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National Small Business Week 2017 - Small Business Certification Programs and You (May 2, 2017)

If your small business is not certified, then you should consider the benefits of having your business become certified. Having your small business certified is similar to a person having a collegiate degree or personal certification such as a Certified Public Accountant. Certifications signify to federal, state, and local government organizations, prime contractors, subcontractors, and other types of contracting organizations that “I meet a requirement that you are looking for” or “My business is able to satisfy your procurement needs”.  

Small business certification benefits include, but are not limited to:

  • Small business set-aside and sole source contracts
  • Price evaluation preference under full and open competition
  • Preference for VA contracts

U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Small Business Certification Programs:

8(a) Program

  • The 8(a) Business Development Program is a business assistance program for small disadvantaged businesses. The 8(a) Program offers a broad scope of assistance to firms that are owned and controlled at least 51% by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals. This program is designed to assist socially and economically disadvantaged entrepreneurs gain a foothold in government contracting.

Historically Underutilized Business Zones (HUBZone) Program

  • The HUBZone program was enacted into law as part of the Small Business Reauthorization Act of 1997. The program falls under the auspices of the SBA. The program encourages economic development in historically underutilized business zones - "HUBZones" - through the establishment of preferences.

Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB) Federal Contracting Program

  • The WOSB Federal Contract Program was implemented in February 2011 with the goal of expanding the number of industries where WOSB were able to compete for business with the federal government.  This program enables Economically Disadvantaged WOSBs (EDWOSBs) to compete for federal contracts that are set-aside for EDWOSBs in industries where women-owned small businesses are underrepresented. It also allows set-asides for WOSBs in industries where women-owned small businesses are substantially underrepresented.  

Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business Concern (SDVOSBC) Procurement Program

  • The purpose of the Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business Concern Procurement Program is to provide procuring agencies with the authority to set acquisitions aside for exclusive competition among service-disabled veteran-owned small business concerns, as well as the authority to make sole source awards to service-disabled veteran-owned small business concerns if certain conditions are met.

For more information on small business certification programs and their benefits, please visit SBA’s website by clicking here.

Updated: Wednesday, May 3, 2017
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