Commentary

November 22, 2013

Small business: Why is it important?

Maj. QUOC-NAM NGUYEN
56th Contracting Squadron

Luke Air Force Base is a strong advocate for small businesses. Small businesses are the building blocks that make our country great. Small businesses are not only important to the Air Force, they are important to our nation. Statistics show small businesses are the job creators and innovators, contributing significantly to our nation’s gross national product. And in these times, that is what our nation needs.

Many of our customers have the misconception that buying from a small business is usually more expensive. That is not always the case. On the contrary, small businesses have less overhead costs than large businesses, enabling a more customer friendly experience. I can provide many examples where the 56th Contracting Squadron has actually saved the government money by going to a small business.

Each fiscal year, the Small Business Administration sets a small business goal for every federal agency, which in turn flows down to us. In fiscal 2013, our squadron was assigned a goal of awarding 85 percent of our contract dollars to small businesses.

Our advocacy and support of the small business community enabled us to exceed our assigned goal with 95 percent total contract dollars going to small businesses in fiscal 2013.

So why do we give small business opportunities on federal contracts? It is required by law, but it’s also good business. Our acquisition regulations direct contracting officers to set aside certain requirements for small business when there is adequate competition.

As an important part of enhancing and building Luke community relationships, our contracting officers attend 10 to 12 outreach events each year. Members of the 56th CONS management team are invited to serve as valued guest speakers at numerous small business venues. These efforts have resulted in the awards of contracts to high-performing, high-caliber small businesses who now work at Luke.

Small businesses are getting the job done. By cultivating, nourishing and encouraging the small business community to grow, the 56th CONS ensures the long-term sustainability for Luke’s new F-35 mission.




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