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HUBZones Lack Support from Government and SBA

Posted by nbade on March 7, 2018

Written By: Desmond Boise via Lemon Wire
According to the Small Business Administration’s 2016 Small Business Scorecard, the Federal Government once again failed to meet its goal of awarding 3% of all contracts to HUBZone Certified Businesses.

In a 3 Part Series, we will investigate possible reasons for the government’s failure to achieve the 3% Goal for HUBZone Companies and attempt to provide solutions on how to fix what seems to be a downward trend.

FY 2016 Small Business Procurement Scorecard
*According to


2015 Achievement

2016 Goal

2016 Achievement

Small Business



($100.0 B)

Women Owned Small Business



($19.7 B)

Small Disadvantaged Business




Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business



($16.3 B)




($6.9 B


First, let’s go back to the origin of the Small Business Administration’s HUBZone Program.

On December 2, 1997 The Small Business Administration’s Historically Underutilized Business Zones (HUBZone) program was enacted into law as part of the Small Business Reauthorization Act of 1997.  The goal of the HUBZone Program was to help small businesses in urban and rural areas gain preferential access to federal procurement opportunities.  Stated in a different way, the goal of the HUBZone Program was to “create hope for hundreds of thousands of underemployed or unemployed who long ago thought our country had given up on them.” per Chairman Steve Knight (R-CA) of the House Committee on Small Business.

To assist HUBZone Business increase their chances to win federal procurement opportunities, the Small Business Reauthorization Act of 1997 through Section 31(b) Subsection 3, which states “PRICE EVALUATION PREFERENCE IN FULL AND OPEN COMPETITIONS.—In any case in which a contract is to be awarded on the basis of full and open competition, the price offered by a qualified HUBZone small business concern shall be deemed as being lower than the price offered by another offeror (other than another small business concern), if the price offered by the qualified HUBZone small business concern is not more than 10 percent higher than the price offered by the otherwise lowest, responsive, and responsible offeror”

In a simple example, let’s say the federal government issues a full open and competitive bid opportunity for office supplies.

To simplify, only 2 companies bid on this opportunity:

Company A is large business, like Office Depot or Staples

Company B is an SBA Certified HUBZone Company.  

On this opportunity:

Company A offers a price of $100
Company B offers a price of $109. 

Per the HUBZone Program and the Small Business Authorization Act of 1997, the federal government is legally obligated to award the contract to Company B since it is a HUBZone Company and its price is deemed to be lower since it is less than 10% higher than the next best offer.

The 10% price preference should provide a significant advantage to HUBZone Companies, but the data suggests otherwise.

In the next parts of the series, we will dig deeper into the data and provide feedback directly from government agency representatives and HUBZone Company principles.


Omron’s Avail Wireless TENS Dual Channel, Model PM601, combines the electric current therapy used by physical therapists and chiropractors with Blue Tooth Technology and wireless convenience. The Avail TENS is intended to be used in a clinic, hospital, at home or on the go as an alternative to drugs such as opioids.

Opioids are a class of drugs that include the illegal drug heroin, synthetic opioids such as fentanyl, and pain relievers available legally by prescription, such as oxycodone (OxyContin®), hydrocodone (Vicodin®), codeine, morphine, and many others.

As an alternative to opioids for pain, medical professionals have successfully used Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation Therapy, or TENS, for the last 30 years to treat pain. In TENS therapy an electric current is produced by a device to stimulate nerves mainly for therapeutic purposes. The Avail Wireless TENS is meant to be used to treat muscle soreness in legs, shoulders, lower back, and arms as result of exercise and physical activities.


Your smartphone can serve as a device controller for the Omron Avail.  To do this, the user needs to turn on the phone’s Bluetooth capability and download the TENS app from the Apple App Store for iOS devices or Google Play for Android devices. To pair the TENS device to a smartphone, the user must simply power on both devices.

In the Therapy Setting Screen the user can select which body location to treat and view the proper pad placement for the respective area of the body.


Omron recommends that each session using either the TENS or Microcurrent should last about 30 minutes. The maximum amount of TENS treatments one should have in one day is three, while you can do an unlimited number of sessions in a day of Microcurrent.

Past treatment sessions and pain history can be viewed in the Treatment/Session.

Note that the Omron Avail comes with two TENS devices, two contouring pads, a storage case, pad holder recharging station and AC adapter.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, 115 Americans die per day by overdosing on opioids.   In 2015, over 33,000 Americans died as result of opioid abuse.

Don’t be another statistic. Try Omron’s Avail Wireless TENS as your convenient, wireless, drug-free alternative to pain relief.

Product Info:

UPC:  073796636012
Model: PM601


  • Drug-Free
  • Multiple Modes
  • Bluetooth
  • Rechargeable Battery
  • Dual Channel Pain Treatment


In Box:

  • Two Omron Avail TENS devices
  • Two Wireless Soft Contouring Pads (one medium, one large)
  • Storage Case
  • Pad Holder
  • Recharging Station
  • AC Adapter
  • Instruction Manual


Today it seems fitness devices are must-have tools in the quest to lose weight.  After all, the most popular fitness gadgets possess technology that can track sleep, miles, calories, speed, and even heart rates.  Apps and devices assert that collecting this data helps the user better achieve and maintain his or her fitness goals.

What does science tell us?

In 2014, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission published a study titled “Consumer Generated and Controlled Health Data”. 1   The study found that twelve apps shared user’s health information with 76 different third-parties, often without the user’s consent.

Another study published October 4, 2016, in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology, looked at the effectiveness of activity trackers to increase physical activity.2 The study was conducted over the course of 13 months and its researchers were unable to identify any evidence of improvements in health outcomes including weight, blood pressure, and quality-of-life measures.

So who really benefits from fitness devices and apps?

Users of these devices may want to consider an arguably equally effective, more private, and less expensive device called a pedometer.

Hospitals and clinics including the US Department of Veterans Affairs encourage the use of pedometers.  A 2015 White Paper prepared for the US Department of Veterans Affairs titled “The Impact of Pedometers on Chronic Conditions – A Review of Reviews” found that that there are potential benefits of pedometer-based walking interventions for weight loss. Furthermore, the study concluded that pedometers could be an effective way to motivate patients with diabetes to make these necessary lifestyle changes needed to improve overall fitness levels and metabolic control.3

Omron is the industry leader in pedometers. Omron’s collection of the HJ-320, HJ-321, and HJ-325 are all great choices.

The table below summarizes the difference in Omron’s top three brands.



Alvita Optimized

Alvita Ultimate









Auto Reset at Midnight












Calories Burned




Aerobic Steps




Steps Per Minute












Strap and Clip



Users should note that Omron’s pedometers are not waterproof, can be carried in a pocket or clipped on a belt or bra strap, and are small and lightweight.

Although consumers have many options for fitness devices, why not try a pedometer first? It could be a step in the right direction.

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Intel Server Systems

VMUG User Conference

Posted by on July 27, 2015

Three of our employees attended the 2015 Indianapolis VMware User Group User Conference on Thursday, July 23. 



FMC is a minority-owned, small business focused on enriching client experiences. We provide IT solutions, office products, and additional services to government and commercial clients.


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Federal Merchants Corp possesses the following contracts:

  • DLA Contract Holder
  • GSA Schedule 36 
  • GSA Schedule 70
View all


  • HubZone Certified
  • Certified Small Business
  • Certified Minority-Owned Small Business
  • Small Disadvantaged Business
Learn more


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