In times of national crises, the federal government calls upon businesses throughout the country to deliver emergency goods and services where Americans need them most.
These days, with the current COVID-19 epidemic going on and no clear end in sight, the government’s need for a network of reliable providers has become apparent than ever.
Thankfully, any U.S. business owner can step forward to do their part and be well compensated for their efforts at the same time. But before organizations can actually perform any of the vital work they’re capable of—or be called upon for aid through the official channels—they’ll first need to complete a registration process with the federal government.
The Benefits of Performing Disaster Relief: The Government is Buying Right Now
These past months have witnessed massive spending toward emergency relief of all kinds, with millions upon millions of dollars spent in the United States alone.
This spending has gone toward everything from medical equipment such as masks, test kits, and ventilators, to electronics like computers and laptops, digital services like telecommunication platforms and cybersecurity software, and beyond.
Of course, while today’s need for such sudden increases in emergency spending against COVID-19 was something that couldn’t be well predicted, it has been well understood that disasters will surprise international communities at any time—and that it pays to be prepared. That’s why every year a large portion of the over $500 billion which the federal government allocates toward contract spending is set aside to fund inventible disaster relief work.
And that preparation is paying off.
As this epidemic goes on, the nation’s rate of spending on emergency goods and services has risen drastically already and will only continue to get larger. Meaning, every day, there’s more and more ways for registered businesses to lend a hand. Not to mention, after the crisis has been quelled, those organizations will have even more to gain from the usual long-term benefits that federal registration provides.
For instance: In addition to the social and economic benefits of contributing during this pandemic, registered organizations maintain the ability to provide services against disasters that will unfortunately but inevitably strike in the future.
Plus, in times of peace, registration with the government also means organizations will be able to bid on general contracting opportunities on the federal marketplace, gain preferential treatment on contracts in the private sector, and earn the chance to receive lucrative grants from the system for awards management (SAM). For more about those general advantages of registration and federal certifications, check out this informative article.
How to Access Disaster Relief Work Opportunities
As previously mentioned, under nationwide regulations, organizations must be registered with the federal government and listed in the SAM database before becoming eligible to provide disaster relief work.
Doing so takes registering for a DUNS number from the Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS), which are the official codes the federal government and other international organizations recognize businesses across the globe. These 9-digit identifiers are how the government contacts and coordinates with organizations both local and abroad, and without one, a business will be unable to apply to give emergency aid and receive their share of federally mandated funds for that work.
In addition to a DUNS number, organizations must also complete a lengthy SAM registration process to acquire a necessary listing in the government’s awards database.
Lastly, after both of these initial registration processes are complete a business must file their information once more. This time with the U.S. defense logistics agency to receive a CAGE code. These codes are five-digit designations that are used specifically and extensively by the federal government. But after businesses acquire this final ID for themselves, they will finally have everything they need to access disaster relief opportunities.
Each filing procedure takes some time and can be fairly complicated, but when filed successfully, the results speak for themselves. For a more detailed look at what it takes to complete the full registration process to access federally supplied work feel free to read on here.
Registering to Provide Disaster Relief: Alone or with the Professionals?
One of the best parts about registering to work with the federal government by yourself is that it doesn’t cost a cent.
However, due to the heavy amount of clerical work involved—and the unfortunate fact that the tiniest filing error during registration can leads to hours of additional headaches navigating a complex addendum process—many business owners opt to take the professional route instead by having the experts take care of everything for them.
From handling every step described above accurately and expediently, to guiding businesses on how to master the federal marketplace and the disaster relief opportunities after registration is said and done, there are trusted options available (like our own Federal Award Management Registration) organizations can turn to.
Though as with any important service regarding your business, before you consider putting its registration in the hands of anyone else, remember to research reviews and assess their reliability through a trusted source first.