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As we close out 2023, I want to share my appreciation to everyone involved in advancing the Department of Defense’s Small Business Strategy and recognize significant milestones achieved this year.
To our Small Business Professionals and acquisitions workforce, your dedication and unwavering support have been instrumental in advancing our shared mission to foster a thriving ecosystem of small businesses engaging with the Department of Defense.
Throughout the past year, your commitment to excellence has not only increased the number of small businesses collaborating with the DoD but has also played a pivotal role in expanding the diversity of our suppliers and fortifying the resilience of our supply chain. Your tireless efforts have set the stage for innovation, competitiveness, and growth
Small businesses are crucial to national security. Our military depends on small businesses that bring innovation and agility to support DoD’s mission. From providing critical component parts, to cutting edge software platforms, to essential services, small businesses provide support across nearly the entirety of the Department.
A special thanks to the small businesses who have engaged with us this year – whether that was through the Mentor-Protégé Program or Indian Incentive Program, at one of the more than 97 APEX Accelerators across the country, with Project Spectrum, or with our other industry engagement support services – we welcome you to the Defense Industrial Base and thank you for partnering with us to support our nation’s Warfighters.
An important milestone from the year to highlight is the permanent authorization of the Mentor-Protégé Program (MPP) in the 2023 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). Created as a pilot in 1990 by former Senator Sam Nunn and implemented by former Defense Secretary William Perry, the DoD’s MPP helps eligible small businesses expand their footprint in the defense industrial base. In the past five years, DoD’s MPP has successfully helped more than 190 small businesses fill unique niches and become part of the military’s supply chain.
In addition, this year we transitioned the Procurement Technical Assistance Program (PTAC) from the Defense Logistics Agency to our office and rebranded the program as APEX Accelerators. The APEX Accelerators program focuses on building a strong, sustainable, and resilient U.S. supply chains by assisting a wide range of businesses that pursue and perform under contracts with the DoD, other federal agencies, state, and local governments and with government prime contractors.
Last month, we opened the first new APEX Accelerator in Dearborn, Mich. which fills a critical gap in the region. Ensuring resilient supply chains and national security requires that we expand the Defense Industrial Base with diverse, agile, and innovative companies. The 97 APEX Accelerators throughout the country are the front door for businesses to acquire the skills and support to enter the Defense Industrial Base as a supplier.
I want to express my gratitude to everyone for your hard work and collaboration.
The successes we have achieved together are a testament to the strength of our partnership. In the spirit of the New Year, let us resolve to continue pressing forward to achieve the Department’s small business goals and the objectives from the Small Business Strategy.
Here's to a year filled with shared successes, meaningful partnerships, and a collective commitment to excellence. Wishing you and your loved ones a joyful and prosperous New Year!
Mr. Farooq Mitha
Office of Small Business Programs
Originally published in the DoD Small Business Digest, the newsletter published on LinkedIn by the Office of Small Business Programs. Learn more and subscribe via LinkedIn or received a PDF version by email by signing up here.