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DOD, SBA Sign Agreement to Strengthen Small Business Development

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The Department of Defense and the Small Business Administration will work together to strengthen and broaden the development of U.S. small businesses and better meet the needs of such enterprises under a memorandum of understanding, DOD News reported Wednesday.

“One of the things that we want to make sure that we’re doing is providing resources and support to small businesses who are looking to do business with DOD, with other federal agencies, with state and local government and really reduce barriers to entry,” said Farooq Mitha, director of small business programs at DOD.

Mitha and Mark Madrid, associate administrator of SBA’s office of entrepreneurial development, signed the MOU Friday at the Maryland Procurement Technical Assistance Center in College Park.

Maryland PTAC is one of the more than 90 DOD-funded centers that seek to help small businesses find and secure contracts from the Pentagon and other federal agencies. PTACs will be rebranded as APEX Accelerators, which seek to promote innovation and establish resilient supply chains in support of the defense industrial base.

SBA operates more than 1,000 small business development centers.

“Today was about breaking down silos and working together because we’re all in it for the same reason,” Madrid said.

Madrid noted that the two agencies will explore ways to facilitate integration of trainings that SBDCs and APEX Accelerators offer and host at least one national event each year.

SBA and DOD also launched a joint effort, called the Small Business Investment Company Critical Technologies Initiative, to drive investments in critical technologies that are key to national security.