Waséyabek Federal Services, LLC (WFS), a subsidiary of Waséyabek Development Company, LLC (WDC), which is wholly owned by the Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi (NHBP), has recently been notified by the United States Small Business Administration (SBA) of its acceptance into the SBA 8(a) Business Development Program. WFS completed an exact and meticulous application process to qualify and is now positioned to start implementing its federal contracting strategy.
“Receiving 8(a) certification is the realization of a goal set by the NHBP Membership, Tribal Council, and WDC Board of Directors in 2014. The program assists Tribes with providing goods and services to the U.S. Government and is part of a broader economic diversification initiative undertaken by NHBP to diversify its economy and provide career development opportunities to Tribal Members.” – Jamie Stuck, Tribal Council Chairman
WFS plans to provide General and Administrative Management Consulting Services, as well as Facilities Support Services to federal agencies including the FDIC, GSA, DoD, and DoE. WFS already provides facilities support at the White House in Washington, D.C. In addition, two other WDC subsidiaries, DWH and Baker Engineering, LLC, provide financial services to the FDIC and R&D services to the Navy, Army, and Air Force, respectively.
“NHBP is one of only two Tribes 8(a) certified in the State of Michigan. Certification allows WFS access to at least $23 billion in small business contracts with the US Government in 2019; $6 billion of which is set aside exclusively for 8(a) companies. Gaining SBA approval was an arduous process but solidifies the 3rd element of our economic development strategy and substantially improves our future revenue potential.” – Deidra Mitchell, President & CEO of Waséyabek Development Company, LLC and Managing Member of Waséyabek Federal Services, LLC
The SBA 8(a) Business Development Program assists small, disadvantaged, minority-owned businesses by limiting competition for certain contracts to businesses that are approved to participate. The duration for each 8(a) company spans nine years with a four-year developmental stage and five-year transition stage. Within that time, SBA closely monitors the progress of the business at each stage to ensure it is accomplishing its goals and continues to meet the criteria to be considered economically and socially disadvantaged. Unlike individuals who own an 8(a), Tribally-owned entities may form and operate multiple 8(a)’s because the federal Government recognizes that these enterprises must provide benefits to entire communities of Tribal citizens.
“8(a) certification gives WFS a valuable tool to help secure Federal contracts. Now the hard work begins. The WDC Board of Directors looks forward to advising and monitoring the portfolio as the staff grows this additional business line and develops its full capacity over the next several years.” – Jeri Pamp, WDC Board Member