needed to follow the budget and, most importantly, appropriations. They offered guidance on how the budget process is supposed to work, how it is working in FY19, components of the budget, and how to find programs in appropriations. Important sites to know are https://appropriations.house.gov/ which tracks the procurement process through the legislation and https://rules.house.gov/ which has great power in deciding appropriations. They identified points of influence throughout the budget process that shape procurements. While all of this information is available to the public, it is a time-consuming and complex process. It is advised to have assistance in following the process.