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Air Force Wants to Help Small Business Win its Wings


The Air Force Material Command (AFMC) is stepping up its efforts to maximize small business participation and meet government-wide goals for small business contracts, AFMC headquarters said in a press release this week. To help meet those goals, the service has tailored a number of programs so that small businesses that want to do business with them won’t have to fly on a wing and a prayer.

An interagency task force appointed by President Obama earlier this year has given the government until December 30 to report progress on implementing recommendations to increase the small business share of the federal contract pie to 23 percent.

“It’s not an exact science and sometimes very difficult to figure out why you’re not meeting the overall 23 percent goals,” said Carol White, chief of the Small Business Office at AFMC headquarters at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio. “The findings from the task force will provide new direction, either through policy or legislation , and it may take awhile to flow down. We may have to wait for the implementing guidance.”

But the Air Force is not waiting for specific guidance to begin priming the small business pump. Small business office specialists are already available to assist internal acquisition organizations in early acquisition planning activities and post award matters, and to assist external industry businesses in a number of different ways.

“We provide one-on-one counseling and are available through telephone and office visits,” White said. We are always encouraging large businesses to partner with small businesses through the Mentor Protégé program or via subcontracting.”

Small business office officials also host and sponsor events throughout the year to attract and assist small business owners in learning how to do business with the government .

“These events are important to help us better understand how small businesses can help AFMC meet warfighter needs,” White said.

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Reach BusinessNewsDaily senior writer Ned Smith at nsmith@techmedianetwork.com.  Follow him on twitter @nedbsmith.

Ned Smith

Ned was senior writer at Sweeney Vesty, an international consulting firm, and was Vice President of communications for iQuest Analytics. Before that, he has been a web editor and managed the Internet and intranet sites for Citizens Communications. He began his journalism career as a police reporter with the Roanoke (Va.) Times, and was managing editor of American Way magazine and senior editor of Us. He was a Captain in the U.S. Air Force and has a masters in journalism from the University of Arizona.