With almost 200 attendees, U.S. ED OSDBU Calvin Smith and OSDBU team members hosted its annual outreach. Speakers included ED agency officials, the SBA, GSA, PTAC representatives and the HUBZone Council. ED highlighted their success stories, their small business registry (SBX), procurement goals, and introductions to agency officials. An appreciative small business audience acknowledged that gaps in achieving goals are challenging, and several attendees expressed frustration with agency and SBA "double'-counting" of socioeconomic categories. Mostly, getting new awards with an agency such as ED and the need to have BIC vehicles were cited as barriers. Given the number of unique awards to small firms and the number of small firms that have been steadily dropping (cited by the HUBZone Council), all agreed more needs to be done.
e-GovMarket's President Tracye Turner expressed the challenges are formidable while recognizing the efforts of the agencies and the SBA. The solution that e-GovMarket offers is an Uber-like experience for frictionless buying. By providing immediate pricing, ease-of-purchase (credit cards, invoicing, BPAs), government buyers and primes can reach more small businesses (socioeconomic, geographic diversity) with less effort. This can help small firms get a foot in the door and build past performance.
e-GovMarket seeks government buyers, small business representatives and small business partners who want to try a new solution.