Potential Leadership Changes for House and Senate Small Business Committees

Representative Steve Chabot (R-OH) has emerged as the most likely candidate to replace representative Sam Graves as Chairman of the House Small Business Committee at the end of the year according to insiders. Graves will be stepping down in accordance with a mandatory 6 year term limit agreed upon by all House Republicans. Other potential candidates include Republican representatives: Scott Tipton (Colo.), Chris Collins (N.Y.) and Richard Hanna (N.Y.). All three currently serve as chair of one of the Small Business subcommittees. Representative Chabot, an 18 year veteran on the Hill, holds seniority over other Republicans on the committee, though. Additionally, he served as the panel’s ranking member before losing a reelection bid for Congress in 2008, a seat he won back two years later.

Chabot has spent much of his tenure as a proponent for fiscal conservatism, looking for ways to cut wasteful spending and lower taxes. He argues that, “the federal government must not continue to stifle growth with the threat of new taxes, burdensome regulations and other policies counterproductive to job creation.” In a number of ways, the potential Chabot agenda will pick up where Representative Graves left off.

Should Republicans take back the Senate, Senator James Risch (R-Idaho), would be the most likely choice to take the seat at the head of the Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee. Risch has backed legislation that would require regulators examine how new and existing federal rules affect small businesses, along with bills intended to expand access to capital for entrepreneurs. Last year, he introduced in the Senate the very same proposal to expand the Small Business Investment Companies program that Chabot proposed in the House.



Sabre88 Among ICIC and FORTUNE’ Inner City 100 Winners


October 17, 2014

Annual ranking showcases the 100 fastest-growing urban businesses in America.

Newark NJ – The Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (ICIC) and FORTUNE announced that Sabre88 was selected for the 2014 Inner City 100, a list of the fastest-growing inner city businesses in the U.S. This year, for the first time in the list’s 16-year history, the Inner City 100 consists of 10 fast-growing businesses from 10 industry categories. The 10 industry categories are: Construction; Manufacturing; Professional Services; Food and Beverage; Retail; Media and Communications; Software and Information Technology; Transportation and Logistics; Healthcare and Biotechnology; and Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation. Applicants ranked according to revenue growth against their industry peers, as well as overall.

Sabre88 ranked 5th in the software and information technology industry category and 32nd overall on the list of 100. The Inner City 100 program recognizes successful inner city businesses and their CEOs as role models for entrepreneurship, innovative business practices and job creation in America’s urban communities. Sabre88, a global consulting firm applying capabilities in financial services, billing support, FOIA, IT Help Desk Support, Data Entry and Document Scanning, reported a growth rate of 364.77 percent from 2009-2013.

The list of winners can be viewed at  http://fortune.com/inner-city-100/sabre88-32/

The rankings for each company were announced at the Inner City 100 Awards on Thursday, October 16, 2014 in Boston, Massachusetts. Preceding the Awards celebration, winners attended a two-day small business Symposium designed exclusively for urban firms featuring business management case studies presented by Harvard Business School professors and peer-to-peer learning sessions led by CEOs of fast-growing firms. Keynote speakers included Harvard Business School Professor and ICIC Founder and Chairman, Michael E. Porter; Honest Tea Founder and CEO, Seth Goldman; Rapid7 President and CEO, Corey Thomas; Communispace Chairman, Diane Hessan; and Launch Co-Founder and CEO, Ben Fischman.

The Inner City 100 list provides unmatched original data on the fastest-growing inner city businesses in the U.S. In the last 16 years, 805 unique companies have earned positions on the Inner City 100 list, representing 183 cities and 41 states. Chevron Corporation and Staples, Inc. are long-time sponsors of ICIC and the program.

The 2014 Inner City 100 winners represent a wide span of geography, hailing from 53 cities and 23 states. The winners grew at an average compound annual growth rate of 39 percent and an average gross growth rate of 336 percent between 2009 and 2013. Collectively, the top 100 inner city businesses employ 8,276 people and have created 5,119 new jobs between 2009 and 2013. Not only are the winners powerful job creators in their communities, they also help develop their employees 73% provide business skills training and 69% provide professional development training to all full-time employees.

“It’s important to recognize businesses like Sabre88 that are truly driving economic growth and job creation and America’s urban cores,” said Matt Camp, President, ICIC. “We believe that inner cities hold unique competitive advantages for business and the success of these firms underscores that market opportunity.”

