For a vendor, being certified as a small business, MWBE, VBE or other special designation has many benefits when it comes to bidding on government contracts. When a government agency posts a bid, they are obliged to award 23% of all contracting dollars to small businesses; in addition, they have award sub-goals that they must meet for each small business category. For example, women-owned and small disadvantaged businesses must each be awarded 5% of a contract’s total dollar value, while Service Disabled Veteran-owned and HUBZone businesses must each be awarded 3% of the total contract.
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For vendors who are just beginning to work in the public sector, the government contract process can be confusing. Bidding on government contracts involves navigating many unknowns and requires vendors to find out which agencies are posting bids, what types of products and services they are looking for, and the conditions that apply to awarded contracts. Members of BidNet can make this process easier by spending time in the Bid Library, which provides vendors with detailed information about closed contracts.
If you’re looking to get involved with federal contracting, one area where you may want to look for opportunities is with NASA, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Not only does NASA post thousands of bid opportunities every year, they are also very involved in helping small businesses and MWBEs/VBEs pursue contracts with their organization.
Happy 100th Birthday National Park Service! How Vendors Can Help Maintain National Parks for Another One Hundred Years Through Government Bidding
August 25th, 2016 marks the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service (NPS). The NPS, a bureau of the United States Department of the Interior, is in charge of maintaining and protecting our national parks. The very first national park established in the U.S. was Yellowstone, which Congress declared to be a national park on March 1, 1872. Yellowstone is not only the first national park to be created in the United States; it is the first federally-sanctioned national park in the world.
There are a lot of different factors that go into preparing a bid proposal – labor costs, travel, materials, parts and maintenance all must be calculated and presented in the final proposal. Most agencies, when they post a bid, will break down the required aspects of a proposal so that vendors can factor in these elements to their cost projections for a project. For vendors that are new to bidding, writing a bid proposal can be confusing and time consuming, but having examples to go by it can help to make the process a bit easier. One recommended way to find relevant contract examples is to look at past bid documents and awards. By doing this, vendors can clarify exactly what an agency is looking for in a bid proposal while also determining what a fair price for their services might be.
The food and agriculture industry is a vital part of our modern lives. From the food we eat to the related products we buy from local farms and businesses, every person necessarily interacts with the agriculture sector on a daily basis; it is a big contributor to the national economy and our collective well being. Every year, the USDA obligates roughly $4.6 billion for products and services; of this, $510 million is allocated to government commercial purchase card transactions (also known as “P-Cards”, which allow agencies to go out and buy products directly from a source, without having to go through a formal bid process or enter into a contract). More than 55 percent of what the USDA buys every year involves procurement of food commodities by the Agricultural Marketing Service and the Kansas City Commodity Office of the Farm Service Agency.[i]
Emergency Management Programs: How the Government Can Help You Prepare and Recover When Disaster Strikes
Do you have a plan ready in case a disaster strikes? Whether they are natural or man-made, emergency situations can arise at a moment’s notice and dramatically alter the usual way you live or do business. Emergencies of all kinds occur in every type of environment, and though you may not have lived through anything catastrophic yet, that doesn’t mean that it can’t happen. If an emergency situation unfolded in your area, would you be able to handle it? Could your business survive an unpredictable turn of events? The answer to these questions depends on whether or not you have a robust disaster recovery plan prepared.
As one of the largest industries in the United States, the medical and healthcare sector is both a vital part of citizens’ daily lives and a major driver of the national economy. At one point or another, every single person living in the U.S. will require some sort of medical service, whether in the form of a doctor’s appointment, emergency hospital or ambulance services, a prescription for pharmaceuticals or the purchase of medical supplies. Because medical and healthcare services are so important to individuals and society, every year state and federal government departments collectively spend billions of dollars to procure services for those who require care.
When searching through available contract opportunities, you may notice that some bids say “Sole Source intended” in the title. These are what government agencies call ‘no-bid contracts’. Unlike Requests For Proposal, which similarly don’t require a formal bidding process but do call for multiple bids to be submitted, sole source or no-bid contracts are used to hire a vendor as quickly as possible for a specific job, without the need for a competitive bidding process.
Every year, the federal government spends trillions of dollars on millions of contracts throughout the nation: more than 3 million contracts were awarded in 2015. Because the federal government is in charge of distributing a massive pool of funds, they tend to have more money to spend on projects when compared with state and local agencies. This is why federal contracts can often be more lucrative than others for vendors. Like other government agencies, federal agencies spend their funds on a wide variety of products and services; however certain industries tend to produce more contract opportunities than others. One of the most popular categories for federal contracting is the aircraft and aviation sector.