How you can still receive free Covid-19 tests from the United States government

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact communities around the world, it’s important to have access to reliable testing options. The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) is now offering free at-home COVID-19 test kits for residential households in the United States. This is a great opportunity for people to get tested from the comfort of their own homes, and it’s important to know how to get your hands on these kits and how to use them properly.

To order a set of four rapid antigen COVID-19 tests, simply visit USPS.com and fill out a brief form with your full name, email, and shipping address. Please note that there is a limit of one order per residential address. Orders will begin shipping the week of December 19, 2022, and shipping is free.

When you receive your test kit, it’s important to make sure that it has not expired. You can check COVID.gov/tests to ensure that your kit is usable. Once you have confirmed that your kit is still good, follow the instructions provided to administer the test. It’s important to follow the instructions carefully to ensure the accuracy of your results.

It’s also important to remember that these test kits are for at-home use only. If you are experiencing severe symptoms or have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, it’s best to contact your healthcare provider for further guidance.

In summary, residential households in the U.S. can now order one set of four free at-home COVID-19 test kits from USPS.com. Simply fill out a brief form with your personal information and shipping address to get your hands on these kits. Remember to check that your kit has not expired before using it, and follow the instructions carefully to ensure the accuracy of your results. If you are experiencing severe symptoms or have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, it’s best to contact your healthcare provider for further guidance.

A Brief Intro into the SBA’s HUBZone Program

The SBA HUBZone program is a federal program that was created to help small businesses located in historically underutilized business zones (HUBZone’s) gain access to government contracts. These zones are typically located in economically distressed areas, such as inner cities or rural areas, and are designated by the Small Business Administration (SBA) as eligible for the program. Sabre88 is headquartered in Newark NJ and has the intent to pursue a HUBZone certification.

Under the program, qualified small businesses located in HUBZone’s are given preference when bidding on government contracts. This can provide a much-needed boost for small businesses that may have otherwise struggled to compete with larger, more established companies. In addition to the preferential bidding treatment, businesses that are certified as HUBZone small businesses are also eligible to receive a 10% price evaluation preference in full and open contract competitions.

To be eligible for the SBA HUBZone program, a business must meet the following criteria:

  • It must be a small business as defined by the SBA
  • It must be located in a HUBZone
  • At least 35% of its employees must reside in a HUBZone
  • At least 51% of the business must be owned and controlled by U.S. citizens, or a community development corporation, an agricultural cooperative, or an Indian tribe

To become certified as a HUBZone small business, a company must submit an application to the SBA, along with supporting documentation. The application process can be completed online, and the SBA provides assistance to businesses that need help with the process.

Once a business is certified as a HUBZone small business, it can begin bidding on government contracts. The SBA provides a list of current contracting opportunities on its website, and businesses can also find opportunities through the Federal Business Opportunities website.

The SBA HUBZone program has been successful in helping small businesses located in economically distressed areas gain access to government contracts since 1997. In addition to providing opportunities for small businesses like Sabre88, the program also helps stimulate economic development in these areas by creating jobs and supporting local businesses. Here at Sabre88 we are planning to apply for a HUBZone certification within the coming months, and if you are interested in learning more feel free to contact us. If you own a small business located in a HUBZone, consider applying for the SBA HUBZone program to take advantage of the opportunities it offers.

https://www.sba.gov/federal-contracting/contracting-assistance-programs/hubzone-program

There is a Growing Demand in Government Acquisition

In a recent conversation between Tom Temin, the host of the Federal Drive, and Larry Allen, the president of federal business partners, they discussed the rapidly increasing demand for government acquisition contracting officers. The state of government acquisition is stable but as we move forward in time the processes that were effective in the late 1990s and early 2000s are not adapted for the technological, sociological and economical advancements society has made since.  There are several things that contractors can do to assist government contracting officers optimize their procurement processes. However, awarding, auditing and managing a government contract, are all different governmental functions, that have different requirements. To manage all the aspects of acquisition, the U.S. government requires a well-trained acquisition workforce to do that. One of the byproducts of the procurement reforms in the late 1990s was a substantial reduction within the acquisition workforce ranks.

