Congress Renews Comprehensive Subcontracting Plan Test Program

The House of Representatives voted last week to renew the Pentagon’s 25-year old Comprehensive Subcontracting Plan Test program for three more years of testing despite claims from Pentagon spokeswoman Maureen Schumann stating that the Pentagon would like to see the program terminated due to a lack of any quantifiable results proving the programs efficacy. The Senate is expected to renew the Test Program by the end of the week as part of the 2015 National Defense Authorization Act (NDCA).

The Comprehensive Subcontracting Plan Test Program was set up in 1990 to “determine if comprehensive subcontracting plans on a corporate, division or plant-wide basis would lead to increased opportunities for small businesses”. Currently the program has failed to publish a report or yield any relevant data, and small business advocates charge that the Test Program’s existence is actually costing smaller companies opportunities by allowing larger firms a loophole exempting them from submitting subcontracting reports used to monitor compliance with small business goals allowing a work to get around the government wide goal of awarding 23 percent of all federal contract dollars to small business. In 2010, the American Small Business League (ASBL) launched a national campaign to potentially block the Test Program’s extension and last September Professor Charles Tiefer, one of the nation’s leading experts in federal contracting law called the program a “sham” due to the egregious lack of transparency and oversight, stating that “The program and its extension will be seriously harmful to vital opportunities for small businesses to get government contracting work.”

Last summer, chairman of the Small Business Committee, Rep. Same Graves, R-Mo, pressed for revision in the NDCA to increase transparency and accountability in the program, however Senators on the Armed Services Committee called for an end to the program entirely. The final bill, which the President is expected to sign will extend the program for another three years but will require thorough reporting in greater detail more frequently.

Government Shutdown Averted at Last Minute

“WASHINGTON” The House narrowly passed a $1.1 trillion spending package on Thursday that would fund most government operations for the fiscal year after a rancorous debate that reflected the new power held by Republicans and the disarray among Democrats in the aftermath of the midterm elections.

The accord was reached just hours before the midnight deadline, in a 219-206 vote, amid the last-minute brinkmanship and bickering that has come to mark one of Congress’s most polarized and least productive eras. The legislation now heads to the Senate, which is expected to pass it in the coming days” New York Times By ASHLEY PARKER and ROBERT PEAR DEC. 11, 2014

Avoiding Government Shutdown Likely

Action to come Thursday.

“WASHINGTON” Congressional leaders reached a deal Tuesday on a more than $1 trillion spending package that would fund most of the federal government through the current fiscal year. But because negotiations on the package dragged over policy details, House lawmakers also prepared to move on a short-term spending measure that would avert a government shutdown if Congress cannot pass the larger bill by Thursday, when the current funding expires. Even with nettlesome last-minute issues, leaders in both parties expressed confidence that they would be able to keep the government running. Lawmakers battled behind the scenes over dozens of additional policy provisions ranging from the Environmental Protection Agency’s jurisdiction over some bodies of water to the District of Columbia’s marijuana laws to matters of campaign finance. The big spending package, which congressional leaders had hoped to have ready on Monday, did not come until Tuesday evening. The final legislation would largely keep domestic funding at current levels, while providing more money to fight various crises abroad. The House is expected to vote on the package on Thursday before sending it to the Senate. The short-term measure would provide the Senate cover and avoid a government shutdown if the Senate is unable to also pass the bill that day.

The spending bill would fund nearly all of the federal government through September 2015, except for the Department of Homeland Security, which it would fund only through February, in retaliation for President Obama’s unilateral action to defer the deportation of as many as five million undocumented immigrants. Congressional Republicans plan to take up funding for the agency which has primary responsibility for carrying out the president’s immigration directive early next year, when they will control both chambers of Congress and believe they will have more leverage”-New York Times December 10, 2014

Join the Movement: Small Business Saturday, November 29th!

In 2010, American Express founded Small Business Saturday with the goal of helping small businesses achieve their most pressing need finding new customers. Small Business Saturday encourages people to shop at small business on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Customers that register their American Express cards to shop at small business will be given a monetary credit for each registered cardholder.

Shopping locally can revitalize your community, local economy and creates jobs. This is why Sabre88 is a supporter of Small Business Saturday and the undertaking to promote small business this shopping season.

Federal Womens Owned Small Business Program in Need of Oversight

The US Small Business Administration’s women-owned small business program, which begun in 2012 with the intent to funnel federal dollars to small businesses owned by women, has been failing to certify that only eligible business are awarded contracts according to a report issued by the US Government Accounting Office.

In order to take part in the WOSB program, a small business must be 51 percent owned and controlled by a woman which it must prove through financial documentation. The program went into effect in 2012 after the government failed to continue to meet a 15-year goal of awarding at least 5 percent of its prime and subcontract dollars to business owned by women. According to many The WOSB program has had limited effect on federal contracting opportunities available to WOSBs. Set aside contracts under the program represent less than 1 percent of all federal obligations to WOSBs.

“Without ongoing monitoring and oversight of the activities and performance of third-party certifiers, the Small Business Administration cannot reasonably assure that certifiers fulfill the requirements of the agreement,” claims the GAO. “As a result of inadequate monitoring and controls, potentially ineligible businesses may continue to incorrectly certify themselves as WOSBs, increasing the risk that they may receive contracts for which they are not eligible.”

Contracting officers, business owners and industry experts identified challenges and suggested potential modifications to influence proper program uses including: allowing sole-source contracts rather than requiring two businesses to compete, along with expanding the list of 330 industries that WOSBs are eligible for set asides.

Congressional Changes Imminent for Nation’s Small Businesses

Last week Republicans expanded their majority in the House of Representatives and captured enough seats in the Senate to seize control of Congress, splitting the balance of political power between the Capitol and the White House. While the consequences for single-party control of the Capitol remains to be seen, there are some important ramifications for the nation’s small businesses.

New Leadership on the Small Business Committees:

The House committee was already preparing for leadership change as Chairman Sam Graves R-Mo, prepared to step down in keeping with self-imposed term limits. For the Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee, change at the top is expected as well as the gavel switches hands from Democrat to Republican. Senator Maria Cantwell, D-Wash will be forced to hand over leadership less than one year after assuming the chairmanship. Sen. James Risch, R-Idaho, currently the highest-ranking Republican on the committee, is likely to take over as chairman. Risch has pushed for more scrutiny over the small-business implications of federal regulations and has penned bills meant to help small firms raise more capital.

Tax Overhaul

Republican authored tax plans may likely sit better with many small business owners than the alternatives pitched thus far by the White House which has pushed only for corporate tax reform. Small business groups have noted that most small businesses are set up as pass through entities and would therefore see no legislation that influences their tax rate.

Health Care

Republicans aren’t likely to repeal the health care law in its entirety but are likely to make changes that small businesses oppose. Some owners oppose a portion of the law that declares employees who work 30 or more hours a week full-time. Those workers must be offered affordable coverage if a business will have 100 or more employees in 2015. There’s a good chance Republicans will try to ease that requirement.

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

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 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