THRIVEFROM THE EDITOR ROBIN MCDOUGAL VICE-CHAIR, NVBCC EDITOR IN CHIEF
Today's Government Contracting arena is a community of professionals who are experts, practitioners, and consultants. State and local contracts and bids are important sales opportunities for small businesses to generate revenue. If it fits into your strategic business plan, you may want to take advantage of state and federal government contracting and bidding opportunities,
In 2023, I plan to complete my SWaM (Small, Women-owned, and Minority-owned Business) and WEBENC (Women Business Enterprise National Council) certifications. I invite you to join me on my journey as I put my company, e-GLAM, Inc. in the stream of opportunity.
THRIVE Magazine's October issue is focused on the nuances of Government Contracting and the certifications necessary to compete in the federal and local bidding arena. The Northern Virginia Black Chamber of Commerce has numerous experts and resources to launch your GovCon journey. We invite you to take a moment to browse our publication as you chart your 2023 business goals. Let us know how we can assist you and what resources you might need to
“"I believe in destiny. But I also believe that you can’t just sit back and let destiny happen."
UPSLOPE ADVISORS WIN!
The GovCon world has another winner. Congratulations to Aaron Kelley for expanding his business
SPEAKING GOVCON LANGUAGE
If you are new to the land of Government Contracting, then take a moment to learn the language
Are you considering jumping into the world of Government Contracting? Then take a moment to consider some important facts.
NVBCC has launched the New Ambassador program.
THE MEAL PREP INDUSTRY OPEN & READY
The meal prep business is growing and has room for more entrepreneurs.
THE TEAM OF PEOPLE WHO WILL MAKE YOUR OPERATION PURR IS THE KEY TO SUCCESS . THE TEAM CAN INCLUDE PARTNERS , EMPLOYEES , CONTRACTORS AND CONSULTANTS
Leaders Who THRIVE!
Michelle has more than 25 years in the financial service industry with expertise in lending, investments, and insurance. She also has expertise in planning for families who have a family member with a special need. Making financial lives better is at the core of her commitment to her clients.
Michelle has several interests. She currently serves as the Chair and Supervisor Walkinshaw appointee on the Fairfax County Community Action Advisory Board, which acts as an advisory board to the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors advocating for the low income in the county.
Michelle Jefferson also severs as a Board of Director and the Advocacy Chair for the Northern Virginia Black Chamber of Commerce. Michelle previously served on the boards for SPARC specially Adapted Resource Clubs (SPARC) which provides dynamic, enduring learning opportunities for adults with life-long disabilities in a natural community setting and the Mortgage Bankers Association.
Michelle spends her spare time reading, singing, volunteering for charities and most importantly spending time with her family.MichelleJefferson FinancialServiceProfessional NorthernVirginiaBlackChamberofCommerce AdvocacyChair
Leaders Who THRIVE!
Aaron Kelley is the president of UpSlope Advisors, Inc, founded in 2016 as an 8(A) professional engineering federal contracting firm that provides mission-first IT and INTelligence solutions. Under his guidance, UpSlope’s revenue and size tripled over the last three years and more importantly has made UpSlope an example/blueprint for people that “look like him” who want to succeed in GovCon.
Before UpSlope, Aaron spent 15+ years providing subject matter expertise in test engineering, system engineering, and program management for a variety of government customers.
Geospatial: Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI), United States
Geospatial Intelligence Foundation (USGIF), Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC), FedGeoDay, and the Open Street Map (OSM) US Government Committee
Capital Region Minority Supplier Development Council (CRMSDC), Small and Emerging Contractors Advisory Forum (SECAF), Capital Business Development Association (CBDA), and Arlington Chamber of Commerce
He is the co-chair of the newly established USGIF Diversity and Inclusive working group. He is also a frequent speaker at conferences and events spanning industry, defense, and intelligence circles.AaronKelley NorthernVirginiaBlackChamberofCommerce BoardMember
The U.S. Small Busines Administration (SBA) awarded UpSlope Advisors its largest prime contract to date, a multiyear award to provide 30 fulltime customer service personnel to operate SBA’s Office of the Executive Secretariat call center.
