FORT BELVOIR, Va., Sept. 25, 2020 —
For over 50 years, the U.S. Small Business Administration has celebrated National Small Business Week in September to recognize the contributions of American entrepreneurs and small business owners. The Defense Logistics Agency has about 1,200 suppliers and over 80% of them are small businesses.
President Donald Trump wrote in a Sept. 19 proclamation that National Small Business Week, held Sept. 20-26 this year, will “celebrate the success of our American entrepreneurs who have chartered their own courses to provide jobs and a bright future for millions of American workers.”
DLA Small Business Deputy Director Chris Hall said the agency uses Small Business Week to highlight small businesses’ contributions to DLA’s supply chains.
“Small businesses are essential to our ability to provide resilient support to the warfighters,” he said. “The responsiveness and flexibility that small businesses deliver supports our expeditionary capabilities and ability to rapidly deploy to meet new and evolving challenges, including DLA’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Small businesses fulfill more than half of the agency’s requirements for personal protective equipment like N95 masks, protective gowns and face shields.
To coincide with National Small Business Week, the DLA Office of Small Business Programs is encouraging small business representatives throughout the agency to share information with vendors on working with DLA and take the opportunity to learn more about small business challenges.
“DLA is identifying opportunities to improve outreach and communication with prospective suppliers to attract small businesses to address manufacturing and industrial base challenges,” DLA Small Business Director Dwight Deneal said, adding that the agency’s goal is a strong, diverse vendor base.
The DLA Office of Small Business Programs offers monthly webinars where supply chain representatives discuss their requirements and share advice on how to do business with the agency.
“The virtual nature of our program allows subject matter experts from throughout DLA to contribute seamlessly and supports participation by small businesses regardless of their physical location,” Hall said. “The monthly program also reserves time for small businesses to connect with DLA for one-on-one conversations.”
Details and registration information for the first next webinar, which will be held Oct. 14, are available at DLA’s small business webpage.