The Department of Defense released its Small Business Strategy Jan. 26. The strategy promotes a strong, dynamic, and robust small business industrial base by focusing on reducing barriers to entry, increasing set-aside competitions, and leveraging programs to grow the industrial base.
“From manufacturers providing the critical parts that we need for our arsenal – to technology companies developing innovative systems and capabilities – small businesses are vital along the entire spectrum of the Department’s needs,” Deputy Secretary of Defense Dr. Kathleen Hicks said. “Reducing barriers and creating more opportunities for small businesses will allow us to expand, innovate, and diversify, increasing our warfighter advantage, strengthening our supply chains, increasing competition in our marketplace, and growing our economy here at home.”
Small businesses make up 99.9% of all U.S. businesses as well as 73% of companies in the defense industrial base, and last year small businesses were awarded over 25% of all DoD prime contracts. As the economic engine of our nation, small businesses create jobs, generate innovation, and are essential, daily contributors to national security and the defense mission. This strategy will help DoD harness the full potential of small businesses through three objectives: implement a unified management approach for small business programs and activities; ensure the Department’s small business activities align with national security priorities; and strengthen the Department’s engagement and support of small businesses.
“Fostering a resilient and robust industrial base is one of my top priorities,” said Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment Dr. William LaPlante. “Supporting small businesses is not just about meeting a goal or checking a box; it’s about building advantages for our warfighters. All of American industry, especially our innovative small businesses, has a role in developing, delivering, and sustaining the critical capabilities that are required to further implement the National Defense Strategy.”
“Small businesses are crucial to national security,” Director of the Office of Small Business Programs Farooq Mitha added. “Our military depends on small businesses that bring innovation and agility to support DoD’s mission. From providing critical component parts, to cutting edge software platforms, to essential services, small businesses provide support across nearly the entirety of the Department of Defense.”
As part of DoD’s efforts to strengthen support of small businesses, this strategy focuses on stepping up engagement with industry, including providing more tools and resources. This engagement and training effort will be facilitated by the Department’s 96 APEX Accelerators located across the country, formerly known as the Procurement Technical Assistance Centers, which serve as a resource for small businesses to increase their readiness, help them find opportunities to do business with the Department and accelerate their insertion into the defense marketplace.
The Office of Small Business Programs encourages those interested in working with DoD to read a “Guide to Marketing to DoD” here.
The Small Business Strategy can be found here.