UpSlope is an 8(A), minority-owned, professional engineering services company that provides expert mission-first technical and programmatic support and solutions for the US intelligence community, the US Department of Defense, and other governmental agencies. UpSlope will provide multi-tier customer service for SBA clients and small businesses, including answering and managing correspondence received from the SBA White House portal, congressional offices, lenders, borrowers, and local/state/federal agencies. This SBA contract award continues the tremendous growth of Upslope Advisors in 2022 (#YearofUpslope), with one prime and five subcontracts so far.
At the helm is NVBCC Board member Aaron Kelley who believes, "We are a Mission-First/People-First Company. We make our employees our number one priority."
OutsideofUpSlope,Aaronisahusbandtoan awe-inspiringqueen(Maya),afatheroftwo phenomenalchildren,aGeospatialAdvocate, aGOVCONsmallbusinesschampion,anda changecrusader.Aaron’smottois“Livingthe dream.”Heunderstandsnothingis guaranteed;hewillcontinuetolivehislifeand runhisbusinessastheblessingsthatthey are!!!
“All business is personal… Make your friends before you need them.”
— Robert L. Johnson
GOVERNMENT CONTRACTING FACTS
A government contractor is a private company that produces goods and services for public government agencies (State & Federal Government)
The US federal government is the single largest buyer. The federal government issues government contracts and bids through the US General Services Administration (GSA). GSA buys billions of dollars worth of products and services for federal government agencies through contract vehicles.
Federal Small Business Administration (SBA) Mission statement
The Office of Government and General Contracting's mission is to help enhance the effectiveness of small business programs by working with Government Contracting and Business Development program offices and others to develop policies, regulations, and statutory changes.
The Office of Government Contracting & Business Development (GC & BD) works to create an environment for maximum participation by small, disadvantaged, and woman-owned businesses in federal government contract awards and large prime subcontract awards. GC advocates on behalf of small businesses in the federal procurement world. Each year, our government spends billions of dollars in goods and services purchases from private firms.
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) negotiates the goals annually with each federal agency on an individual basis. Currently, the overall small business goal is 23%. This includes the specific goals of 5% to Women-Owned Small Businesses (WOSB), 3% to servicedisabled veterans, 5% to small disadvantaged businesses, and 3% to HUBZone firms.
Under the Small Business Act, federal agencies conduct a variety of procurements that are reserved exclusively for small business participation. These transactions are called "small business set-asides"
For all procurement actions expected to exceed the $100,000 simplified acquisition threshold, prime contractors are required to make a "best effort" attempt to make use of small, disadvantaged, and women-owned small businesses as subcontractors if the opportunity exists under the contract.
For procurement actions expected to exceed $550,000 ($1 million for construction), the winning contractor is required to provide the agency contracting officer with a written plan that establishes a small business subcontracting goal. The plan details how the winning contractor will make use of small business in each subcontract category and provide for timely payments.
GC & BD administers several programs and services that assist small businesses in meeting the requirements to receive government contracts, either as prime contractors or subcontractors. These include the Certificate of Competency, the NonManufacturer Rule Waiver, and the Size Determination programs.
The office also oversees special initiatives such as the Women's Procurement program, the Veterans Procurement program, and the Procurement Awards program, and the Annual Joint Industry/SBA Procurement Conference. GC & BD also plays a major role in the formulation of federal procurement policies that affect small businesses.
GSA is an advocate for small, small disadvantaged, women-owned, HUBZone (Historically Underutilized Business Zone), veteran, and service-disabled veteranowned businesses. Some small business programs also have "set-asides" under which certain contracts are reserved for competition among small or small disadvantaged businesses.
