Gulf Coast businesses get boost from GSA

A new directive from the General Services Administration will streamline the process for awarding recovery contracts to small businesses in the Gulf Coast region, the agency said today.

GSA Administrator Lurita Doan’s order allows contracting officers to give preference to local small businesses working to repair the area Hurricane Katrina devastated two years ago, GSA said. Instead of writing separate justifications for why the contract should go to a small business, the order provides a blanket validation to the companies. Justifications are required only when a contract would not go to a local business.

“Local small businesses are the backbone of every community,” Doan said in a statement. “Revitalizing the small businesses is one of the most significant ways we can aid in the recovery of the Gulf Coast region.”

The directive will remain in effect until the government no longer considers the region a major disaster area, GSA said.

During her visits to the Gulf Coast, Doan met with contracting officers, local officials and small-business owners. They told her GSA should make it faster and simpler to award government contracts for regional recovery efforts, GSA said.

Besides the new directive, GSA helped in other ways. It has held meetings in the region to connect local small businesses with subcontracting opportunities and enroll companies in the government’s programs for small and disadvantaged businesses. GSA has also helped firms get schedule contracts.

About the Author

Matthew Weigelt is a freelance journalist who writes about acquisition and procurement.

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