May 12, 2004

HQ Headlines: DLA Public Affairs

DSS-A Hosts Technology Expo for Women-Owned Small Businesses

by Heather Athey

DSS-A Hosts Technology Expo for Women-Owned Small Businesses

The Defense Logistics Agency Support Services Acquisition Staff Directorate sponsored a Technology Expo May 11, in the McNamara Headquarters Complex cafeteria, highlighting U.S. Small Business Administration 8(a) Women-Owned Small Businesses.

In order to be certified by the SBA as an 8(a) small business, firms must meet size standards which include for small business concerns, be in business for at least two years, and display not only reasonable potential for success. The SBA requires woman-owned small businesses to meet the above criteria, and additionally, at least 51 percent must be owned by one or more women and the company’s daily management and operations must also be controlled by one or more women, according to DSS-A.

The firms for Tuesday’s expo were selected from the Dynamic Small Business Search, the official SBA database for small businesses, formerly known as Pro-Net. A total of 13 companies attended, combining knowledge and experience from all aspects of the information technology field.

“In this time of acquisition streamlining, it is important for people to take the time to consider the many capable small businesses available to fulfill the government’s requirements,” said DSS Associate Director of Small Business Robert Little. “Today’s expo includes established women-owned firms who can provide substantial products and services to our customers directly through 8(a) program sole source contracts or through competition.”

Of the 13 firms in attendance, 12 already have a General Services Administration contract in place, and most have more than one contract vehicle, Little said.

DLA Vice Director Maj. Gen Mary Saunders and DSS Director Ella Studer were on hand to speak with exhibitors and learn about the unique products and services available from each company, as well as the ways in which small businesses can tailor support to meet each individual agency’s needs.

“We want to help the agency do more with less,” said Julie Baker, account manager for LGB, Inc., an information technology firm based in Hawaii. “Everyone has budget constraints, but they still have a lot to do so we bring innovative solutions to the table to solve some of [their] problems.”

Headquarters employees were encouraged to visit the expo and explore the advantages of working with a small business.

“The biggest thing is to get people down here to see that we have some really capable small companies we can utilize,” commented Studer. “We have to change our mindset.”

Read the full press release here.

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