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Small Businesses and their contribution to Dyess AFB

Mrs. Judy Wilhelm, Abilene Small Business Development Center director, speaks to small business owners during an educational roadshow May 10, 2016, at Dyess Air Force Base, Texas. The Department of Defense is mandated by the Federal Acquisition Recognition to give a percentage of all contracts to small businesses. Some contributions to Dyess include the plastering and cleaning of the outdoor pool, renovation of the veterinary clinic, renovation of the Force Support Squadron buildings and the 489th Bomb Group building. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Shannon Hall/Released)

Mrs. Judy Wilhelm, Abilene Small Business Development Center director, speaks to small business owners during an educational roadshow May 10, 2016, at Dyess Air Force Base, Texas. The Department of Defense is mandated by the Federal Acquisition Recognition to give a percentage of all contracts to small businesses. Some contributions to Dyess include the plastering and cleaning of the outdoor pool, renovation of the veterinary clinic, renovation of the Force Support Squadron buildings and the 489th Bomb Group building. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Shannon Hall/Released)

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Lacy Deville, 7th Comptroller Squadron financial analyst, briefs small business owners May 10, 2016, at Dyess Air Force Base, Texas. The owners, who came from Lubbock, Abilene, Dallas, Midland and other surrounding areas, attended an educational roadshow that helped them understand the federal contracting process. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Shannon Hall/Released)

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Lacy Deville, 7th Comptroller Squadron financial analyst, briefs small business owners May 10, 2016, at Dyess Air Force Base, Texas. The owners, who came from Lubbock, Abilene, Dallas, Midland and other surrounding areas, attended an educational roadshow that helped them understand the federal contracting process. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Shannon Hall/Released)

DYESS AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- Small businesses create jobs and help meet local needs, making them essential to the success of the economy. For this reason, the Department of Defense is mandated by the Federal Acquisition Recognition to give a percentage of all contracts to small businesses.

An annual Small Business roadshow took place, here, on May 10, 2016, to help educate small business owners in the surrounding communities.

"This event provided education that will help small business owners understand the federal contracting process, what they need to do to get started, rid them of any myths that might prevent them from entering into a contract in the future and it gave us a chance to personally interact with those individuals who attended," said Maj. Shayla Canty-Smith, 7th Contracting Squadron commander.

According to 7 CONS, myths about working with a government agency include taking a long time to get paid by the government, too many restrictions to work on a government installation and that they will look into your entire record, being hard to find relevant bid requests and that only big, well-known companies are awarded government contracts. This is not the case.

The due date for making invoice payments by the designated payment office is either the 30th day after the designated billing office receives a proper invoice from the contractor, or the 30th day after government acceptance of supplies delivered or services performed.

When applying for base access, the primary things that are researched for an individual are active warrants, sex offender status, active gang affiliations and citizenship.

Online bid notification services are available to easily identify lucrative bid opportunities, and they can reveal local opportunities with public agencies close to a business' center of operations as well as bids from public agencies nationwide.

By law, federal agencies are required to seek out qualified suppliers and service providers from "disadvantaged business entities"; small businesses, woman-owned businesses, service-disabled or veteran-owned businesses and companies located in Historically Underutilized Business zones.

The bases command sets a goal for how many contracts must be completed by small businesses. Dyess' goal is 88% and so far they have exceeded that goal.

For fiscal year 15, Dyess completed 655 small business contracts, representing 91.6% of the total amount of Dyess' contract actions. The contracts included construction services, grounds maintenance, medical services, flightline repair and maintenance, motorcycle safety and cable and internet services, having a total value of $22,907,776.35.

According to Canty-Smith, the contracting squadron takes pride in holding itself to a higher standard and exceeding their goals for small business involvement because the local economy generously gives back and takes care of Team Dyess.  

The plastering and cleaning of the outdoor pool, the Hangar Common's improvements, renovation of the veterinary clinic, renovation of the Force Support Squadron buildings, the 489th Bomb Group building and all of the grounds and streets are all contributions from small businesses.

"Working and partnering with local small businesses supports our mission and is a win-win for Dyess and the Abilene community," Canty-Smith said. "The 7th Contracting Squadron is completely committed to meeting the objective and vision of the Secretary of the Air Force Small Business program by nurturing strong relationships with the local small business owners."

If a small business owner is looking to work with a government entity, their first step should be contacting their local Small Business Development Center. Abilene's SBDC can be reached at (325) 670-0300.