The Office of Small & Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU) is the first point-of-contact for minority entrepreneurs seeking to sell their products or services to a federal agency. OSDBU officers can orient suppliers and alert them to contracting opportunities. T.J. Garcia, director of the OSDBU at the commerce department, recommends that suppliers first get on the general services administration (GSA) schedule, a popular program in which companies register and state their prices for specific products or services. Managers then buy those products or services without negotiating prices. "The OSDBU can guide and direct [companies] to get on the schedule," says Mr. Garcia. "Of course, they still have to solicit business and conduct their own marketing. It's important to get to know an organization before soliciting. They should do a little homework – visit the Web site, review [the agency's] strategic plan, and see where their products or services fit into the purpose of the agency." According to the Small Business Administration (SBA), suppliers should take cues on how and where to market themselves by looking at agency procurement forecasts. Federal law requires agencies to publish what they expect to buy for the coming fiscal year, and the SBA puts these forecasts online at www.sba.gov/gc/forecast.html. The SBA also advises would-be contractors to register for the 8(a) business development program for minority suppliers, and that they take advantage of OSDBUs in targeted agencies to help in their marketing efforts. The following directory of OSDBUs provides contact information and Web addresses for federal agencies. All OSDBUs on the directory were contacted by Hispanic Business to confirm their status and contact information. AGRICULTURE DEPARTMENT www.usda.gov OSDBU James House, Director 1400 Independence Ave., SW South Building, #1566 AG STOP 9501 Washington, DC 20250 (202) 720-7117 Fax: (202) 720-3001 www.usda.gov/OSDBU COMMERCE DEPARTMENT www.doc.gov OSDBU Tlaloc J. Garcia, Director 14th & Constitution Ave., NW Room H6411 Washington, DC 20230 (202) 482-1472 Fax: (202) 482-0501 www.doc.gov/OSDBU DEFENSE DEPARTMENT www.acq.osd.mil Defense Logistics Agency Thomas D. Ray, Director OSDBU 8725 John J. Kingman Rd. DB, #1127 Fort Belvoir, VA 22060-6221 (703) 767-1661 Fax: (703) 767-1670 www.dla.mil Department of the Air Force Joseph Diamond, Director OSDBU 1060 Air Force Pentagon, #5E271 Washington, DC 20330 (703) 696-1103 Fax: (703) 696-1170 www.selltoairforce.org Department of the Army Tracy L. Pinson, Director OSDBU 106 Army Pentagon, #2A712 Washington, DC 20310-0106 (703) 697-2868 Fax: (703) 693-3898 www.selltoarmy.org Department of the Navy Nancy Tarrant, Director OSDBU 720 Kennon St., SE, #207 Washington Navy Yard, DC 20374 (202) 685-6485 Fax: (202) 685-6965 www.hq.navy.mil/sadbu OSDBU Frank Ramos 1777 N. Kent St., #9100 Arlington, VA 22209 (703) 588-8620 Fax: (703) 588-7561 www.acq.osd.mil/sadbu
In Federal Eyes, What Makes a "Small Business"?
Under federal regulations, the definition of a "small business" depends on many factors, including the company's industry, its number of employees, and its revenues. Now the Justice Department plans to look at how the definitions affect contracting set aside by Congress for the small-business sector.