Highlights of the 2014 Inner City 100 include:

  • Employ 8,276 workers (approximately 35% are inner city residents).

  • Created 5,119 new jobs in the last five years.
  • 25% have woman CEOs. Nationally, only 10% of companies with over $1 million in annual revenues are woman-owned.
  • 35% have a minority CEO. Nationally, only 21% of all companies are headed by minorities.
  • Average company age is 17 years.
  • 39% average compound annual growth rate.
  • Companies generated $42.2 million in 2013 revenues on average and $4.2 billion in the aggregate.

# # #

To qualify for the Inner City 100 list, companies are required to be an independent, for-profit corporation, partnership or proprietorship that is not a public company, bank, or a holding company; headquartered in an economically distressed urban area; have at least 10 full-time employees; and a five-year operating sales history that includes at least $200,000 in revenues in the first year of consideration, an increase in year five sales over year four sales, and fifth-year sales of at least $1 million. For the 2014 list, ICIC looked at total revenue growth from 2009 to 2013 and the specific rankings were based on these growth rates. ICIC defines an inner city as an economically distressed urban area that has a poverty rate of 20% or higher, excluding currently enrolled undergraduate and graduate students; or a poverty rate of 1.5 times or more than that of the metropolitan statistical area (MSA) and a median household income of 50% or less than that of the MSA an or an unemployment rate of 1.5 times or more than that of the MSA.


Company description

Sabre88 is a global consulting firm applying capabilities in financial services, billing support, FOIA, IT Help Desk Support, Data Entry and Document Scanning to government and commercial clients. With more than twenty years of combined personnel experience offering strategic solutions, Sabre88 staff advance the firm’s mission to provide civilian and defense agencies of the government with the necessary tools to address emerging challenges. Sabre88 was formed in January of 2008, with a mission to serve both civilian and defense agencies of the federal government. The founder, Robert Cottingham, Jr., started the firm out of a government need for innovative small businesses which provide a 100% customer focused service.

Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (ICIC)

ICIC is a national nonprofit founded in 1994 by Harvard Business School professor Michael E. Porter. ICIC’s mission is to promote economic prosperity in America’s inner cities through private sector investment that leads to jobs, income and wealth creation for local residents. Through its research on inner city economies, ICIC provides businesses, governments and investors with the most comprehensive and actionable information in the field about urban market opportunities. The organization supports urban businesses through the Inner City 100, Inner City Capital Connections and the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses programs. Learn more at www.icic.org or @icicorg.


Benjamin Bratton


Sabre88 to Conduct Research on Elderly Lifestyle and Habits

Newark, NJ Global consulting firm Sabre88, LLC, has recently unveiled its plans to fund a research study examining the sexual habits, perceptions and views of adults 65 and older in the Newark, New Jersey area. The initiative arrives as the organization continues to expand its capabilities in the areas of financial analysis, acquisition support and now research and development.

Research will be spearheaded by Rider University’s Dr. Alison Thomas-Cottingham, a specialist in exploring and developing HIV interventions. Dr. Thomas-Cottingham has worked as a researcher at several organizations including Center for HIV/AIDS Educational Studies as a Project Director, National Pediatric AIDS Resource Center as a Child Psychology intern, University of Maryland, Department of Psychology as a research intern for Adolescent Pathways Project. She has been actively imparting knowledge at the Department of Psychology, Rider University, Department of Psychology, Montclair State University, Department of Psychology, and Binghamton University teaching several courses including Developmental Psychology, Statistics and Research Design and Race, Class and Gender in Contemporary American Society and Behavior modification.

The anticipated survey expects to reveal the nature of, common themes, and perceptions among sexually active adults over the age of 65. There is growing concern regarding the needs of a rapidly expanding elderly population, particularly in New Jersey one of the most elderly populated states in the nation. Dr. Thomas-Cottingham, in conjunction with Sabre88, hope to weigh in on the topic with new research in a seldom studied area.

“As we continue to grow we are excited to develop this partnership with local universities to examine this burgeoning and highly influential group,” said Robert Cottingham, Jr. Chairman and CEO of Sabre88. “We are excited to learn of the finding of this study and know that its impact will create long lasting change.”

Senator Cantwell Targets Business Loan Gender Gaps

Senator Maria Cantwell (D-Washington) Chairman of the Senate Committee on Small Business & Entrepreneurship, introduced legislation in late July that would make it easier for women-owned businesses to get loans and to secure federal contracts. With loans providing companies the means to expand, the committee views lending to small businesses as a key component in job creation.