Many small businesses fail to take advantage of these government contracting and bidding opportunities, due to a lack of understanding of the state and local government procurement processes. Knowing how to market and sell to state and local government agencies will help you turn these government procurement opportunities into profitable businesses for your company. Find RFP Start with General Services Administration
The Certification Division is responsible for the administration of Virginia’s business certification programs. Its mission is to ensure only bona fide Small, Woman-owned, and Minority-owned Businesses (SWaM), Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBE), and Employment Services Organizations (ESO) are certified to participate in Virginia’s specialized procurement and contracting opportunities. The Division has three units: SWaM Certification, DBE Certification, and Transportation Business Development Assistance.Step by Step Tutorial of the SWaM Application Process
WBENC Certification is considered the gold standard for women-owned business certification and is accepted by more than 1,000 corporations, in addition to some states, cities, and other entities. WBENC is also an approved third-party certifier for the SBA’s WomenOwned Small Business (WOSB) Federal Contracting Program
Through certification, women-owned businesses gain access to a vast network of support, including targeted business opportunities for certified women-owned firms, increased visibility in corporate and government supply chains, education and development programs to spur growth and increase capacity, and networking and mentorship opportunities with thousands of women entrepreneurs and those who support them.
WBENC Certification validates that a business is at least 51 percent owned, controlled, operated, and managed by a woman or women. This means one or more women must have unrestricted control of the business, a demonstrated management of day-to-day operations, and a proportionate investment of capital or expertise. To become certified, business owners undergo a thorough vetting process, including a review of business documentation and a site visit. Source; WBENCGOVERNMENT
GOVERNMENT CONTRACTING TERMS & DEFINITIONS
Whentryingtoobtaincontracts withinthefederalgovernment, adjustingtothevocabularyusedin GovernmentContractingcanseem likelearningaforeignlanguage.You mayfindthatsometermsand acronymsarenotfrequentlyusedin theprivatesector.
Becomingfamiliarwiththefrequently usedwordsandphraseswillhelp companieswinfederalgovernment contractsfaster.Includedisalistof introductorytermsthatwillhelpany newbusinessgetstartedwith governmentcontracting.
8(a)Program: The8(a)Programwascreatedin 1974 to help minority and other small disadvantaged businesses (SDBs) to grow through a program of federal contracting preferences and set-asides. Through the 8(a) Program, eligible firms can be awarded government contracts on a sole-source, noncompetitivebasis.Theprogramisnamedfor the section of the Small Business Act that authorizesitspoliciesandprocedures.
Acceptance: The act of an authorized governmentrepresentative(buyer)bywhichthe government assents to ownership of existing and identified supplies or approves specific services rendered, as partial or complete performanceofacontract.
Acquisition:Supplementstothebidorproposal form as originally issued, covering additions, corrections,orchangesinthebiddingconditions for the advertised work. Addenda are issued to prospective bidders prior to the date set for openingofproposals.
Affiliates: AccordingtotheSBA,affiliationexists whenonebusinesscontrolsorhasthepowerto controlanotherorwhenathirdparty(orparties) controls or has the power to control both businesses. Control may arise through ownership, management, or other relationships orinteractionsbetweentheparties.
Amendment: A change to a solicitation before contractaward.
Award:Anymechanism,signedbyacontracting officer, providing government funds or other resourcestoanofferorthatpermitsexpenditure of such government funds or use of such governmentresources.
Basic Ordering Agreement (BOA): A Basic Ordering Agreement is a written instrument of understanding, negotiated between an agency, contracting activity, or contracting office and a contractor, that contains (1) terms and clauses applying to future contracts (orders) between the parties during its term, (2) a description, as specificaspracticable,ofsuppliesorservicesto beprovided,and(3)methodsforpricing,issuing, and delivering future orders under the basic ordering agreement. A basic ordering agreementisnotacontract.
Bestvalue:Aprocurementsystemthatlooksat factorsotherthanonlyprice,suchasqualityand expertise,whenselectingvendorsorcontractors.
Bid:Anoffertoperformtheworkdescribedina contract at a specified cost. Government bids aregenerallycost-specific,basedonthecostof labor, materials, profit, and overhead. Bids are normally not negotiated and cannot be changedonceacceptedbytheowner.Bidsare time sensitive and are generally good for 30 to 60daysafterthebidopening.
