Surplus Property Program ‘Fills the Gap’ for Small Businesses 

Picutre of a yellow heavy work vehicle with a crane.

David Taylor was on a mission to advance his business operations when he discovered how using surplus property could play a pivotal role in evolving his construction firm. As a participant in the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Business Development 8(a) initiative, Taylor learned that he could access federal surplus personal property, including heavy equipment and other supplies, through the DOAS Surplus Property donation program. 

“I’m really trying to use the SBA program and all of the tools and resources that are available to truly build my business so that after exiting the 8(a) program, my business is stronger than it was before and goes to the next level. The surplus program is one of the ways you can do that because you have to have tools and machinery,” says Taylor.

As a federal government general contractor specializing in military installations, Taylor knows that having the most efficient equipment can make a tremendous impact on production and the demand that comes along with managing multiple projects. “We are currently managing about 18 different jobs. The equipment we receive helps in being able to perform our work,” he adds. 

His construction company supports several military bases in Georgia, including bases in Valdosta, Kingsland, and Albany. Through Surplus Property, Taylor’s company has acquired several pieces of equipment, including motor graders, a vacuum truck and most recently, a large crane that came from the Defense Logistics Agency in Missouri. 

Minimizing costs of overhead and inventory can make a difference in whether a small business can flourish or simply exist. Taylor expressed appreciation in not having to incur a large financial burden to obtain the necessary equipment needed to enhance services to customers. 

“Having an opportunity to obtain property from the Surplus program has been a really big help for us,” says Taylor. "It allowed me to obtain equipment at a very reasonable price that I would not otherwise be able to do at this point without going into large amounts of debt. That’s been a good thing and it’s a really good program in that regard. I can say that if I did not have access to surplus, there are some things I would not have. I wouldn’t be able to operate at this level. So, it’s been very helpful,” says Taylor.

Trained in construction by mentors at an early age, Taylor also shared that not only is he is determined to grow his business, but that he also has to be a savvy businessman in taking thoughtful consideration before purchasing new items at full cost. Another consideration for Taylor was the pandemic that produced challenges for small business owners and caused a trickledown effect on many industries, including the construction market. 

“The pandemic impacted the world and brought about a totally new dynamic to everything with construction, even down to equipment. Even if I was in a position to purchase a brand-new piece of equipment from a manufacturer, they were not available. In the supply chain, the equipment manufacturers were lacking are parts in manufacturing equipment to complete the process. Because of that, being able to obtain a good used piece has been really important,” says Taylor.

The DOAS Surplus Property team emphasizes that reusing property instead of purchasing new is an excellent way for businesses to save revenue and they are extremely excited to play a role in supporting small businesses in Georgia. “It is important for small businesses to maximize their resources, and when other options are not available, we're pleased to help bridge the gap,” says Tashika Wells, interim director of DOAS Surplus Property Division. 

The SBA Business Development Program provides opportunities for federal contracting to small businesses that are certified through its 8(a) program. All Georgia-based, SBA 8(a) participating small businesses are eligible to receive federal surplus property and can apply to the Surplus Property donation program.