Given the urgency of the situation, arrangements needed to be managed quickly, efficiently and in accordance with the sometimes complicated rules and codes.
St. Petersburg, FL (PRWEB) November 03, 2011
US Federal Contractor Registration is now urging small businesses to complete registration for FEMA contracts immediately, rather than wait until disaster strikes.
A record number of declared disasters have struck the United States during 2011 and kept FEMA busy throughout the year – over 13,000 contracts have been awarded by the agency since January 2011, according to USASpending. These disasters have included a record number of tornadoes in Joplin, MO, an unexpected earthquake in Washington, DC, wildfires in Texas and an active hurricane season that produced Hurricane Irene, a historic tropical system that tore a path through the entire Eastern seaboard.
In order to qualify for FEMA contracts, businesses must obtain a DUNS number, complete CCR registration, file their ORCA and submit a FEMA Vendor Profile. While no one likes to do paperwork, let alone tedious government paperwork, contractors may be jeopardizing their chances at contracts by putting off their registration.
North Carolina’s Interim State Purchasing Officer, Sam Byassee, stated on the North Carolina Governor’s Office Blog following the unprecedented string of tornadoes that struck their area:
“The aftermath of recent tornados created an unanticipated contracting opportunity for many vendors in North Carolina who provide storm recovery services.
Given the urgency of the situation, arrangements needed to be managed quickly, efficiently and in accordance with the sometimes complicated rules and codes.”
No matter the type of emergency, resources and manpower need to be organized immediately after disaster strikes, or even beforehand if possible. When the full vendor registration process can take a full week to be finalized under the best of circumstances, it becomes obvious that contractors who wait until the last minute to complete their registration will also likely miss out on government contracts.
Once CCR and ORCA registration are completed, they remain valid for a full year and only need to be updated more frequently if the business’s circumstances or data has changed. D&B and FEMA registration generally need to be updated on an as-needed basis only.
Due to the nature of FEMA’s mission, on the spot contract awards are also commonplace after a disaster, unlike the complicated and lengthy bidding process that confounds newer and smaller businesses. In a written statement released September 15, 2011, FEMA’s Associate Administrator Albert Sligh, Jr. outlined several policies and vehicles FEMA utilizes in order to maximize utilization of local small businesses during disaster response efforts. Following the string of tornadoes in “Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, Kentucky, and Georgia, $13,358,680 was awarded to local firms in the declared disaster counties and 90 percent of local procurement initiatives went to small businesses within those states.” In addition, the statement reports that according to a 2010 study conducted by the National Federation of Independent Businesses, 30% of businesses are forced to shut down following a Presidential disaster or emergency declaration. By focusing their procurement efforts within the communities affected by the disaster, FEMA plays a major part in helping small businesses recover.
Although 20% of people identify themselves as chronic procrastinators according to PsychologyToday.com, business owners should avoid delay when it comes to government contracting. Early preparation and diligence can make the difference between receiving a contract award or missing a once in a lifetime opportunity.
US Federal Contractor Registration is a third party registration firm dedicated to helping small businesses find success in federal government contracting. To find out if government contracting can help your business, visit our government contracting tips blog to request a customized government market assessment or call our Contractor Helpline at (877) 252-2700 ext 1.
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