CAGE Code: The Commercial and Government Entity(CAGE)codeisafive-characterIDnumber used extensively within the Federal government and administered by Defense Logistics InformationService(DLIS).
Capability Statement: A one or two page document summarizing a company’s background, certifications, experience, capabilities, expertise, past performance and containingpertinentcodessuchasDUNS,CAGE, etc.
CertificateofCompetency: A certificate issued by the Small Business Administration (SBA) statingthattheholderis"responsible"(interms of capability, competency, capacity, credit, integrity, perseverance, and tenacity) for the purpose of receiving and performing a specific governmentcontract.
Certified8(a)Firm:Afirmownedandoperated by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals and eligible to receive federal contracts under the Small Business Administration’s 8(a) Business Development Program.
ContractingOfficer:Apersonwiththeauthority to enter into, administer, and/or terminate contractsandmakerelateddeterminationsand findings. The term includes certain authorized representativesofthecontractingofficeracting within the limits of their authority as delegated bythecontractingofficer.
Cooperative Agreement: An assistance instrument used when substantial involvement isanticipatedbetweentheFederalgovernment and the state or local government or other recipient during performance of the contemplatedactivity.
Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS)
Number:The9-digitnumberassignedbyDunand Bradstreet, Inc. (D&B), to identify unique business entities,whichisusedastheidentificationnumber forFederalcontractors.
Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE): An independentsmallbusinessenterprisewhichisat leastfifty-onepercent(51%)ownedandcontrolled by one or more socially and/or economically disadvantaged individuals, or in the case of any publiclyownedbusiness,atleastfifty-onepercent (51%)ofthestockofwhichisownedbyoneormore socially and economically disadvantaged individuals; and whose management and daily businessoperationsarecontrolledbyoneormore of the socially and economically disadvantaged individualswhoownit.
HUBZone:Ahistoricallyunderutilizedbusinesszone thatisanarealocatedwithinoneormorequalified census tracts, qualified nonmetropolitan counties, lands within the external boundaries of an Indian reservation, qualified base closure areas, or redesignated areas. HUBZone is granted based on Median Household Income (MHI) and UnemploymentRate(UR)thresholds.
Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity Contracts (ID/IQ): Atypeofcontractinwhichtheexactdate of delivery or the exact quantity are not specified untiladeliveryortaskorderisissued.
Procurement:Theproceduresforobtaininggoods or services, including all activities from the planningstepsandpreparationandprocessingof a requisition, through receipt and acceptance of delivery and processing of a final invoice for payment.
Request for Proposals (RFP): All documents, whether attached or incorporated by reference, utilizedforsolicitingproposals;thegovernmentRFP process usually requires negotiation with offerers as distinguished from competitive bidding when usinganinvitationforbids.
RequestforQuotation(RFQ):Atypeofsolicitation used typically with small-dollar contracts or purchases,butmaybeusedforcommercialitems uptoanagency'sprescribeddollarlimit.Theyare typically used to obtain pricing for a specific numberofwell-defineditems.
Statement of Work (SOW): That portion of the contract that clearly and concisely defines requirements of the specific work to be accomplished. Statements of work are individually tailored to consider the period of performance, deliverableitems,ifany,andthedesireddegreeof performance flexibility. In the case of task-order contracts, the statement of work for the basic contract only defines the scope of the overall contractingeneralterms.Thestatementofworkfor each task order must articulate the specific requirement.
Subcontract: An agreement between a prime or general contractor and a subcontractor or subconsultantfortheexecutionofaportionofthe contractualobligationoftheprimecontracttothe owner.
Veteran-OwnedSmallBusinessConcern: A small business concern—(1) Not less than 51 percent of which is owned by one or more veterans (as defined at 38 U.S.C. 101(2)) or, in the case of any publiclyownedbusiness,notlessthan51percentof the stock of which is owned by one or more veterans; and (2) The management and daily businessoperationsofwhicharecontrolledbyone ormoreveterans.