Women currently own a third of all businesses in the United States, yet their companies receive only 4.4 percent of loan dollars according to the committee’s report 21st Century Barriers to Women Entrepreneurship: State of Washington Edition.

Women make up half of the population, and we have a lot of ideas that could become great products and spur our economy, Cantwell said. This legislation will help ensure women entrepreneurs get the right tools they need to turn those ideas into new businesses and create jobs.

The legislation implements recommendations from the committee’s report that showed significant barriers for women attempting to start or grow their own businesses. The Women’s Small Business Ownership Act of 2014 (S. 2693) seeks to improve the accessibility of lending and increase business counseling and training services for businesswomen. Additionally, the legislation could give women owned businesses the same level of access to federal contracts as other disadvantaged groups. To address the gaps the legislation would:

  • Expand the and improve on the SBA’s Microloan and Intermediary Lending programs
  • Allow sole source contracting for federal contracts awarded through the Women-Owned Small Business Federal contract program
  • Expand the Women’s Business Center program to expand and improve training services in an attempt to connect with more female entrepreneurs particularly from low income areas

Sabre88 Concurs with Pub Owner Frustrated That Health Plan Prices Keep Jumping

Sabre88, LLC recognizes the frustration of small businesses as they navigate the Affordable Care Act and the uncertainty it causes in determining plan premiums for employee coverage. Sabre88 has always provided employer sponsored healthcare benefits to its employees through yearly premium increases and changes to health care laws and regulations. With the passing of the ACA Sabre88 is responding to premium changes and fluctuations from individual to individual.

One of the most important adjustments for Sabre88 since the passing of the ACA is the uncertainty employees are placed in with regard to premiums. During the pre-ACA world, premiums were flat for all employees across genders, ages, health risks. Currently, each employee must be evaluated and a premium is arrived at. It is uncertain until an analysis is performed hence making it difficult to determine if the employee is going to opt for employer sponsored coverage. See story with link below.

Pub Owner Frustrated That Health Plan Prices Keep Jumping : Shots – Health News : NPR.

Sabre88, LLC Awarded Contract with Nuclear Regulatory Commission


Newark, New Jersey, August 24, 2014  Sabre88 has been awarded a contract, the company’s third, with the Nuclear Regulatory. The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is responsible for the protection of the public health and safety in the civilian use of nuclear power and nuclear materials. The contract will require Sabre88, a global consulting firm in Newark, New Jersey, to provide a variety of support tasks associated with the Agency’s mission.

The scope of this partnership includes work associated with data entry, switchboard operations, ADAMS scanning and profiling, and various backup administrative duties including, reception duties/message taking for Information Management Center staff, copying, metering out-going mail, creating overnight express mail labels, and other related support functions.

Sabre88 has been awarded this opportunity for a period of one year plus three options years and as Sabre88’s third contract with the NRC, continues to expand the company’s relationship with the agency. We are elated to have been commissioned by the NRC to fulfill this opportunity, said Chairman and CEO Robert Cottingham, Jr. Sabre88 was founded upon the core values of: service, quality and integrity, which we believe allows us to build firm, long lasting relationships with our clients. The extension of our work with the NRC corroborates this vision.

About Sabre88, LLC.  Sabre88 is a global consulting firm applying capabilities in technology, public policy, international affairs, healthcare and education to government and commercial clients. With more than twenty years of experience offering strategic solutions, Sabre88 staff advance the firm’s mission to provide civilian and defense agencies of the government with the necessary tools to address emerging challenges and pursue global opportunities.



Benjamin Bratton

Sabre88, LLC.

Tel.: (973) 321-4886

Fax: (973) 833-0286



Small FAR Phrasing Results in Major Impact on Small-Business Contracting Spending

The Federal Acquisition Regulation established by the heads of several agencies, requires that all large companies bidding on prime contracts specify the percentage of awarded dollars that flow through to small-business subcontractors. Section 52219-9 of the FAR Small Business Subcontracting Plan rules were drafted in order to guarantee that small businesses have the maximum practicable opportunity to participate in performing contracts, and to help the government meet its goal of awarding 35.9 percent of all subcontracting dollars to smaller companies. Collectively, agencies have failed to make this mark for the past five years.