To satisfy the growing demand acquisition officials and government are trying to be flexible and innovative in how they attract people to the acquisition workforce. And once the people are in the acquisition workforce, there is great importance on the workforce retention. Regarding the importance of retention Larry Allen said.

“there are a lot of options for federal employees and acquisition is one where I’ve personally have seen many talented people start only to have them shift out and go into other areas of government. So you really want to try to not just get people in, but keep them in the acquisition workforce, which means they have to have some obvious career goals and some opportunities for advancement”

It is tough to recruit people today, whether it’s to acquisition workforce, jobs, or just about anything else in employment. Contractors need to knowthat they’re using innovative ways to hire candidates who are probably going to need a little bit more training than a traditional acquisition workforce member. Patience, and awareness on the part of the industry is going to be crucial regarding employment retention. One acquisition executive in a large agency said, in his experience, federal acquisition, federal procurement jobs are attractive to business majors that are leaving the colleges looking for jobs. There is certain personality that really likes federal procurement. It’s like a giant puzzle, or a big Rubik’s cube to solve, given the many procurement requirements. Tom Temin suggests that the government may not realize how to advertise what an interesting industry government acquisition can be.

Working in government procurement offers everything you might imagine. It offers the opportunity to negotiate a good deal on the part of the government. It also requires that you have substantial knowledge of what’s going on in different industry segments and requires that you keep your knowledge up to date. There’s a lot going on and government acquisition, and the people who stay in it long enough and have the opportunity for career advancement. They advance and they become household names. They are people who make the system work, they maintain the successful operation of the U.S. government.

Who Needs Black Friday When You Can Shop Small?

After Thanksgiving, when the turkey has been consumed and the cranberry sauce devoured, many Americans participate in the tradition of shopping on “Black Friday,” the day following Thanksgiving when popular retailers offer low prices for popular gadgets, toys, textiles, and more. The history of Black Friday dates back to the 1960s and indicates the kickoff to the Holiday shopping season. According to blackfriday.com, “black” refers to stores moving from the “red” to the “black,” as a historical reference to when accounting records were kept by hand, and red ink denoted a loss, and black a profit (www.blackfriday.com). On Black Friday, holiday shoppers are most commonly drawn to the thrill of a purchasing goods at prices that are drastically lower than they are during the rest of the year.

However, Black Friday has been experiencing competition from other initiatives such as Cyber Monday and Small Business Saturday, that also want a piece of the holiday season shopping pie. Small Business Saturday is an initiative of American Express that began the tradition in 2010 in order to encourage people across the country to support small and local businesses. In fact, Small Business Saturday became official when the United States Senate officially recognized it in 2011, making it an American institution (www.AmericanExpress.com). Indeed, President Obama and other policymakers from coast to coast have voiced their support for Small Business Saturday.

Consumers are encouraged to participate in Small Business Saturday as a way to support small and local businesses that rely on community reciprocity. Moreover, a report published by Bank of America concluded that 91 percent of small business owners said Black Friday has either little or no impact on their business’ generation of revenue (www.entrepreneur.com). Unlike retail giants, such as Target, Best Buy, and Nordstrom, small businesses are unique in that they rely on fewer consumers, select merchandise, personalized experiences, and exclusive promotional offers to foster consumer loyalty, customer satisfaction, and a sense of community.

 

Indeed, consumers who chose to shop small on Small Business Saturday will be doing themselves a favor by avoiding the madness that is Black Friday. Who wants to battle with other buyers to get a new television or appliance anyway? Although big box retailers may offer more varieties of merchandise, their merchandise is mass produced, whereas small business merchants offer unique gifts, handcrafted jewelry and artisan foods, to name a few. Furthermore, buyers will support their local economies by shopping small as small businesses employ nearly half of all private-sector employees in the United States. In fact, MoneyTalksNews.com reports that opening a big box discount store directly reduces employment by an average of 150 jobs within the county it is located because each employee replaces approximately 1.4 retail workers (www.moneytalksnews.com). By shopping at your neighborhood Mom and Pop shops, you can contribute to their small business success and employee retention.

