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Hudson Says GSA is Ready and Able to Assist Small Businesses

As Prepared for Delivery

Remarks by
Julia Hudson
Regional Administrator
U.S. General Services Administration
Small Business Forum
Hyattsville, MD
August 27, 2010

GOOD MORNING.  Congresswoman Edwards (Donna), ladies and gentlemen, it is an honor and a pleasure for me to be here.

Today concludes my first week as Regional Administrator for GSA’s National Capital Region.  I must say, this week has gone by like a whirlwind!  

As the Regional Administrator for the General Services Administration (GSA), National Capital Region (NCR), and a champion for small businesses, I am proud that the General Services Administration could play a role in Congresswoman Donna Edwards’ first Small Business fair.

We – like all components of government: federal or local – have a responsibility to the community in general, and all segments of the socio-economic community.  This training is an example of how seriously we take our responsibility to the communities we serve and how we work together within the entities of government for the strengthening of our Nation’s economy.

The General Services Administration, GSA –  as it is commonly referred to – is not widely known to the general public, so let me take just a moment to tell you “who we are” and briefly explain “what we do.”  GSA serves as a centralized procurement and property management agency for the Federal government.  

Although operating as one, GSA has two separate services – the Federal Acquisition Service / FAS and the Public Buildings Service / PBS.  

Nationwide, PBS (the Public Buildings Service) manages more than one-fourth of the government’s total procurement dollars and influences the management of $500 billion in federal assets. PBS is known as “the Federal government’s landlord.”  The PBS staff in the National Capital Region provides office space and related services to more than 300,000 federal workers located throughout  Washington, DC; Maryland (Montgomery and Prince George's counties); and Virginia (the cities of Alexandria and Falls Church, and Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun, and Prince William counties).  That’s the makeup of the National Capital Region.

NCR manages 95 million square feet of space, of which we own approximately 42 million square feet and lease the balance.   Our “footprint” is large and the imprint left in the communities in which we have a presence should leave a positive, productive and long lasting impression.

Among the many services PBS provides are projects involving the construction of new buildings, the repair, alteration and renovation of existing facilities, and the development of properties.  We are here today to assist you in securing a GSA schedule contract as well as sharing successful marketing strategies.

You will also hear from one of our leasing experts who will explain how we fulfill our customers’ housing needs. GSA already has a substantial presence here.  In the past decade, we have built a new, 1.5 million square foot headquarters for the Census Bureau and a new satellite operations center for NOAA at Suitland Federal Center.  We have a large IRS office building at New Carrollton.  Our consolidation of FDA facilities in suburban Maryland includes the new Harvey Wiley building in College Park.  

In addition, GSA maintains schedules of businesses eligible to sell goods and services to the federal government.  As we ramp up our efforts to respond to President Obama’s call for achieving a more sustainable and environmentally friendly federal establishment, agencies will be seeking opportunities to buy a wide variety of products that are certified as being green.

GSA is here today as part of an ongoing series of meetings and discussions with the Prince George’s County business community to acquaint you with how to do business with us.  We have conducted bus tours for our customers to show them what you have to offer.  We have had your local economic development officials come visit us to make a pitch for doing business here.  And we have conducted several of these small business seminars.

Today, our interest is the small business community.

We recognize that small businesses are crucial to our nation’s economy and strength.  You are the foundation that our future is built upon.  GSA understands that doing business with small businesses is a GOOD BUSINESS DECISION.  However, in order for you to do business with the Federal government, obtaining a GSA Schedule is strongly encouraged. That is what today is all about.

You will become more familiar with the policies and procedures regarding being on the GSA schedule. During the sessions, ask questions, give us your comments and concerns. Your feedback is important to us because you represent a segment of the business community that GSA is committed to working with.   

We are here today to ensure that all of you in Prince George’s County have opportunities to get a piece of the action in federal contracts for the goods and services our government needs to continue pushing economic recovery.  I hope you learn a lot today about doing business with us, and you leave here with a renewed commitment to helping GSA house and provide the 300,000 federal employees in this region with the services and equipment they require to carry out their job.

Thank you for your participation today and in advance, for your participation tomorrow. We look forward to the possibility of working with you.