Women-OwnedSmallBusiness(WOSB)Program: (1)“Women-OwnedSmallBusinessProgram(WOSB Program)” means a program that authorizes contractingofficerstolimitcompetitionto— (i) Eligible economically disadvantaged womenowned small business concerns for Federal contracts assigned a North American Industry ClassificationSystems(NAICS)codeinanindustry in which the Small Business Administration (SBA) has determined that WOSB concerns are underrepresentedinFederalprocurement.
"I’m inspired every time I meet an entrepreneur who is succeeding against all odds"
— Cyril Ramaphosa
Equity in Federal Contracting
(SDBs).Thecurrentgovernment targetisthat5percentofall procurementshouldgotoSDBs— acategoryunderFederallawfor whichfirmsownedbyracialand ethnicminorities,economically disadvantagedpersons,and peoplewhocanprovide evidenceofindividualsocial disadvantagearepresumedto qualify.Thisiswhatmakes governmentcontractingso desirabletomanybusiness owners.
Morerecently,theBiden-Harris Administrationhassetan ambitiousgoaltoincreasethe shareofprocurementdollarsgoing ,from10percentto 15percent,byFY2025.The Administrationhasalsoputin placeaprocessforreviewinggoals forallunderrepresented categories,includingforwomenownedsmallbusinessesand service-disabledveteran-owned smallbusinesses.Censusdataon businessownershiprevealgeneral patternsofunderrepresentationby race,gender,andregion,which mayfeedintothemake-upof Federalprocurementspending. WhiteandAsianbusinessowners makeupagreaterproportionof businessownersthantheir respectivepopulationshares.
Meanwhile,Black,Hispanic, AmericanIndianandNative Alaskan(AIAN)businessowners areunderrepresentedrelativeto theirpopulationshare.Woman businessownersandthosein ruralcountiesarelikewise underrepresented.
Basedonthenewdatarevealed, nowandtheupcomingyearsare anexcellenttimetobecomea GovernmentContractor.New goalsandopportunitiescan affectbusinessownershipwhich mayclosetheracialwealthgap. Theimprovementin procurementrulesisboundto haveanotableimpactonthose oftenunderrepresentedinthe marketplace.
Today, I will
Become a MemberVictor Hoskins, President & CEO
The Northern Virginia Black Chamber of Commerce (NVBCC) is unique among networking groups targeting black-owned businesses. The Chamber connects members to companies, fellow entrepreneurs, public and private lenders, and others who can help them advance their businesses. We inform key stakeholders about the economic, legal policy, social, cultural, and other factors that impact black-owned businesses. email@example.com or Call 703.442.4472.Fairfax Economic Development Authority Michelle Jefferson, NVBCC Board of Directors
Old-fashioned skillet cornbread
Cornbread is a tradition with my family in the fall and winter months for all our bean and collard green dishes. We use the left-overs to make cornbread stuffing for the holidays.
1 cup masa harina (finely ground corn flour used to make tortillas) (organic & GMO-FREE)
1 cup golden polenta (organic & GMO-FREE)
2 cups buttermilk (organic & GMO-FREE)
2 pasture-raised eggs (organic)
1 teaspoon baking soda (organic & GMO-FREE)
1/4 3 2
teaspoon cream of tartar (organic) tablespoons raw honey (organic & GMO-FREE) tablespoons unsalted butter (organic & GMO-FREE)
• Preheat oven to 350˚F
• Measure out all dry ingredients and shift into a large mixing bowl.
• Incorporate milk, eggs and honey into a pour-glass measuring cup and mix thoroughly.
• Then melt the butter in an 8-inch cast-iron pan.
• While the butter is melting, mix the wet ingredients into the wet ingredients, resist the urge to over mix! (It will make your cornbread tough and dry.)
• Once the butter is melted pour the batter into the cast-iron pan and place into the oven for 18-20 minutes.
• Cut into 8 pie-like slices
• Serve warm with your favorite bean dish or chili.
