So a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) came over the wire at work for a project in Minnesota. I was quite excited about this, because getting the project would mean a trip to my old college stomping grounds. I ended up doing the lion's share of work on the proposal, including finding a Minnesota-based firm to team up with, and I thought we had a pretty solid bid. However, we learned today that we were denied. I was crushed.
The winning firm somehow came up with a cost proposal that was half of the amount of ours. Now, we're a small company in a low-wage, low cost-of-living area, so one of our advantages is that we can do jobs for (relatively) cheap. So we don't know how this other company will do the job for the price they offered. Also, the company that won proudly proclaims that they are a "Native-American owned, woman-owned small business." Now, I'm not sure exactly what preferences the government provides to such businesses, but the fact that firms that meet these qualifications trumpet them so boldly suggests that there's something there. I don't like it.