In short, support small businesses throughout the year and begin your holiday shopping season on a positive and helpful note by taking part in Small Business Saturday, which will take place this year on Saturday, 26 November 2022. Happy shopping and happy holidays!

How the U.S. Government celebrates Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is one of 11 federal holidays recognized nationally by the United States government. All non-essential federal agencies are closed on Thanksgiving, and all federal employees are paid, even on holidays. Most federal employees work Monday through Friday, so if the holiday falls on a weekend, the holiday will be observed on the next regular business day. If the holiday falls on a Saturday, it will fall on Friday; if it falls on a Sunday, it will fall on Monday. Many private sector employees also take paid or special leave on Thanksgiving.

 Thanksgiving is a day to give thanks for last year’s harvest. The holiday is rooted in the tradition of harvest festivals held by early American settlers. It is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November each year and has been a national holiday since 1941.

The history of Thanksgiving

 On September 28, 1789, just before leaving for vacation, the first Congress passed a resolution encouraging the President of the United States to hold a day of national appreciation. A few days later, President George Washington issued a proclamation designating Thursday, November 26, 1789, as “public Thanksgiving Day,” marking the first time Thanksgiving was celebrated under the new constitution. Subsequent presidents have issued Thanksgiving proclamations, but the dates and months of celebration vary. It wasn’t until President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed in 1863 that Thanksgiving took place regularly on the last Thursday in November.

 However, in 1939, the last Thursday of November became the last day of the month. Worried that the shortened holiday shopping season could dampen the economic recovery from the Great Depression, President Franklin D. Roosevelt moved Thanksgiving to the second-to-last Thursday in November. As a result of the proclamation, 32 states issued similar proclamations, but 16 states refused to accept the amendment and declared Thanksgiving to be the last Thursday in November. For two years, Thanksgiving was celebrated over two days. The president and some of the country celebrated his Thanksgiving on the second-to-last Thursday in November, and the rest of the country celebrated it the following week.

 To end the confusion, Congress decided to set a fixed date for the holiday.On October 6, 1941, the House of Representatives passed a joint resolution making the last Thursday of November annual Thanksgiving Day. Did. However, the Senate changed its decision to set the holiday on the 4th Thursday, given the year November 5th Thursday. The House approved the amendment, and President Roosevelt signed the bill into law on December 26, 1941, making the fourth Thursday in November a federal holiday for Thanksgiving. The turkey’s national presentation ceremony has been held since 1947, but President George H.W. Bush was the first to actually offer a presidential pardon to Turkey. Last year, President Biden pardoned two turkeys from Jasper, Indiana at his National Thanksgiving Turkey presentation on Friday, November 19, 2021, as part of the White House’s ceremony.

Thanksgiving in the Military

The U.S. Navy celebrated Thanksgiving in some form even before it became an official American holiday. Roasted turkeys, roasted ham, and pumpkin pie are still part of nearly every Thanksgiving at sea or on land to this day.

 During World War I, the Red Cross and other charities began helping Soldiers on Thanksgiving Day, but families in places like France where Soldiers were stationed didn’t take them home that day.

 During World War II, the holiday C-or-K ration were replaced with turkey and cranberries. It was either shipped by the military or gathered from local farmers. Today, the Defense Logistics Agency ships Thanksgiving’s traditional turkey, pumpkin pie, and all the trimmings to tens of thousands of military personnel around the world.

Overall Thanksgiving is a sacred American tradition that for a day brings a nation together around family, food, football and fun.

Cited Sources:

https://www.govinfo.gov/features/thanksgiving-2021
https://www.britannica.com/topic/Thanksgiving-Day
https://www.federalpay.org/gs/raises
https://www.archives.gov/legislative/features/thanksgiving

Sabre88 – Celebrating Our Veterans

Veteran’s day is more than a federal holiday. The date in which we celebrate our veterans, November 11th annually, is set aside in remembrance of the “eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month” which marked the end of World War I. Our great republic and all its citizens are forever indebted to those who bravely fought to protect our borders and our revolutionary freedoms. Our country’s veterans deserve to be honored for their service and their sacrifices, as we would live in a vastly different world without them.