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 35-40 minutes
Serving size: 1 slice
Adapted by Jocelyn Johnson from a family recipe by Rosie Johnson.
PAGE 8 Pinch Himalayan pink salt (finely ground)
HOLIDAY OYSTER STUFFING
MY FAMILY’S STAPLE SIDE-DISH FOR THE HOLIDAYS IS CORNBREAD STUFFING WITH FRESH OYSTERS. THE OYSTERS GIVE THE STUFFING A MOISTNESS WITHOUT THE FISHY TASTE. IT DOESN’T LAST LONG!
1 SKILLET OF CORNBREAD (ABOUT 4-LOOSELY PACKED DRY CUPS)
5 SLICES BRIOCHE BREAD (SMALL-CUBED AND TOASTED) (ORGANIC)
1 MEDIUM YELLOW ONION (FINELY-DICED) (ORGANIC)
3 CELERY STALKS (FINELY-DICED) (ORGANIC)
2 TABLESPOONS UNSALTED BUTTER (ORGANIC & GMO-FREE)
1 LARGE CARROT (FINELY-GRATED) (ORGANIC)
2 TEASPOON DRY SAGE (POWDERED) (ORGANIC)
½ TEASPOON DRY SAVORY (POWDERED) (ORGANIC)
10-OUNCES FRESH RAW OYSTERS (FINELY-MINCED)
¾ CUP TURKEY BROTH (ORGANIC)
2 TABLESPOONS UNSALTED BUTTER (ORGANIC & GMO-FREE)
1 TEASPOON HIMALAYAN PINK SALT
• PREHEAT OVEN TO 350 ˚F.
• MAKE THE SKILLET CORNBREAD AHEAD. THEN CUBE THE BRIOCHE BREAD AND TOAST IN THE OVEN ON 350 ˚F.
• SAUTE THE ONIONS AND CELERY IN BUTTER UNTIL SOFT.
• IN A LARGE MIXING BOWL ADD ALL THE DRY INGREDIENTS (CORNBREAD, BRIOCHE CUBES, ONION, CELERY, CARROT, SAGE, SAVORY, AND MINCED-OYSTERS, AND SALT), STIR, THEN ADD BROTH UNTIL WET. ADD MORE IF NECESSARY.
• PLACE IN A BAKING DISH AND PLACE IN THE OVEN FOR 25 MINUTES COVERED WITH A PIECE OF ALUMINUM FOIL. THEN REMOVE THE FOIL AND ALLOW THE TOP OF THE STUFFING TO BROWN FOR 5 MINUTES.
• REMOVE FROM OVEN ALLOW TO COOL AND SERVE WARM
PREP TIME: 15 MINUTES
COOK TIME: 30 MINUTES
SERVING SIZE: 2-4 TABLESPOONS OR 4-OUNCES.
Friday, October 7, 2022 (11:30 AM - 1:00 PM) (EDT)
NVBCC Leadership and GovCon Committee chairs invite you to tune in to our Empowering your GovCon Footprint workshop series.
Carlen Capenos serves as the Director of the Office of Small Business Programs for the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA). She is responsible for ensuring small businesses are provided with maximum opportunities to participate at both the prime contract and subcontract levels. In fiscal year 2021, DISA awarded more than $1.6 billion in prime contracts to small
Workshop goals are to increase NVBCC membership traction in the GovCon arena by providing support, education, assistance, and opportunities for our members. Meetings are open and we encourage all to attend sessions that best meet your business needs.
This month, the Northern Virginia Black Chamber of Commerce (NVBCC) has launched an Ambassador Program to network and connect Black-owned businesses in the region. Chamber members can join this initiative, and serve NVBCC businesses, and fellow entrepreneurs. Ambassadors participate in quarterly committee meetings, Chamber events, networking socials, and Chamber recruitment efforts. Volunteer commitment includes private Ambassador training and approximately two hours of volunteer time monthly.
