SmallBizTrends.com just published an article indicating that there is “good news and bad news when it comes to small businesses and government contracting.”
The good news is that According to the SBA’s fourth annual small business Procurement Scorecard, small businesses got a record number of federal contracting dollars in 2009. But the bad news is that the SBA is still not reaching its goals in giving money to small businesses.
Really, however, the bad news is good news, because according to the smallbiztrends.com article, the SBA has “said it will do more to unbundle big contracts into separate, smaller ones that are easier to award to small companies.”
Why isn’t the SBA meeting its goals?
I think this is probably a mixture of two complexities.
On the one hand, the SBA and big-construction firms are so used to working together, that it’s so easy for the SBA to coordinate with those outfits, and too complicated to do the extra work to reach out to and work with small businesses.
On the other hand, small firms aren’t used to getting federal work, and so the process of applying for this work is quite complicated for them as well. As one commentator stated to the smallbiztrends.com article:
With all the red tape associated with getting a government contract I’m surprised that small businesses are even taking on the challenge. What the government needs to do is make the process easier.
Resources To Help You Get and Comply Federal Projects
So, if there is so much federal money out there…how exactly do you get your hands on some of it and successfuly bid on federal work? And what regulations must you know when performing?
Over the years, we’ve posted a good deal about federal contracting on the Construction Law Monitor. Here is a highlight of some of our posts that can help you in getting and making money on a federal project.
The Stimulus and Your Construction Business: After the stimulus package was first announced, we posted explaining the differences between private and public work, and described the process of bidding on and getting federal work. It’s good information still today.
E-Verify!: If you work on a federal project, you must use e-Verify to check the social security numbers of your employees. This is quite controversial in our immigration-sensitive society. But, regardless, if you’re doing work on a federal project, it’s crucial you comply.
Prevailing Wages: If you work on a federal project, you must comply with federal labor laws (including the Davis Bacon Act). If you don’t, you’ll be confronted with harsh financial and non-financial penalties from the US Department of Labor, and you don’t want that.
The Miller Act: Finally, if you’re doing federal work, you want to get paid. Unlike on private projects, you cannot file an ordinary mechanics lien. Instead, you must make a Miller Act Claim against the bond. We’ve written a number of articles on the Miller Act to give you the need-to-know-information.
Finally, a great general resource: Federal Construction Contracting Blog.