Small Business FAQ

Small Business Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

 

  1. Where can I see a list of Request for Proposals (RFP)/Request for Quotations (RFQ) to bid on?
  2. We are a certified minority-owned, women-owned, HUBZone, or Service disabled veteran-owned vendor. How can I do business with NOAA?
  3. How can I get in touch with a NOAA Contracting Officer?
  4. How can I learn about new program initiatives and timing?
  5. How do I contact my Regional Small Business representative?
  6. Does NOAA make purchases through GSA Schedules?
  7. When should I discuss contracting vehicles (e.g., STARS II, or MOBIS) with my prospective NOAA client?
  8. Does the NOAA Small Business Office review capability statements?
  9. We are an IT firm not presently involved with NOAALink. What can I do to get involved?
  10. What are the most often purchased/popular NAICS codes utilized by NOAA Program Offices?
  11. What percentages of NOAA acquisitions are below the Simplified Acquisition Threshold (SAT)?
  12. Where do I find information on the status of NOAALink Programs?
  13. Where do I find information on the status of Pro-Tech Programs?
  14. How much of the procurement at NOAA is done through Small Business?
  15. We are an IT services firm. Whom should we present our capabilities to?
  16. Technical Mangers are not answering my calls. What can I do to get their attention?

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1.  Q: Where can I see a list of Request for Proposals (RFP)/ Request for Quotations (RFQ) to bid on?

A: All of NOAA’s requirements that are estimated to be above $150,000 in value can be found on our forecast site located at https://faaps.commerce.gov/ . RFP's /RFQ’s are posted to the Government Point of Entry (GPE) in accordance with FAR 5.101. Some of the GPE’s that NOAA uses are Federal Business Opportunities, GSA E-Buy, NASA SEWP, etc.

2.  Q: We are a certified minority-owned, women-owned, HUBZone, or Service disabled veteran-owned vendor.  How can I do business with NOAA?

A: All prospective suppliers, including certified minority-owned, woman-owned, or disabled veteran-owned businesses can register their company in the NOAA Small Business Vendor Profile database. Registration will capture your company’s diversity status.  NOAA performs market research for every requirement that it purchases.  One significant tool NOAA uses in market research is the Request for Information/Sources Sought notice.  In order to ensure firms in socioeconomic categories are given first consideration for set aside contracts in accordance with FAR 19.203(c), it is imperative that firms in these socioeconomic groups respond to these notices and tailor their capabilities to the specific requirement at hand.  Generic capability statements will not suffice in responding to these notices.

Your firm should also review NOAA’s Forecast and determine if any requirements match the capabilities of your firm.  If so, you should contact the POC listed for the requirement as well as inform the NOAA Small Business Office of your capabilities.

If you are a prospective supplier, register your company on NOAA Small Business Vendor Profile database. Prospective suppliers will only be contacted when additional information is required about their company, product, or service.  Registration in the NOAA Small Business Vendor Profile database does not imply a contract, or intent to purchase by NOAA.

3.  Q: How can I get in touch with a NOAA Contracting Officer?

A: Please ask yourself "Why do you need to speak to a Contracting Officer?" Contracting personnel are not technical in nature.  More likely you should be focusing your outreach attempts at the Program Office as they are the ones that have the specific requirements that you are looking to bid on.  NOAA’s Forecast is a great place to start your searches.

Contact our NOAA Acquisition Staff directly if you have a specific contract related questions.  The NOAA Small Business Office would recommend that you contact them directly prior to engaging a Contracting Officer.  The Small Business Office can assist you with answers to most of your questions, and if not, can put you in contact with the proper individual.

4.  Q: How can I learn about new program initiatives and timing?

A: Follow our forecast at https://faaps.commerce.gov/publicview.asp. You can also review NOAA's website for the latest information relating to new program initiatives.

5.   Q: How do I contact my Regional Small Business representative?

A: The Small Business Office in Silver Spring MD is the main POC for inquiries from industry; however, you are welcome to reach out to any or all of our offices.  Contact is as follows for NOAA Small Business Offices:

Please note that all NOAA requirements that are not set aside for small businesses are routed through the Silver Spring MD office for review and further approvals.  The HQ office requests that you work with them first and recommendations can be made for contact at the other Divisions as necessary.

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6.  Q: Does NOAA make purchases through GSA Schedules?

A: Yes, NOAA has authority to utilize any GWAC that is available to the Government; some examples include GSA, SEWP, CIOSP3, etc.

7.  Q: When should I discuss contracting vehicles (e.g., STARS II, or MOBIS) with my prospective NOAA client?

A: You should discuss vehicles that you have access to with clients whenever you are able to discuss your capabilities.  The Program Offices within NOAA are responsible for preliminary market research and letting them know how to contact your company is imperative for business decisions.  Existing vehicles are always considered first for viability, so if you have an existing contract please feel free to share with potential clients.

8.  Q: Does the NOAA Small Business Office review capability statements?

A: Yes. Please see the Doing Business at NOAA Checklist.

9.  Q: We are an IT firm not presently involved with NOAALink.  What can I do to get involved?

A:
Your best option is to seek out subcontracting opportunities with one of the prime vendors.  The 8(a) contracts on NOAA Link have reached their ceiling and we are currently using other vehicles for new 8(a) awards.  We have recently added 4 additional small businesses onto the vehicle and are in the planning stages for NOAALink 2.0; the vehicle that is anticipated to replace the existing NOAALink vehicle.  Please review the NOAALink Program Office website for the most up to date information related to the vehicle.

