Whether putting a new roof on a building or keeping computers running, you will find small business professionals doing the work at the National Energy Technology Laboratory. This Department of Energy facility is one of many in the nation that utilizes the goods and services of small businesses to support its mission. National Small Business Week, April 30-May 6, offers an opportunity to highlight their contributions.
“We are proud of our track record in providing opportunities for small businesses to help us achieve our energy research and technology development mission at NETL,” said Dr. Grace Bochenek, Laboratory Director.
In Fiscal Year 2016, NETL obligated 36% of its procurement dollars with small businesses for goods & services exceeding SBA’s federal governmentwide goal of 23%. “Currently we have five small businesses that have prime contracts with the Laboratory to support our sites in Morgantown, West Virginia; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; and Albany, Oregon,” said Larry Sullivan, NETL’s Small Business Program Manager. “These contracts along with our simplified acquisitions from small businesses totaled $67 million in Fiscal Year 2016,” he said. “And we encourage small businesses to let us know of their capabilities so we can introduce them to resources that can help prepare them for doing business with the federal government.”
Knowing how to navigate the rules of federal procurement takes time to master and through the U.S. Small Business Administration and its network of resource partners, training is available on topics such as how to market to the federal government and how to bid for federal contracts. “Assistance is available in each community where NETL has a presence” said Sullivan. “And we’re particularly interested in reaching out to a diversity of small business owners in SBA’s procurement set-aside categories, including those who are socially & economically disadvantaged, service-disabled veteran-owned, women-owned, or are located in a designated historically underutilized business zone as defined by the SBA,” he said.
NETL is always interested in learning more about firms who fall within one of the set-aside categories and who are affiliated with the construction industry. Small businesses are encouraged to market their capabilities to NETL through a one-page capabilities statement and to participate in procurement trainings offered by the SBA. “Preparation is key,” said Sullivan, “be good at what you do in the commercial market and then grow your business by competing for federal opportunities.”
Small businesses interested in learning more about NETL’s procurement opportunities should visit the website www.netl.doe.gov/business or contact Larry Sullivan at firstname.lastname@example.org, phone 412-386-6115. Additional information on opportunities for the Department of Energy nationwide may be obtained by visiting the DOE Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization’s website at www.energy.gov/osdbu/office-small-and-disadvantaged-business-utilization with DOE opportunities posted on the Federal Business Opportunities website at www.fbo.gov. For more information on SBA’s contracting programs, visit www.sba.gov/contracting.