In December 2022, the US Defense Department (DOD) and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) announced changes in order to improve the way they meet the needs of US small businesses nationwide.
NEW APEX Mission
The APEX Accelerators program, under management of the Department of Defense (DOD) Office of Small Business Programs (OSBP), plays a critical role in the Department’s efforts to identify and engage with a wide range of businesses entering and participating in the defense supply-chain.
The program provides the education and training that all businesses need to participate to become capable of participating in DOD and other government contracts.
THE BASICS: WHAT ARE PTACs? (recorded before the name change)
• Watch Neil's interviews with various PTAC counsellors at the bottom of this post
THE IMPACT of APEX
The DOD operates more than 90 APEX Accelerators around the country, and the SBA runs more than 1,000 Small Business Development Centers. The MOU will ensure there's greater cooperation between those resources so that small businesses specifically interested in working with the federal government will be successful in finding contracts, including with DOD.
There are more than 90 APEX Accelerators, formerly known as PTACs, assisting businesses in 49 states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Commonwealth of Northern Marianas, and in regions established by the Bureau of Indian Affairs in the U.S. Department of the Interior. Find your local APEX Accelerators in the interactive map by clicking the dot in your area.
APEX Accelerators provide critical assistance to new and existing businesses interested in government contracting to foster a diverse and resilient domestic industrial base that can deliver preeminent solutions to the military and other government users.
The following goals and performance metrics were created to
“serve as the axis for existing and new business to strengthen the defense industrial base by accelerating innovation, fostering ingenuity, and establishing resilient and diverse supply chains” – and achieve desirable outcomes"
1.1. Facilitate achievement of DIB readiness for new entrants.
o Number of new DIB-ready clients.
1.2. Facilitate achievement of GIB readiness for new entrants.
o Number of new GIB-ready clients.
1.3. Restore former DIB and GIB participants.
o Number of clients attempting to re-enter the DIB and GIB (e.g., the number that submitted bids).
Goal 2. Increase Equity and Inclusion.
2.1. Increase number of DIB and GIB-ready Small Disadvantaged Businesses (SDBs).
o Number of new SDBs. Report on: Contract awards to recent SDBs.
2.2. Increase number of DIB and GIB-ready Historically Underutilized Business Zones (HUBZones).
o Number of new HUBZones Report on: Contract awards to recent HUBZones.
2.3. Increase number of DIB and GIB-ready Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Businesses (SDVOSBs).
o Number of new SDVOSBs. Report on: Contract awards to recent SDVOSBs.
2.4. Increase number of DIB and GIB-ready Women-Owned Small Businesses (WOSBs).
o Number of new WOSBs. Report on: Contract awards to recent WOSBs.
2.5. Promote subcontracting opportunities for SDBs, HUBZones, SDVOSBs, WOSBs, and other underrepresented small businesses.
i. Number of trainings for Small Business Liaison Offices (SBLOs).
ii. Number of matchmaker events organized and promoted.
iii. Number of direct referrals and businesses resulted in success.
2.6. Encourage and support participation in Mentor-Protégé Program (MPP).
i. Number of client training events on the DoD MPP.
ii. Number of client training events on the Small Business Administration (SBA) MPP.
ii. Number of clients with a new DoD MPP agreement.
iv. Number of clients with a new SBA MPP agreement.
Goal 3. Increase Awareness of and Compliance with Foreign Ownership, Control, or Influence (FOCI).
3.1. Educate businesses in the DIB and GIB on FOCI.
i. Number of hosted and supported FOCI webinars and training events.
ii. Number of FOCI publications such as newsletters, articles, and any press releases.
iii. Number of clicks on online FOCI publications.
Goal 4. Improve Cybersecurity of the DIB and GIB.
4.1. Increase the number of Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) secure businesses.
i. Number of clients that have become compliant with CMMC 2.0 Level 1.
ii. Number of clients that have become compliant with CMMC 2.0 Level 2 or above. i
ii. Number of clients that have become compliant with Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) 52.204-21 (although not necessarily compliant with CMMC 2.0).
4.2. Educate on enhanced cybersecurity.
i. Number of hosted and supported Project Spectrum training events.
ii. Number of cyber webinars and training events.
iii. Number of cybersecurity publications such as newsletters, articles, and any press releases.
iv. Number of clicks on online cybersecurity publications.
Goal 5. Facilitate Innovation for the DIB and GIB.
5.1. Connect innovative businesses to Government-led Innovation Programs (GIPs).
i. Number of counseling hours for clients interested in GIPs.
ii. Number of training events conducted on GIPs.
iii. Number of proposals submitted to GIPs.
iv. Number of proposals and the dollar amount won in GIPs.
v. Number of referrals that connect firms to federal laboratories.
Goal 6. Strengthen the Supply Chain.
6.1. Support Defense Production Act (DPA) Title III activities.
i. Number of training and other events related to the DPA Title III.
ii. Number of clients submitting white papers to Funding Opportunity Announcements (FOAs).
iii. Number of clients submitting full proposals to FOAs.
6.2. Support Industrial Base Analysis and Sustainment (IBAS) activities.
o Number of client referrals to local workforce development and/or other Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs.
Goal 7. Capture Market Data in Key Industries.
7.1. Mission: Identify businesses working on critical and emerging technologies and capture information about the businesses.
o Task Statement: Catalog businesses, including university spin-offs and entrepreneurial sole proprietors, working on the U.S. critical and emerging technologies and DoD critical technology areas.