ASAN, Guam (NNS) -- Achieving the military’s mission in Guam and in the region is significant business for government contractors and industry partners.
“The Navy in Guam relies heavily on expertise from government contractors, both large and small, to meet the government’s requirements,” said Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Marianas Small Business Professional Al Sampson. “It is our duty and obligation as acquisition professionals to ensure we are facilitating opportunities for maximum participation of small businesses.”
National Small Business Week was observed May 5-11; however, a team of professionals work hard throughout the year to ensure small businesses have the tools to leverage contracting opportunities in Guam.
The Small Business Development Center (SBDC), Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) and the NAVFAC Office of Small Business Programs, along with private-sector business organizations, help small businesses position themselves.
“We are able to help people start businesses and then help them to grow,” said Denise Mendiola, senior certified small business advisor at SBDC Guam. SBDC advisors help businesses develop a business plan and provide training in record keeping, financial planning, and other vital aspects of running a business.
SBDC also works with the Navy’s Fleet and Family Support Center to offer Boots to Business, a two-day program designed for military spouses, active-duty service members and those transitioning to civilian life. “We go through how to start a business,” said Jane Ray, certified small business advisor with SBDC. “We cover what you need to think about when you’re doing your initial business plan -- financing [and] contracting.”
Guam PTAC also provides counseling and workshops. “Once a company is established and they have their business license, we can assist in everything from getting a DUNS number to registering for a System for Award Management [SAM] number,” said Gerardine Mendiola, procurement counselor with Guam PTAC. "We also assist with finding opportunities available through federal websites and going through the requirements and the scope of work, to make sure they’re fit to actually complete the contract before they submit their bid.”
PTAC can help small businesses get certified for programs such as 8(a) Business Development Program, Women Owned Businesses, Historically Underutilized Business Zone (HUBZone) Program or the Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business. The Navy has goals and contracts set aside for businesses in each of those categories.
Due in no small part to that team’s efforts, NAVFAC Marianas awards contracts worth hundreds of millions of dollars every year to certified small businesses. Most recently $215 million in fiscal 2017 and $228 million in fiscal 2018. These figures are anticipated to grow as a result of increased activity in the region by all services.
With the Marine Corps realignment in progress, construction companies are most in demand. “But once the buildings are completed they will have to be painted, cleaned, kept pest-free, the plumbing will have to be repaired and the lighting maintained,” Sampson said. Small businesses are also contracted by the Navy for grounds maintenance, safety services, IT support and numerous other services and products.
The Navy also requires that prime contractors on large projects to commit to hiring small-business subcontractors. “The contractor for the basic infrastructure of the new Marine Corps base, for example, has a subcontracting plan in which about 66% of all their subcontracts will go to small business concerns,” Sampson said. “That contract is $165 million, so we’re talking about a lot of money for small businesses.”
For more news from Naval Facilities Engineering Command, visit www.navy.mil/local/navfachq/.