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Small business experts engage with Hanscom-area business leaders

Jeff Emmons, the director of Small Business Programs at Hanscom Air Force Base, Mass., speaks during a small business panel discussion in Newton, Mass., in 2019. Emmons regularly provides updates to Hanscom-area small business leaders, the latest to the Hanscom Representatives Association via Zoom Nov. 3. (U.S. Air Force photo by Todd Maki)

Jeff Emmons, the director of Small Business Programs at Hanscom Air Force Base, Mass., speaks during a small business panel discussion in Newton, Mass., in 2019. Emmons regularly provides updates to Hanscom-area small business leaders, the latest to the Hanscom Representatives Association via Zoom Nov. 3. (U.S. Air Force photo by Todd Maki)

HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. – Jeff Emmons, the director of Small Business Programs here, discussed innovative contract strategies for small businesses during a virtual meeting with the Hanscom Representatives Association Nov. 3.  

During his presentation, Emmons also spoke about the importance for acquisition professionals to engage with industry. In addition, he discussed the impact of market research on the acquisition process.

“As with real estate, where it’s location, location, location, in acquisitions it’s all about market research, market research, market research,” he said. “We really encourage early engagement with industry. Whether it’s a request for information, an industry day, or an ask-us-anything session, it’s so important to get that market research done up front so we can base our acquisition decision on good, solid decision-quality information.”

Emmons also shared the fiscal year 2020 small business performance results for the Digital and Command, Control, Communications, Intelligence and Networks directorates, both headquartered here.

For fiscal year 2020, C3I&N exceeded their small business goal of 15 percent by obligating over 32 percent to small businesses for a total of just under half a billion dollars. Digital saw similar results by surpassing their 11 percent goal by obligating over 23 percent to small businesses at nearly $530 million.

Small business performance results for fiscal year 2021 are still currently being calculated. Between these two directorates, Emmons expects over a billion dollars was obligated to small business during that time.

Khanh Nguyen, the area procurement center representative for the U.S. Small Business Administration, also provided a small business legislative and regulatory update during the event. This included a detailed discussion of the SBA’s mentor protégé programs as well as an update on the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2021.

Nguyen works with local area small business owners and assists agencies in meeting contracting goals. He also provides recommendations on subcontracting plans, conducts counseling and training on acquisition strategies, and provides updates on new regulations.

This summer, Emmons and his deputy director, Ellen McDonnell, were named top Department of Defense and Air Force small business professionals for 2020. Click here to learn more about their accomplishments.

To contact the Hanscom Small Business Programs office, e-mail Emmons at jeffery.emmons.1@us.af.mil or McDonnell at ellen.mcdonnell@us.af.mil.

HRA brings representatives from small, large, and start-up Hanscom area businesses together to encourage collaboration in the acquisition process. More information about the organization can be found at hanscomreps.org.

Maj. Gen. Michael Schmidt, program executive officer for C3I&N, is scheduled to speak at the next HRA event, currently scheduled for Nov. 23.