On this day, let us remember those who fought for our freedom and put themselves in harms way to protect our great nation. Let us honor and recognize our veterans for their contribution to our ability to enjoy life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Let us humbly give thanks to our heroes and reflect upon their steadfast sense of duty.

At this time, we are proud to honor our very own Sabre88 Veterans:

Charlie Cernat

James Hansel

Michael Oyewole

Brian J. Schweikert

On behalf of all of us here at Sabre88, Thank You for Your Service.

GSA Plans to Launch New Alliance 3 GWAC

The General Services Administration plans to launch the third iteration of its Alliant governmentwide acquisition contract. The GSA, plans to follow-up on to its One Acquisition Solution for Integrated Services procurement vehicle (OASIS). Alliant 3 is an interagency IDIQ contract intended to provide access to IT services to federal agencies. OASIS+ is an integrated non-agency agreement for agency compliance. Advertised as an IDIQ multi-agency agreement to address IT service needs. GSA has opened a call for feedback on his Alliant 3 draft Call for Proposals and is accepting comments until January 6th. The agency said the OASIS+ program includes him one unlimited socio-economic contract and five of his small business socio-economic contracts. Will include one unrestricted and five business socioeconomic contracts. Through OASIS+ and Alliant 3, GSA aims to expand agency access to contracts, improve opportunities for small businesses, and reduce the acquisition burden on the government contracting industry.

Cited Sources

https://www.gsa.gov/blog/2022/10/25/-alliant-3-and-oasis-get-the-right-services-at-the-right-time#20221026

https://www.gsa.gov/buy-through-us/products-services/professional-services/buy-services/professional-services-schedule/new-oasis-multiagency-contract

https://www.govconwire.com/2022/10/gsa-eyes-2023-competition-for-alliant-3-oasis-idiq-contracts/

President Biden has signed the One Stop Shop for Small Business Compliance Act

On Monday of this week, President Biden signed the bipartisan One Stop Shop for Small Business Compliance Act. The bill was cleared by both the House and Senate.

“Now more than ever, we must pursue commonsense legislation that allows small businesses to thrive in our recovering economy,” said one of the sponsors of this bill Rep. Van Duyne (R) said in an April press release. “Often times, small businesses are unaware of their new responsibilities as federal laws are updated. The One-Stop Shop for Small Business Compliance Act of 2021 will consolidate the resources necessary to navigate the seemingly never-ending web of bureaucratic red tape.” Said Van Duyne

“We should be doing everything in our power to support small businesses in New York and across the country by making the resources available to them clear and easy to access”  said another sponsor Rep. Delgado (D).

Current law requires federal agencies to publish small business compliance guides for certain regulations. However, these guides are housed on different agency websites, making it nearly impossible for small businesses to find and utilize them. The One-Stop Shop for Small Business Compliance Act of 2021 creates a centralized, online “one-stop shop” for small business owners. The online clearinghouse would also list contact information for the appropriate agency staff who could provide regulatory assistance to small businesses.

Cited sources:

https://vanduyne.house.gov/media/press-releases/van-duynes-one-stop-shop-small-business-compliance-act-2021-passes-house-floor
https://www.govexec.com/management/2022/10/new-law-will-make-it-easier-small-businesses-navigate-seemingly-never-ending-web-bureaucratic-red-tape/378262/

What is the GSA

The General Service Administration (GSA) is a government organization that delivers real estate, acquisition and technology services to the U.S. government and the American people. The organization values its self on its service accountability and innovation. Often the GSA will outsource their needs to government contracting businesses who is willing and able to provide a solution. Contracting officers within the GSA put their requests on public portals, and private portals often known as schedules.

From the GSAs about us page:

“GSA provides workplaces by constructing, managing, and preserving government buildings and by leasing and managing commercial real estate. GSA’s acquisition solutions offer private sector professional services, equipment, supplies, and IT to government organizations and the military. GSA also promotes management best practices and efficient government operations through the development of governmentwide policies.”

