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Open for Business - Frequently Asked Questions

These are questions business owners frequently have regarding their company and the Department of Homeland Security.

Q: I am a small business owner with an established product I want to sell to Homeland Security. What should I do next?

A: If your product is ready for market, first try to determine if your product is most likely to be purchased directly by Homeland Security or a state or local government. If your product is a candidate for direct Department of Homeland Security procurement, first you'll want to identify those organizations that might potentially buy what you sell. That can be done by:

  1. Reviewing the information at the Small Business Assistance webpage to get a better understanding of the small business marketing tools and business information available to assist with your marketing efforts.
  2. Reviewing the Forecast of Contract Opportunities to get a better understanding of what each organization intends to buy.
  3. Determining which organizations to market to, then preparing a marketing plan and contacting the appropriate Small Business Specialist by e-mail or phone to introduce your company and by reviewing our Marketing Tips.
  4. Scheduling a meeting with the Small Business Specialist through the Vendor Outreach Session Program.
  5. Preparing to discuss specific projects or solutions you can provide for the organization.
  6. Following-up with the Small Business Specialist, and reviewing postings of the Current Contract Opportunities, and registering to receive Department of Homeland Security electronic notices through FedBizOpps.

In rare cases, firms may have an innovative and unique idea for which submission of an unsolicited proposal may be the right approach. Before beginning this process, however, you should carefully and objectively assess your idea to ensure that it is, in fact, innovative and unique, and that it is not already commercially available to the government. Unsolicited proposals are offered with the intent that the government will enter into a contract with the offeror for research and development or other efforts supporting the Government mission. Additionally, you should research Part 15.6 of the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) which provides simple but specific criteria that must be met before an unsolicited proposal can be reviewed. Once you have reviewed these requirements and made the determination that you have a valid unsolicited proposal, then you should submit your proposal to the most appropriate point of contact.

Q: I am a small business owner with an idea in the development stage. Does the Department of Homeland Security have any opportunities for small businesses in the Research and Development (R&D) arena?

A: Yes. The Homeland Security Office of Science and Technology offers several programs in the research and development arena. These include opportunities announced as Broad Agency Announcements (BAA) and Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) projects. For additional information, please visit the Business Opportunities page maintained by the Science and Technology Directorate

Q: How does the Department of Homeland Security fund grants for state and local governments?  Should I market my firm's services directly to the state and local grant recipients? If so, how do I identify who they are?

A: Homeland Security provides grant funding through several grants programs. Recipients of the grants funding are primarily state and local municipalities. A listing of grant recipients can be found by contacting the individual state homeland security offices in which you have an interest. Marketing your firm's services directly to the grant recipient may enhance your ability to compete for a state or local contracting opportunity.

Q: Does the Department Homeland Security follow the basic federal procurement regulations and small business program?

A: Yes. The Department of Homeland Security components follow the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR).

Last Published Date: June 1, 2018

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