Particular phrasing in the FAR complicates the issue. Of planned subcontracting dollars, large companies are required to set aside a percentage of that for small businesses, however, it’s required to be stated as a percentage of total subcontract dollars not a percentage of total contract dollars. This subtle, but crucial distinction means a large prime contractor can pledge to commit 40 percent of its subcontracting dollars to small business, but if the company provides services without the use of subcontractors, it still technically meets its small-business obligation. This lack of commitment proves threatening to smaller firms often seen as crucial engines of job creation in the United States that rely upon subcontractor dollars to continue operating.

Several federal departments have begun altering their procurement policies to require prime contractors to clearly state their small business plans as a percentage of total contract dollars. Along with this, the federal contracting community has begun to urge officials to revise the regulations, which would require action by the Defense Department, the General Services Administration and NASA, which oversee and are responsible for updating the rules.

The push to rework the language has arrived as agencies and policymakers are seeking means to reserve more government work for small companies. The House passed legislation, FY 2015 Department of Defense Appropriations Bill that included measurable changes to long standing small-business contracting rules. The most notable of which makes plans to streamline some of the bidding requirements for small firms, saving them time and money, and would lift the government’s annual small-business contracting target from 23 percent to 25 percent and its total subcontracting goal from 35.9 to 40 percent.

President Obama’s 2015 Budget: What Small Business Owners Need to Know

President Obama unveiled a $3.9 trillion budget request on Tuesday that many view stands as a platform for Democrats to run on this election year, with policies intended to invite contrasts with Republicans rather than offer compromise. Republicans were quick to condemn the Obama budget for its proposed spending and tax increases. They will most likely succeed again in blocking much of it in Congress appropriations process, though Democrats have typically been able to salvage some of their initiatives.

Nonetheless, the proposed budget signals the administration’s shift in attempting to work across party lines to reign in spending and trim the national debt, the president is renewing his push to invest more money into programs he believes will jumpstart a sluggish economic recovery.

Our budget is about choices, it’s about our values, Mr. Obama said as he visited an elementary school in Washington, DC. As a country, we’ve got to make a decision if we’re going to protect tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans or if we’re going to make smart investments necessary to create jobs and grow our economy, and expand opportunity for every American.

Small Business which traditionally generate a majority of the nation’s new jobs have been repressed by weak consumer spending, along with increasingly complex tax systems and regulations. The proposed 2015 budget, which would take effect October 1, 2014 takes aim at alleviating some of those barriers to economic growth, however, not every enterprise stands to benefit. Below are some of the proposed changes that start-up and small businesses should expect to see under the proposed plan:

Lower tax rates  President Obama’s plan intends to not to add to lower the national debt, so in order to pay for increased spending, the President has focused on decreasing tax breaks and corporate loopholes which benefit large businesses. For example, the budget would eliminate regulations that are commonly exploited by hedge funds and private equity groups and it will also end tax evasion tactics used by corporations that store profits overseas. Subsequently, some of the money saved would go toward the administration’s new spending initiatives including pullbacks on sequestration cuts and offsetting the nation’s corporate tax rate.

While many small businesses support the initiative to close loopholes long benefitting large enterprises, it is the lowering of the corporate tax rate where many have shown dissent. Most small businesses are structured as pass-through entities so that their owners pay the company’s taxes at an individual rate, not corporate. Consequently, many advise that lowering solely the corporate rate will put many small businesses at an even greater disadvantage because some entrepreneurs may lose access to certain tax breaks without seeing a reduction in their base.

Reductions in Spending for the SBA  President Obama’s plan calls for $710 million to run the Small Business Administration, a $100 million decrease from the SBA’s operating budget for 2014 and $200 million decrease from 2012. For the second year in a row, the Obama administration explained the decrease by pointing to improved economic conditions for commercial borrowers, which it expects to bring down default rates and lower the cost of the agency’s lending programs. As a result, the budget only provides $47.5 million to subsidize the departments loan programs, less than half it proposed to cover the programs in 2014.

Increased Federal Spending  the proposed budget asks Congress to approve an additional $56 billion in stimulus spending beyond the $1 trillion that House and Senate leaders have settled on in the budget deal struck last year. This additional capital is expected to expand early education and job-training programs and finance infrastructure projects over the next four years across the country. The increased spending in these areas could potentially provide opportunities for small businesses; particularly those connected with the transportation and construction sectors.

