Is the federal government your customer?   Would you like to learn more about what and how the government buys? 

Please join us for our next in a series of webinars “Live Chats with Federal Buyers– “How to Do Business with the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA)”

Hosted by:  The U.S. Small Business Administration’s Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont District Offices

Presenters:  Mr. Jerry Smith, Director and Ms. Deborah Tarleton, Business Specialist, GSA Office of Small Business Utilization (OSBU), New England Region 

What: This FREE webinar will give participants an opportunity to hear directly from the small business office of GSA – New England Region about how and what the agency procures, upcoming projects, and how to navigate their website to keep up to speed on potential opportunities.  There will also be time for open discussion to answer any questions.

When:         Wednesday, September 3rd from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.

How:          To join the webinar simply click this link:  https://connect16.uc.att.com/sba/meet/?ExEventID=87597705

 When prompted, enter the meeting access code:  7597705#

When asked how you would like to join, click on “join as web participant

When asked to join the audio portion (this will be via telephone), click “call me” and enter your phone number.  The system will automatically call you and you can quickly join the call.

 Please mute your phones to cut down on the background noise.

 If you have any questions, please contact William Card at william.card@sba.gov

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Quick Guide to Doing Business with GSA:

            http://www.gsa.gov/portal/mediaId/169031/fileName/2013_DB_AQuickGuideEngishFINAL.action

GSA created the Vendor Tool Box Readiness Assessment: https://vsc.gsa.gov/RA to assist you in determining if applying for a GSA MAS contract is right for your company.

VAMBOA VA RFPOn August 25, 2014, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced that it plans to issue a Request for Proposal (RFP) for a new Medical Appointment Scheduling System. This will be the next step in a series of actions that the VA is taking to replace its current scheduling system. The new system is expected to improve access to care for Veterans by offering medical schedulers with innovative scheduling software.  The RFP will be made public by the end of September, 2014. From the day of issuance, eligible vendors will have 30 days to respond.

The VA will issue a draft RFP prior to releasing the full RFP to maximize industry and stakeholder input. The solicitation will require a two-part demonstration of capabilities, consisting of a written proposal and a technical demonstration to scheduling staff. The VA hopes to award the contract by the end of the calendar year.

“VA chose a full- and open-competitive strategy to acquire a ‘commercial, off-the-shelf’ scheduling system,” said Stephen Warren, VA’s Chief Information Officer. “We want a system that is user-friendly and tailored specifically for our Veterans.”

VA Secretary Robert McDonald stated, “We want this process to be open to all eligible vendors to make sure the nation’s Veterans have the full benefits the innovative marketplace has to offer. When we can put a solid scheduling system in place, this will free up more human resources to focus on direct Veterans’ care. As VA recommits to its mission of caring for Veterans and evaluating our actions through the lens of what serves them best, we know a better scheduling system is necessary to provide them the timely, quality health care that they have earned and deserve.”

Even as the VA plans to issue its RFP to replace the existing system, efforts are progressing to make the current system better. The VA recently awarded a contract to improve the existing scheduling interface, providing schedulers a calendar view of resources instead of the current text-based, multiple-screen view.  This update is scheduled to begin roll out in January, 2015.

The VA is also developing two new mobile applications, one which will enable Veterans to directly request certain types of primary care and mental health appointments. The other app will give VA schedulers an easier-to-use interface to schedule medical appointments. Both apps are scheduled to roll out in December, 2014.

Veteran business owners will want to throw their hat in the ring, or at least closely watch which company or companies get this large contract with the VA. The companies who win contracts will most likely be looking for Veteran owned small business to sub-contract to, as part of their agreement with the VA.

The Veteran and Military Business Owners Association (VAMBOA) is a non-profit business trade association that promotes and assists Veteran Business Owners, Service Disabled Veteran Owned Businesses (SDVOB) and Military Business Owners. Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and responsible for job generation. That is why VAMBOA provides its members with Business Coaching, Contracting Opportunities, a Blog that provides information, Networking contacts and other resources. Membership is FREE to Veterans. Join Now!