10.  Q: What are the most often purchased/popular NAICS codes utilized by NOAA Program Offices?

A: In FY 16 the top 10 most popular NAICS codes were as follows:

NAICS

NAICS Description

FY16 SB-Elig $

FY16 Other Than SB $

FY16 SB $

FY16 SB %

541512

COMPUTER SYSTEMS DESIGN SERVICES

$202,997,929

$137,300,254

$65,697,675

32.36%

541519

OTHER COMPUTER RELATED SERVICES

$183,384,719

$37,447,139

$145,937,580

79.58%

541712

RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT IN THE PHYSICAL, ENGINEERING, AND LIFE SCIENCES (EXCEPT BIOTECHNOLOGY)

$118,270,375

$26,168,734

$92,101,641

77.87%

541611

ADMINISTRATIVE MANAGEMENT AND GENERAL MANAGEMENT CONSULTING SERVICES

$110,839,958

$24,073,723

$86,766,235

78.28%

541330

ENGINEERING SERVICES

$61,617,721

$18,284,760

$43,332,961

70.33%

541990

ALL OTHER PROFESSIONAL, SCIENTIFIC, AND TECHNICAL SERVICES

$50,655,512

$5,798,955

$44,856,557

88.55%

541511

CUSTOM COMPUTER PROGRAMMING SERVICES

$48,740,147

$38,889,900

$9,850,247

20.21%

541620

ENVIRONMENTAL CONSULTING SERVICES

$47,197,675

$1,830,951

$45,366,723

96.12%

541370

SURVEYING AND MAPPING (EXCEPT GEOPHYSICAL) SERVICES

$35,555,758

$28,876,443

$6,679,315

18.79%

336611

SHIP BUILDING AND REPAIRING

$34,863,334

$5,863,731

$28,999,603

83.18%

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11.  Q: What percentages of NOAA acquisitions are below the Simplified Acquisition Threshold (SAT)?

A: Generally 90% of the transactions and 10% of the total dollar’s fall within the SAT category. NOAA spent on average approximately $1.2B through approximately 14,000 individual transactions.

12.  Q: Where do I find information on the status of NOAALink Programs?

A: Go to the NOAALink Website at: http://www.cio.noaa.gov/NOAALink/noaalink_contractor_information.html.  The NOAA Small Business Office will not be able to share any additional information than what has been released on this site.  NOAA updates this site on a regular basis.

13.  Q: Where do I find information on the status of Pro-Tech Programs?

A: Go to the Pro-Tech Website at:  http://www.ago.noaa.gov/acquisition/pro-tech/10_pro-tech.html .  The NOAA Small Business Office will not be able to share any additional information than what has been released on this site.  NOAA updates this site on a regular basis.

14.  Q: How much of the procurement at NOAA is done through Small Business?

A: Note: Results below are based on Small Business Achievement Method from FPSD-NG.

SMALL BUSINESS TYPE

2007 % of $

2008 % of $

2009 % of $

2010 % of $

2011 % of $

2012 % of $

2013 % of $

2014 % of $

2015 % of $

2016 % of $

Small Business

47.2%

50.0%

48.7%

40.6%

45.6%

44.8%

47.8%

49.1%

53.4%

59.8%

Small Disadvantaged Business

16.9%

17.6%

17.1%

15.8%

18.9%

18.9%

21.0%

21.7%

23.7%

26.4%

8(a)

6.5%

5.9%

6.2%

5.3%

6.2%

6.4%

6.3%

8.8%

10.0%

11.0%

Woman-Owned Small Business

9.3%

10.3%

10.1%

8.0%

12.4%

13.6%

16.4%

15.6%

16.8%

17.2%

HUBZone Small Business

1.4%

1.2%

0.9%

1.5%

1.1%

0.8%

0.9%

1.9%

1.5%

3.1%

Veteran-Owned Small Business

3.8%

4.9%

4.3%

5.2%

6.0%

5.4%

7.2%

6.0%

6.1%

8.6%

Service Disabled Veteran Owned SB

2.2%

2.4%

2.0%

3.4%

4.0%

3.0%

4.3%

4.6%

4.3%

6.4%

 

15.  Q: We are an IT services firm.  Whom should we present our capabilities to?

A: The NOAALink Program is our vehicle for IT Services.  There is rarely any opportunity outside of this vehicle for new firms.  The NOAALink Program Office will   not be interested in speaking with you related to IT services unless you tailor your presentation to a specific need of the office.  All requirements that NOAA has that are over $150K are posted to our NOAA’s Forecast with a POC.  You should feel free to reach out to the POC and tailor your presentation to how you could help solve the requirement at hand.  You should not speak about how you would like to be a part of NOAALink.

16.  Q: Technical Managers are not answering my calls.  What can I do to get their attention?

A: The question to answer is "How is your business able to assist them (the Technical Manager)?"

    • Are you focusing on a specific need of the agency that you found in NOAA’s Forecast, or are you randomly reaching out and hoping for a bite? Be specific in the requests for information.
    • Are your requests for information tailored to a specific requirement?  The NOAA Forecast is your ‘GO TO’ tool!

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Please contact the NOAA Small Business Office for additional questions.

Contact Us

NOAA Small Business Program

1325 East-West Highway SOU6
Silver Spring Metro Center Building 2 (SSMC2)
11th Floor
Silver Spring, MD 20910
301-628-1411
Directions to Silver Spring
NOAASB@noaa.gov
 

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