On Friday, December 2, 2022, the Defense Department and the U.S. Small Business Administration signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) for both agencies to better meet the needs of small businesses in the United States. The goal is to bolster small business development, both nationally and locally. (Executive Gov December 9, 2022)
Farooq A. Mitha, director of small business programs at DOD, and Mark Madrid, associate administrator of SBA’s Office of Entrepreneurial Development, signed the agreement at the Maryland Procurement Technical Assistance Center, a DOD-funded office in College Park, Maryland. (U.S. Department of Defense December 7, 2022 l DOD News)
There are over 90 Procurement Technical Assistance Centers throughout the US. These centers are set up to work with small businesses looking to obtain contracts with either DOD or other federal agencies. The centers are currently going through a rebranding and will move from Procurement Technical Assistance Centers to APEX Accelerators. The goal of the APEX Accelerators is to increase the number of businesses able to participate in the government marketplace. (ibid)
“One of the things that we want to make sure that we’re doing is providing resources and support to small businesses who are looking to do business with DOD, with other federal agencies, with state and local government and really reduce barriers to entry,” said Mitha. “And we can’t do that without our APEX Accelerators. And we can’t do that without a … strong partnership with the Small Business Administration and the [Small Business Development Centers] program.” (ibid)
At the signing, Madrid said, “Today was about breaking down silos and working together because we’re all in it for the same reason. If you look at DOD [and] SBA, you look at the APEX Accelerators, you look at our SBDC network, we’re all trying to make government, and ultimately opportunities, more accessible to our small businesses at the end of the day. That’s what we achieved today.” (ibid)
As a result of the MOU, Madrid is certain the DOD and the SBA will find many ways to better integrate training conducted by their APEX Accelerators and SBDCs. Their goal is to jointly conduct at least one national event a year together. (Executive Gov December 9, 2022)
SBA and DOD also launched a joint effort, called the Small Business Investment Company Critical Technologies Initiative, to drive investments in critical technologies that are key to national security. (ibid)
Are you looking to take advantage of one of the more than 90 APEX Accelerators resources and or the Small Business Investment Company Critical Technologies Initiative (SBICCT)? Give us a call.