Senate Panel Hearing with President Obama SBA Nominee Maria Contreras-Sweet

A year after the search began, the Senate has taken the next step toward filling the opening at the top of the Small Business Administration (SBA) by holding its nomination hearing for Maria Contreras-Sweet.

During the hearing on Wednesday February 12, 2014 with member of the Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee, Contreras-Sweet, leaned heavily on her public and private sector experience as she vowed to use her post to help entrepreneurs achieve access to more capital, and secure more government contracts.

One area of concern for policymakers is whether small businesses have sufficient access to credit. Growing firms need capital, but smaller firms may have a harder time obtaining loans if they have less of a credit history. Lenders may also be reluctant to lend to small and relatively young firms based on the inability to accurately gauge the potential for the success. These factors are cited by policymakers to justify government intervention in credit markets that assist small businesses. Policymakers argue that market-driven lending denies credit to worthy small businesses, and so they have tasked the Small Business Administration with correcting this market failure.

Originally from Guadalajara, Mexico, Contreras-Sweet immigrated to the United States when she was 5 years old. She has made a point of working closely with Hispanic businesses and other minority groups that have been underserved by private investors and traditional bank lenders. She served as California’s Secretary of the states Business, Transportation and Housing Agency before founding ProAmerica Bank, a certified SBA lender specializing in commercial loans to small and mid-sized companies. By total assets, ProAmerica ranks 3,779th out of 6,900 American banks, according to data from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, with real estate loans constituting about 81 percent of its portfolio. What the F.D.I.C. classifies as small-business loans those under $1 million make up 15 percent. But these figures are misleading because the bank often makes a business loan using real estate as collateral, which the government tallies as a real estate loan. By the banks own accounting, 30 percent of its loans are business loans, and they average about $500,000 with about 62 percent of the banks lending to minorities.

Ms. Contreras-Sweet is also familiar with the S.B.A.’s counseling programs. At her insistence, ProAmerica Bank has teamed up with the Small Business Development Center at Santa Monica College, which is partly financed by the S.B.A. A loan officer at the bank teaches both at the center’s workshops for entrepreneurs a few times a year, and the bank sponsored workshops for its own clients several times. In both 2011 and 2012 the bank contributed $5,000 to the Small Business Development Center’s budget.

Many in the banking industry said her experience at ProAmerica should not be discounted. It’s been frustrating that there hasn’t been an S.B.A. administrator with banking experience for a very long time that I can recall, Mr. Winick at Clark Street Capital said. Getting somebody who has real-world banking experience and real-world S.B.A. experience is a big change for the agency.

Sabre88 Awarded Contract with Naval Supply Systems Command

Newark, New Jersey, February 4, 2014  Sabre88 wins contract award with the Naval Air Systems Command. The contract will require Sabre88, a global consulting firm in Newark, New Jersey, to hire new employees responsible for providing the continued logistics and support for ground support equipment for the Navy. Sabre88 personnel will manage the induction and the continued maintenance of all equipment in support of the NAVSUP, the entity responsible for supplying sustained logistics for the Navy.

Additionally, Sabre88 personnel will be responsible for providing in-depth and focused analysis of NAVAIR operational and systems plans to develop comprehensive equipment implementation strategies. Research and analysis obligations will include but are not limited to:

  • Assessment of current and emerging technologies and their applications
  • Test and Evaluation Planning
  • Assessment of design proposal for processes, systems and IT infusions
  • Cost benefit analyses, risk assessment and risk reduction planning

Sabre88 has been awarded this opportunity for a period of one year plus three options years and is one of the rapidly expanding company’s largest contracts to date. Sabre88 is committed to delivering mission-critical solutions to our clients, said Chairman and CEO Robert Cottingham, Jr. It is this mindset that continues to help lead us to opportunities to be successful. We are delighted at the chance to bring our unique work culture and perspective in the administration of services to NAVSUP and the Navy.

About Sabre88, LLC.  Sabre88 is a global consulting firm applying capabilities in technology, public policy, international affairs, healthcare and education to government and commercial clients. With more than twenty years of experience offering strategic solutions, Sabre88 staff advance the firm’s mission to provide civilian and defense agencies of the government with the necessary tools to address emerging challenges and pursue global opportunities.




Benjamin Bratton

Sabre88, LLC.

Tel.: (973) 321-4886

Fax: (973) 833-0286