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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Sandia National Laboratories on Tuesday announced a 5 percent pricing preference for qualified small businesses in the state.

The preference could apply to about $100 million in competitive subcontract awards during the first year of the program, Delfinia Salazar, senior manager of the labs’ Supply Chain Integration Department, said in a news release announcing the program. The program would apply to subcontracts for research and development, customized equipment, professional services, commercial items and information technology.

“Sometimes it’s challenging for small New Mexico businesses to compete with out-of-state companies or larger businesses,” Labs Director Steve Younger said in the release. “We’re committed to New Mexico, and we want to give our small businesses a hand.”

Sandia will apply the 5 percent preference while evaluating subcontract awards worth $150,000 to $5 million. When a qualified New Mexico small business submits a bid, the labs will add 5 percent to the bids of other businesses that don’t qualify as New Mexico small businesses.

To qualify for the preference, companies must meet North American Industry Classification System Code and associated Small Business Administration size standards, be registered and licensed in New Mexico, have an operating location in state and 50 percent of its employees must be state residents, among other requirements.

Sandia says it spends roughly $1.1 billion annually on contracted goods and services. In fiscal year 2017, small businesses received 53 percent, or $581 million, of those contracts. About $270 million went to New Mexico small businesses, according to the labs. Sandia has set a goal of increasing the percentage spent on all small businesses to 60 percent in the next five years.

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