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May 2024 Newsletter

Free Webinars & Events

The Maine APEX team hosts free webinars for those interested in learning more about government contracting.

How to Market your Socio-Economic Status (And How Not To!)

05/14/24 • 10:00am

Click here to learn more


Introduction to SBIR & STTR

05/21/24 • 11:00am

Click here to learn more


Build Business with the SBA HubZone Program

06/06/24 • 11:00am

Click here to learn more


View all events

PM’s Corner

A monthly feature from the ME APEX Director


2024 DoD Northeast Regional Training and Matchmaker Event

 

Our colleagues at the Vermont APEX Accelerator will be hosting the 2024 DoD Northeast Regional Training and Matchmaker Event next Wednesday and Thursday at the Hilton Lake Champlain located in Burlington. Registration is still available and complete details can be found at this site.


This two-day event provides a unique opportunity for small businesses in New England to engage directly with, Federal buyers, Government Agencies, and several Prime contractors who are looking for subcontractors. A list of buyers and resource attending is also available on the website.

The event also features:


  • Workshop presentations by experts in their field tailored for buyers and suppliers
  • Opportunities to network with industry and government leaders
  • Access to regional resource partners and discovery of available programs
  • Scheduled one-on-one appointments for suppliers with government purchasing agents & prime contractors


A few members of the Maine APEX team will be traveling to and participating in this event, so if you have questions about what to bring, or how to prepare for this matchmaker, please reach out to us!

CMCC 2.0 Model/Cybersecurity: "What You Need To Know Now"

Christopher Paradis, Maine APEX Counselor serving Franklin, Oxford, and Androscoggin Counties


After years of debate, the Department of Defense (DOD) published the Final Rule in the Federal Register for the CMMC 2.0 Model in December 2023. This has set in motion key milestone targets for implementation of the model starting now and running until 2027. The required level of compliance is determined by the type of information a company manages as outlined below:


Level 1-FCI = Federal Contract Information

Level 2-CUI = Controlled Unclassified Information 

Level 3-CUI+ (CDI) = Covered Defense Information


The good news is the DoD estimates that about 64% companies currently supplying them will need to meet/comply with the lowest Level 1-FCI standards, whereas 36% will need to meet/comply with the Level 2-CUI Standards, and finally just a mere .5% will need to meet/comply with the highest Level 3-CUI/CDI+ standards.


Taking the above into account, below are the latest estimated key milestone targets that companies doing business with the DOD should have on their radar screen, and in reality, should be actively working to put into place the needed resources and action items to develop their respective System Security Plans (SSP) to ensure they are prepared to meet these targeted deadlines. Though some implementation delays are anticipated, CMMC is not going away anytime soon. Therefore, forward thinking companies are still striving to do their best to meet the current laid-out milestone targets. 


  • 1st Quarter 2024: NIST SP 800-17, R3 (Additional protections for CUI Data come into play. 
  • CMMC 2.0 Phase #1:
  • 4th Quarter 2024: All CMMC Level 1 and 2 Companies must complete a Self-Assessment of CMCC readiness and report the score to DOD via SPRS portal (Supplier Performance Risk System). 
  • CMMC 2.0 Phase #2:
  • 2nd Quarter 2025: CMMC Level 2 companies should achieve compliance certification.
  • CMMC 2.0 Phase #3:
  • 2nd Quarter 2026: CMMC Level 3 companies should achieve compliance certification.
  • 4th Quarter 2026: All DOD Contracts will Require Meeting CMMC 2.0 Standards
  • CMMC 2.0 Phase #4:
  • 2nd Quarter 2027: CMMC 2.0 Model Fully Implemented.

Based on empirical evidence, I believe a significant number of Maine companies will fall under the 64% Level 1 compliance standards which requires as noted above the completion and reporting of their Self-Assessment readiness score in less than six months along with the Level 2 companies reporting as well. Considering other companies are relating that “real world experience” has shown it has been taking more than six months to plan and implement meeting the Level 1 standards, now is the time to act by taking the necessary steps to start your company’s CMCC 2.0 journey. Your Maine APEX Accelerator team can assist you in the journey by sharing directly with your company several informational resources to get you started.


 

Doing Business with Local Government Entities

Dana Delano, Maine APEX Procurement Counselor Serving Aroostook County


County governments and local municipalities all work to acquire goods and services in the most cost effective, efficient, and impartial manner possible. Goods, services, professional services, and construction are purchased in a variety of ways and offer small businesses the opportunity to participate while complying with appropriate local guidelines established by the county or municipality.

Some of the more common methods used by local government entities when purchasing goods and services include the following:


  • Request for Quotation - Products, supplies, and equipment are purchased through a competitive bid process. A RFQ or request for quotation is issued with an established bid due date, specifications, and quantity needed.
  • Request for Proposal - Consultant, professional, technical and construction services can be obtained through a RFP or requests for proposal, which consider skill and experience as well as cost in the evaluation process. A detailed Statement of Work specifying the project and a bid due date are important to this process.
  • Cooperative Purchasing Agreements –local governments can sometimes negotiate with state, university, and federal entities to utilize their vendor contract pricing and availability. If you have the opportunity to extend your products and services to local government entities through an existing contract, it is to your benefit to accept it!
  • Sole Source Negotiation - Also called noncompetitive negotiation, this method may be used when competition does not exist or would not be in the best interests of the local government, such as a specialty service offered by only one vendor. Past performance and extended pricing may also provide you with a gift called Sole Source contracts.


The key is to become familiar with the buying process of your local government entities for the goods or services you provide. Meet the local ‘point of contact’ (POC) that is responsible for the purchase of your goods or services. Find out how they advertise; local newspapers, mailings, posting on a ‘bid board’, or on-line. Provide the POC with your company’s ‘Capabilities Statement’. Follow up frequently with your local government POC’s so there is less chance of missing an opportunity. And lastly, talk with your APEX counselor about our Bid Match program. We want to assist you in finding viable opportunities. It is what we do.

Maine APEX Accelerator 40 Harlow Street, Bangor, Maine 04401 mainapex@emdc.org

Program Director:

Bryan Wallace

207.951.0644

APEX Counselor: North

Dana Delano

207.521.1713

Deputy Director: Central

Miranda Pelkey

207.356.1643

APEX

Counselor: Downeast

Jessica Crowley

207.620.2273

APEX Counselor: Midstate

Marissa Henkel

207.299.4810

APEX Counselor: West

Christopher Paradis

207.951.2498

APEX Counselor: South

Morgan Rocheleau

207.299.7083

APEX

Counselor: Native Businesses

Preston Thomas

207.866.6545 ext. 106