Contracting With The GSA

The GSA issues long-term, governmentwide contracts that provide federal, state, and local government buyers access to commercial products, services, and solutions at pre-negotiated prices.

If you become a GSA Scheduled contractor you will be able to:

  • Sell products and services directly to government agencies using streamlined ordering procedures
  • Maintain compliance with federal regulations and policies
  • Offer products and services at fair and reasonable prices

If you decide to submit an offer to GSA to be considered for a Multiple Award Schedule contract, you will need to give complete and accurate information that describes your company’s:

  • Financials
  • Experience
  • Past performance
  • The commercial products, services, and/or solutions you are offering

Obtaining a Schedules contract is a challenging process for a company of any size. GSA offers substantial help with this process, including free training held online and at GSA regional offices.

Alternatively to schedules there are Governmentwide Acquisition Contracts (GWACs).  GWACs provide access to IT requests such as systems design, software engineering, information assurance, and enterprise architecture.

The GSA’s policy on GWACs was issued on September 17th 2012. It states that GSA employees are required to use existing GSA acquisition vehicles before establishing new contracts for similar products or services.

https://www.gsa.gov/about-us
https://www.gsa.gov/technology/technology-purchasing-programs/governmentwide-acquisition-contracts-gwacs
https://www.gsa.gov/buy-through-us/purchasing-programs/gsa-multiple-award-schedule/mas-roadmap

Finding Federal Contracts

Searching for federal contracts is a complex process of filtering through {inputs} to find the right opportunity for your company. There are websites online that have extradited the process, and made it easier to find and research different government contracts. Platforms like Sam.gov(formerly FBO ) and fpds.gov, are government run contract portals where government departments andoffices share their requests directly too bidders. On the other hand, online platforms like GovWin and GovTribe provide a detailed portfolio of information for federal contracts as a service with freemium subscription options. Because there are so many options starting can be confusing. You may need the directness of a government portal, alternatively you may find the information provided from a paid service necessary for your discovery and the research that follows.

Government Portals

Sam.gov

fpds.gov

Seaport.mil

The Federal Procurement Data System, fpds.gov, and The System for Award Management, sam.gov, are two detailed government contracting digital portals. You can search, and use the built-in filters to refine your results to whatever you are looking for. On Fpds, Sam and Seaport, you can create accounts to store your filter preferences. Using government portals is free gives you not only the Contracts name, but also the contract number, response date and the contracting offices contact information. Additionally, submission instructions are uploaded as pdfs and word documents that are downloadable. A SAM registration is required for any entity to bid on and get paid for federal contracts or to receive federal funds. The Sam registration is valid for one year from the date the registration is complete and must be renewed before 60 days of expiration to avoid potential penalties.

vs

Paid Services 

Govwin.com

GovTrive.com

ezgovopps.com

GovWin IQ is a cloud-based intelligence solution for government procurement in the United States that helps companies manage public sector opportunities and develop strategies to close deals and outperform the competition. GovWin provides contractors who sell to the federal government with new opportunities, detailed planning intelligence, potential team partnerships, and the strategies small businesses need to stay ahead of the competition and win more federal contracts. GovTribe is an online portal that identifies federal government contracts, funding opportunities, and market information. GovTribe is a collaboration platform that allows contractors and their teams to access real-time information and manage business development activities. It provides contractors with information about the federal contract market through an easily accessible website and turn the information into actionable information. There is also a team sharing feature. EZGovOpps is a federal market research tool designed for government contractors, collection managers, business developers, proposal writers, and government researchers.

How to Filter

Regarding what to filter it depends on your strategy. If you want a broad range of opportunities related to your interest, you can filter based upon NAICs and PSC codes. Alternatively, you can search within your desired department or agency. You can combine the filters for an even more concentrated search, to comb through lists of federal contracts. Eventually you will find what you are looking for. You can find contracts through online portals, government sourced or paid services, depending on your strategy you may use one, the other, or even both for your companies’ procurement.

https://iquasar.com/blog/5-government-contract-opportunity-search-tools/