Well this looks like some good news coming out of Washington for a change. Congress has put together a budget proposal that will help keep the government running for the next 2 years and soften the blow of sequestration. This, of course, assumes that both houses can come to agreement and the President doesn't veto the bill. I think none of those things will happen and we will get a budget bill to pass.
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I attended a briefing this week by the Director of Small Business with the Air Force Space Command. It was very enlightening to see the status of small business contracting within this section of the Air Force. Yes, the budget cuts and sequestration has reduced the amount of money being spent in this sector. But the good news is that the small business goals are being met in a lot of areas despite the reduction in dollars (on a percentage basis). The Air Force is using some creative tactics to insure that small business has an opportunity and that the small business goals can be met. I think that the Air Force realizes that small business is the best hope for job growth as well as the best chance for new innovations.
There are plenty of people offering suggestions about what the government's sequestration is doing to the industry of government contracting. Defense contractors are the largest segment of this population and probably the most impacted. There have been projections that the Department of Defense would have to lay off over 6,000 of it's civilian workforce in 2014 just due to sequestration cuts. It was also forecast that research and procurement could be cut by up to 16% and maintenance could be cut by as much as 12%.
As the Federal Budget changes and is whittled down, there will obviously be some programs that will be cut and or eliminated. It has been widely publicized that non-essential travel has been greatly reduced within the government to help reduce costs. Even the Blue Angels flight team was grounded for a period of time during 2013 (They will be back in the air for the upcoming fiscal year). I thought it might be worthwhile to look at some of the programs that we have heard of that could either be casualties or might be good candidates to survive.
The government shutdown was ended on October 16th by implementation of a continuing resolution to fund the government until January 15, 2014 (H.R. 2775). Everyone breathed a sigh of relief and all federal workers returned to the workplace. That is all well and good but does this mean business as usual? How will this affect the small businesses across the country that are known as government contractors? The question that most small businesses are asking is how it affects them and if it will cause a disruption in either business as they have known it or will it disrupt their cash flow?