Homeland Security Today: How Does a Contractor Get Through the Mid-Tier Door – and Stay There?

“A GAO official said the agency’s recent report on the contract gap suffered by many small businesses that graduate to the mid-tier reflects a need for solutions to ensure that the system works for growing companies…”

“The August GAO report, which was the result of a bipartisan request from the House Small Business Committee, included no legislative recommendations, but offered suggestions under the categories of (1) establishing a set-aside for mid-sized businesses, (2) modifying the rules for multiple-award contracts, (3) changing how past performance is considered when evaluating bid proposals, and (4) modifying SBA’s size standards…”

“Defining a mid-sized businesses as having up to five times the revenue or employees as a standard small business (using multipliers from Small Business Administration standards), the GAO looked at 5,339 small businesses that were awarded set-aside contracts in 2008 and also received any kind of federal contract in 2013. Just 104 of the small businesses had grown to mid-sized by that point and continued to receive contracts…”

“’A very small percentage of small businesses grew to mid-sized and continued to receive any kind of contract,” Shear said. “…In a very basic way, it’s one of the most important things we found.’”

“GTSC CEO Kristina Tanasichuk, owner of HSToday, stressed that ‘mid-tier government contractors have a tough road.’”

“’We have been working with our members who are approaching, or have achieved, ‘other than small’ status with information, capacity building, and strategy sessions so that they prepare for the transition and ultimately succeed in the free and open market,’ she said. ‘Traditionally, many of the mid-tiers turn around and decide there are too many small business set-asides. Our Lion’s Den is working on helping them become more like systems integrators and developing partnerships with the qualified and talented small businesses in the Coalition…’”

“’We have also worked with the Department of Homeland Security to brief contracting officers on the challenges of mid-tier contracting,’ she continued. ‘We learned numerous important challenges from them when considering, or actually not considering, contractors of this size: 1) given there is no set-aside category for ‘mid-tier,’ most contracting officers do not think about them as a category; 2) there is perceived risk associated with selecting a mid-tier; and 3) there is little name recognition for most mid-tier companies. All of these factors hurt mid-tier opportunities to win contracts…’” Read the full article here.

Source: How Does a Contractor Get Through the Mid-Tier Door – and Stay There? – By Bridget Johnson, December 9, 2019. Homeland Security Today.


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