"The mission of NVBCC is to create an environment where Black Owned businesses in Northern Virginia can thrive. It was a pleasure to learn more about your business, the needs you have to expand your business, and simply have a great time bringing our community together. We look forward to future collaboration and building our relationships."
Neil McKinnon, NVBCC Ambassador, Sponsor
GROCERY DELIVERY, MEAL PREP KITS, ORGROCERY DELIVERY, MEAL PREP KITS, OR PREPARED MEALS: WHICH IS THE BEST CHOICEPREPARED MEALS: WHICH IS THE BEST CHOICE FOR YOU AND YOUR FAMILY?FOR YOU AND YOUR FAMILY?By Jocelyn Johnson, MSN, CNS, LDN
AI get this very question from my nutrition clients.Unfortunately,mostofusaresuper busy with little free time for self-care. So, I decided to deep dive into the options availableintheNorthernVirginiaarea.
With grocery delivery, you can choose your groceries from an online platform like Whole foods, Instacart, or UberEats. There areaffordableoptionsformosthouseholds; deliveryfeesrangefrom$1-8.49andupper delivery. The well-known grocery delivery services require you to sign up for the service. Whole Foods and Instacart have annual memberships that renew yearly. CompanieslikeImperfectfoodsandMistfits market don’t require a membership, and these companies focus on keeping food waste out of our landfills. They take ugly fruit and vegetables to a new level. These food delivery companies offer conventionally grown organic produce, meat products, and other pre-packaged foodslikesnacksandpre-mademeals.
Next on the list is meal-prep kits from Hellofresh, Home Chef, Blue Apron, and Purple Carrot. These services allow you to makeyourownmealfromfreshingredients that take 30-40 minutes to prepare from start to finish. These meal-prep kits are a great option for families that like to cook together but don’t have the time to buy groceries and find the right recipe. In addition, meal-prep kits are a great way to allow the whole family to participate in the preparationoftheeveningmeal.
Lastly are the prepared meal delivery services. Before the pandemic, this type of food service providedhome-cookedmeals,takingthestressout of providing you and your family with healthy meals. However, there are several nationally known companies, such as Factor, Freshly, and Purple Carrot, to name a few. They offer the gambit from keto to vegan. In addition, they give you their philosophy about procurement of their ingredients, such as being organic and GMO-free, ontheirwebsites.
I did take my search one step further and looked for local food delivery services that are blackowned. And I found one. YAY! Sauce is located in the nation’s capital and was founded by chef Jess Swift in 2011. Sauce offers a variety of meals, including breakfast, appetizers, lunch, and dinner options. Currently, they deliver to sites within the cityofWashington,DC.Butyoucanscheduleapick at their location at 5514 Colorado Avenue, Washington, DC 20011. For those not in the DMV, here are a few black-owned prepared foods delivery companies that deliver in their local area: FirstBatchvegansoulfood,MealZacCatering,and Chantel’s Catering, located in NYC. Lastly, Global VillageFoods, located in Vermont (these foods are sold in 3 co-ops in New Hampshire and Massachusetts), is a unique food service that prepares
dishes from Kenya and other African nations thatarefreeofallergenslikenuts,dairy,eggs, and even fish. Perhaps you’ll be traveling to their city in the future. If you do, make it a pointtolookthemupandorderameal!
Itsurprisedmethatthereweren’tmoreblackowned food delivery companies delivering more home-cooked meals in our area. But, I supposewithfooddeliveryappslikeUberEats, Grubhub, and Doordash, the home-cook preparing fried fish or spaghetti plates are a thingofthepast.
Are you interested in starting a prepared foodsbusinessinyourhome?Doyouwantto sellatyourlocalfarmer’smarket?Therearea few things you must investigate before you start. First, what type of food are you interested in preparing and selling? Next, you will need to investigate the cottage laws in your state or commonwealth. These laws are put in place to ensure that anyone that eats your yummy offerings doesn’t acquire a foodborneillness.
