Small business experts participate in industry panel

  • Published
  • By K. Houston Waters
  • 66 Air Base Group Public Affairs

HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. – Members of the Hanscom small business office provided insight and resources to local business leaders recently.  

Jeff Emmons, the director of Small Business Programs here, joined members of the General Services Administration, the U.S. Small Business Administration, and the Massachusetts Procurement Technical Assistance Center for a virtual panel with the Hanscom Representatives Association. The experts discussed the importance of market research, innovative contract strategies for acquisition professionals, relevant changes in small business legislation, and a variety of other topics.

Emmons believes that market research is one of the most important elements in acquisition and contract planning. He encourages program managers and contracting officers to engage early and often with his office and industry partners, through requests for information, industry days, draft requests for proposals, and one-on-one sessions. Emmons also discussed the importance of sharing event notifications and schedules to maximize industry awareness and participation on every acquisition.

“In order for the government to understand what capabilities and cutting-edge technology are   available in the commercial marketplace to meet or even exceed our requirements, engaging with industry is so incredibly important,” he said. “We should be doing as much sharing of information and notice as possible so industry can conduct the necessary teaming and preparations, and in turn provide us with acceptable proposals that provide the best solutions possible for the Air Force.”

Andrea Panagoulias, a small business specialist and deputy director of Small Business Programs here, recognizes the impact that the panel could have on fostering relationships between the Air Force and potential business partners.

“Our office appreciates this forum the HRA offers because it allows us to not only reach small businesses in the local community, but also large businesses that are looking to partner with small business,” she said. “And that is something we’re excited about.”

Brian Booth, professional services advisor for the GSA’s Office of Professional Services and Human Capital Categories, provided details on OASIS+, a new GSA indefinite quantity, indefinite delivery contract option. According to Booth, OASIS+ will soon replace the current Department of Defense OASIS contracts by providing more resources for non-traditional businesses entering the federal arena. A draft solicitation is expected to be released for comments in the near future.

According to Panagoulias, another highlight of the event was the update on the Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer, or SBIR/STTR program.

“The SBIR/STTR program was reauthorized for the next three years, which is a very big deal because it’s a strategy that Hanscom program office personnel have been utilizing often, as it helps to support so many of their objectives, like innovation and support of small business,” she said.

For non-traditional and small businesses getting into the federal or state arena for the first time, the briefing by procurement specialist Stanley Grip, from the Massachusetts Procurement Technical Assistance Center, provided the audience with a snapshot of the services available to small businesses, said Emmons.

Khanh Nguyen, the area procurement center representative for the U.S. Small Business Administration, provided details on the impact that legislation, like the National Defense Authorization Act 2023, will have on both large and small businesses.

To contact the Hanscom Small Business Programs office, e-mail Emmons at or Panagoulias at

Maj. Gen. Anthony Genatempo, program executive officer for Command, Control, Communications, Intelligence and Networks, and Steven Wert, PEO Digital, both also met with the HRA recently.

To read Genatempo’s discussion on enterprise capabilities, Joint All-Domain Command and Control, or JADC2, and more, click here. To read Wert’s update on the E-7 Wedgetail, and more, click here.

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