Sequestration is now a reality. OK, a 5 to 10% cut across the board and no big deal, right? Who hasn't had to deal with a 10% cut in business and managed to make the adjustment? If that was all that was asked, I don't think there would be this much complaining. The real issue is the compounding of several events. It started in 2010 when the Defense Department announced they would trim $100 Billion from their budget over the next 5 years. Then came the Budget Control Act in 2011 that required the Defense budget be cut by $487 Billion over the next 10 years. Add to that the recent pressure to reduce the budget for 2013 and 7-10% Sequestration cuts across the board. Not to mention the continuing resolution, which is still looming, that threatens to reduce the 2013 proposed budget further. I just saw today where congress is considering a plan to reduce the effects of sequestration by replacing it with a "more responsible" spending cut plan that could soften the blow in the DOD.
To try and get a sense of what is actually going on, I listened to an Air Force director of small business programs at an NDIA meeting last week. He is concerned about a number of things including employee furloughs, canceled programs and the effects on small business. He also has some good news for small business. He indicated that the Air Force utilization (Small Business Obligated $ divided by Total Eligible Obligated $) of Small Business has been on the decline the last 4 years. The Air Force is committed to reverse that trend going forward. That will mean a more focused effort to give more awards to small business. He suggested that Small Businesses get to know their customer(s) in the Air Force and look for opportunities. They need to make sure they pay attention to the Air Force Long Range Acquisition Estimates and do their due diligence with the contracting office and the technical representatives. So, while the total DOD opportunities will be limited, there will be a focus in the Air Force at least to doing more with Small Business. If you need help trying to figure out how to get on board with this, let me know.