KCNSC HUBZone Open House Event a Home Run

KCNSC HUBZone Open House Event a Home Run

The Small Business Team at the Kansas City National Security Campus, managed by Honeywell FM&T, joined forces with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (DOE OSDBU) to host an all-day open house event at the Botts Road Meeting Center for the Historically Underutilized Business Zone (HUBZone) program on March 5, 2024. HUBZone, which seeks to support small business growth in less-engaged communities, currently includes more than 4,000 businesses across the country. The KCNSC’s 2024 open house welcomed 40 carefully selected HUBZone suppliers, providing an opportunity for vendors aligned with DOE site needs to meet directly with potential buyers.

After opening remarks from KCNSC Director of Procurement Jacque Coleman, DOE OSDBU Director Ron Pierce took the stage, marking the first-ever appearance by an OSDBU Director in the event’s history.

“We’ve had DOE OSDBU representation at our open houses in the past, but not the director,” said Purchasing Program Manager Karen West. “It was an honor to have him speak at our event.” 

Following Pierce’s speech, multiple presenters covered key HUBZone topics and related tips for small businesses. Among the presenters was Igor Soares from the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Kansas City District Office, who discussed the current state of the SBA’s HUBZone program and Senior Small Business Advocate Kent Hibben from the DOE OSDBU, who underlined requirements for interfacing with the DOE. Additionally, a panel of four KCNSC HUBZone suppliers shared experiences and insights garnered from doing business with DOE sites.

Later in the day, representatives from the KCNSC, Sandia National Labs, Mission Support and Test Services (MSTS) and the Supply Chain Management Center (SCMC) provided information regarding upcoming opportunities for HUBZone participants to engage in solicitations from their respective organizations. Each HUBZone supplier also had the chance to share information about their company with the audience, including what goods or services they sell and what differentiates them from their competition. To close, KCNSC buyers, business customers and participants from Sandia, MSTS, SCMC, SBA, DOE OSDBU and the HUBZone Contractor’s National Council took part in a networking session with the suppliers in attendance.

“This was the best small business outreach event I’ve been to, hands-down,” said one HUBZone supplier. “Inviting a limited number of vendors and giving each of us an opportunity to present what our company does was unique compared to any others I’ve attended.” They also noted their appreciation for the fast-paced – yet impactful – agenda that permitted increased conversation time with stakeholders in a more intimate setting.

The KCNSC has a 3% HUBZone spend goal for fiscal year (FY) 24 and is currently working to fulfill that target in support of HUBZone suppliers and other small businesses. 

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