VAMBOA: VA To Issue RFP:  By Debbie Gregory

F35The Department of Defense (DOD) contract watch for building F-35 fighter jets for the U.S. military has received a lot of publicity over the past several years. So far, the F-35 program has generated over $1 billion in contracts to companies involved with various components of the project.

On August 13, 2014, the Lockheed-Martin Corporation was given an additional $233 million to work on flight-training and maintenance simulators for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program. The contract increase calls for production of 19 training simulators and nearly 70 technical support systems. The bulk of the money and the work for this contract will be done at Lockheed’s facilities in and around Orlando, Florida.

Lockheed’s Orlando training systems unit manages the F-35 flight training center at Eglin AFB. This division of the company also produces automated logistics computers for the stealth fighter jets. More than 500 jobs in Orlando are tied to the F-35 work, including weapons-targeting systems produced by Lockheed’s missiles group.

The F-35 program has survived scrapping from the DOD through frequent schedule delays, cost overruns and technical problems. One of the most notable incidents was an engine fire on June 23rd that temporarily halted the project. The DOD acknowledged that Lockheed has taken a number of measures to cut costs and address performance issues over the past year.

Last month, Lockheed and its F-35 partners unveiled a plan to reduce costs on each individual aircraft by the end of the decade. The plan calls for spending $170 million through 2016 to shave costs from each F-35 to $80 million, down from $100 million.

But with a projected overall price of $400 billion, the F-35 is still on track to become the most expensive U.S. weapons system in history, with 2,400 planes built for the U.S. military and its allies.

The Veteran and Military Business Owners Association (VAMBOA) is a non-profit business trade association that promotes and assists Veteran Business Owners, Service Disabled Veteran Owned Businesses (SDVOB) and Military Business Owners. Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and responsible for job generation. That is why VAMBOA provides its members with Business Coaching, Contracting Opportunities, a Blog that provides information, Networking contacts and other resources. Membership is FREE to Veterans. Join Now!

VAMBOA: DOD Expands F-35 Contracts:  By Debbie Gregory

Money: It’s one of the biggest factors in starting a business. How much do you need and what types of financial products does the U.S. Small Business Administration offer? Join Alexandra Piotrowski, Economic Development Specialist from the Washington Metropolitan Area District Office, as she talks about SBA financial products during a panel discussion at the 2nd Annual Food and Beverage Industry Symposium and Expo on August 25, 2014. In addition, she will answer questions from prospective and current entrepreneurs.

Date: August 25, 2014
Time: 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Place: Walter E. Washington Convention Center
801 Mount Vernon Place NW
Washington, DC 20001

For more information, visit www.entreedc.com or contact Claudia Herrera or Jacqueline Noisette

Ask the SBAIn this technological age, numerous government services and agencies are taking advantage of the convenient ways to spread information to the masses. Not to be outdone, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has taken to using social networking sites to be more accessible to the masses than ever before.

The SBA recently launched the “Ask the SBA Administrator” event on Google+. On Wednesday, August 27, 2014 at 4:30 P.M. ET, SBA administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet will be live, answering questions and chatting with people in the small business community.

In President Obama’s cabinet, Contreras-Sweet is the voice for small business owners. Asking questions and raising concerns directly to someone in her position can be extremely beneficial to your small business.

It is extremely important that voices from the Veteran-owned small business community and the service-disabled Veteran-owned small business community be heard. Veteran entrepreneurs and their businesses are eligible for special benefits, and it is imperative that these benefits not be left on the table. Additionally, if they need to be improved upon, people in Mrs. Contreras-Sweet’s position must be informed.

The   “Ask the SBA Administrator” event is being hosted by Google+ Your Business. Veteran small business owners are encouraged to watch the event live on the Google+ page , ask questions and leave comments prior to the event for Mrs. Contreras-Sweet.

All small business owners should take advantage of this event.

The Veteran and Military Business Owners Association (VAMBOA) is a non-profit business trade association that promotes and assists Veteran Business Owners, Service Disabled Veteran Owned Businesses (SDVOB) and Military Business Owners. Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and responsible for job generation. That is why VAMBOA provides its members with Business Coaching, Contracting Opportunities, a Blog that provides information, Networking contacts and other resources. Membership is FREE to Veterans. Join Now!

VAMBOA: Ask the SBA Administrator: By Debbie Gregory