Generally, baked goods are considered safe as long as they are individually packaged. However, suppose you want to sellyouraunty’sinfamousblack-eyedpeas or your grandmother’s delectable side dishes for the holidays. In that case, you may have to go through a home kitchen inspection. To learn more about the cottage laws that pertain to you in your state,visittheCottagefoodlawswebsite.
Formyfamily,I’mapurist.Igenuinelylove to choose my fruits, vegetables, and meat products. I prefer to go to my local growerstoseetheland.I’malwayslooking for the weeds and the grass growing betweentherowsofvegetables.Thattells me that these farmers aren’t using herbicidesandpesticidesontheircropsor soil.
Cook, Eat, & Love
LOCAL, STATE, & FEDERAL CONTRACTING...WHICH IS BEST FOR YOUR BUSINESS
Making the decision to begin bidding on government contracts is a big one. This decision can propel your business into a newarena.Butpriortomakingthatstep, youmustfirstdetermineifyouwanttobid on state, local, or federal contracts. You may first think you want to go where the money is but it’s best to consider a few things prior to jumping with both feet to federalcontracts.Hereareafewthingsa smallbusinessownershouldconsider.
1.Asabusinessowner,howmuchwork can your business take on? With federal contractscomesmoreresponsibilitiesand more work. Is your business currently prepared to take on this type of responsibility?Areyouinapositiontotake on the added employees and administrative burdens associated with this type of contract? Some local government contracts can provide opportunitieswithlessworkorresources necessary; however, with less work comes fewer financial advantages. Each businessmustmakethedecisionofwhich type of contracting opportunity their company is ready and willing to take on based on the resources they have available.
2. Have you registered your business in your local government contracting system?Moststateandlocalgovernments havesystemswhereyoucanregisteryour business to see their contracting opportunities. Virginia’s system is eVA, which is Virginia’s Procurement Marketplacewherevendorscanregisterto bidonstatecontractingopportunities.
3. Have you registered your business in SAM? The System for Award Management (SAM.gov) is an official website of the U.S. Government. This is where businesses go to Register to do business with the U.S. Government, update,renew,orcheckthestatusoftheir entity registration, and many other contract-relatedactivities.
4.Hasyourbusinessbecomecertifiedfor any state or federal set-asides? To help provide a level playing field for small businesses, the government limits competition for certain contracts to small businesses. Those contracts are called “small business set-asides,” and they help small businesses compete for and win government contracts. State and the federal government have different setasides, so you will have to gain certification for set-asides separately. Please follow the guidelines set up by each entity to determine what the requirementsmaybe.
5. How do you plan to submit proposals? Ensure you have a plan for submitting proposals. Will you be writing your own proposals, or will you source proposal writing outside of your organization? Preparingproposalscanbetime-consuming and tedious but must be done correctly to ensureyouhavecheckedalltheboxesand are providing all the information needed to guaranteeyourproposalwillbeconsidered.
Once you have answered these questions, youarewellonyourwayinthegovernment contractingworld.Manybusinessesfindthey arewellpreparedtocontractwiththelocal, state, and federal governments. They only needed to take the time to consider everythingtheyneededtogetstartedtotake full advantage of each opportunity. The Virginia Department of Small Business & Supplier Diversity can help any business withparticipationinitscertificationprograms. Tocertifyforfederalgovernmentset-asides, businesses should register with the US SmallBusinessAdministration
"Some local government contracts can provide opportunities with less work or resources necessary; however, with less work comes fewer financial advantages."
OCTOBER 6, 2022 10:00 AM - 12:30 PM
The Multicultural Chamber Alliance,formedbytheNorthern Virginia Black Chamber of Commerce, the Asian American Chamber of Commerce and the VA Hispanic Chamber of Commerceinvitesyoutoattend the2022CandidateForum.Come and hear the candidate's perspectives and goals for the communityofNorthernVirginia.
8th District - Karina Lipsman, Don Beyer and Teddy Fikre
10th District- Hung Cao 11th District- Jim Myles & Gerry Connolly
“Don’t let anyone convince you that your dream, your vision to be an entrepreneur, is something that you shouldn’t do" -Cathy Hughes