On September 23, the Small Business Administration announced the awardees of grants made by the agency under a pilot program designed to aid small business government contractors. The grant was authorized by the Small Business Jobs Act passed last Fall. The program is called the “Small Business Teaming Pilot Program”. Under the program, SBA is authorized to provide grants to organizations that will train, counsel and mentor small businesses interested in competing for federal contracts. In particular, the funds distributed by SBA will be used to assist small business contractors to team with one another for larger federal procurements. These teaming relationships may be in the form of a prime/subcontractor relationship or a joint venture. Recipients of the grants will help with the formation and execution of teaming arrangements, identify larger contract opportunities and aid small business teams in bidding on these opportunities. SBA considers “larger federal procurements” to be those where the total value of the contract (including options) exceeds half of the size standard corresponding to the NAICS code assigned to the contract or, in the case of an employee-based size standard, exceeds $10 million. This is the same test applicable to the affiliation exemption for small business joint ventures.
SBA received more than 300 applications but made only 11 grant awards. The majority of the awards were for about $500,000 but the term of each grant is for a base project period of one year, with four one year options. Thus, if each grantee has its grant renewed, the amount funded through each organization could reach $2.5 million. The list of grantees is, for the most part, not surprising and includes primarily community economic development foundations. There is one unusual grantee – Raytheon. You can find the full list here.