The Veterans Benefits Act of 2003 allows Federal contracting officers to restrict competition to Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Businesses (SDVOSB), and award a sole source or set-aside contract where certain criteria are met. Certified veteran-owned small businesses (VOSBs) have additional opportunities to pursue sole-source and set-aside contracts at the Veterans Administration (VA) under the VA’s Vets First program.
Section 862 of the NDAA 2021 amended the VOSB/SDVOSB requirements to transfer responsibility for certification of VOSBs and SDVOSBs to the SBA as of January 1, 2023 and created a certification requirement at SBA for SDVOSBs seeking sole source and set-aside contracts across the Federal Government. SBA will implement the new Veteran Small Business Certification Program in a new 13 CFR part 128. Self-certified firms seeking these restricted-competition opportunities must apply to SBA for certification by December 31, 2023. Additional background and analysis can be found in the final rule here: https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2022/11/29/2022-25508/veteran-owned-small-business-and-service-disabled-veteran-owned-small-business-certification
Preparing for certification factsheet from SBA: Preparing-for-certification-VetCertFactSheet-508c Revised 11.2.2023
Attend the next Virginia APEX Accelerator Webinar on the SDVOSB certification process
Website: Formerly vetbiz.gov, now https://www.sba.gov/federal-contracting/contracting-assistance-programs/veteran-contracting-assistance-programs
On October 7, 2010, the U.S. Small Business Administration published a final rule effective February 4, 2011, aimed at expanding federal contracting opportunities for women-owned small businesses (WOSBs). The Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB) Federal Contract program authorizes contracting officers to set aside certain federal contracts for eligible:
- Women-owned small businesses (WOSBs) or
- Economically disadvantaged women-owned small businesses (EDWOSBs)
To be eligible, a firm must be at least 51% owned and controlled by one or more women, and primarily managed by one or more women. The women must be U.S. citizens. The firm must be “small” in its primary industry in accordance with SBA’s size standards for that industry. In order for a WOSB to be deemed “economically disadvantaged,” its owners must demonstrate economic disadvantage in accordance with the requirements set forth in the final rule.
For certification application information and instructions, visit the SBA’s WOSB webpage:
https://www.sba.gov/contracting/government-contracting-programs/women-owned-small-businesses or https://wosb.certify.sba.gov/
For an additional resource check out the ChallengeHER Program: https://virginiaptac.org/useful-link/challengeher-program/
HUBZone Small Business
The HUBZone Program helps businesses in historically underutilized areas (based on census tracts and unemployment rates) gain access to federal procurement opportunities.
To be eligible, a business must:
- Have its principal office in a HUBZone
- Be 51% owned by U.S. Citizen(s)
- Qualify as a small business for its principal NAICS code
- Have at least 35% of its employees residing in a HUBZone
Application information, including mapping software to find out if a given location is in a HUBZone and the electronic application, can be found at the HUBZone Homepage.
On October 3, 2008 an interim final rule was published in the Federal Register stating that small businesses owned and controlled by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals may self-certify its status as a Small Disadvantaged Business (SDB). There is a presumption that individuals belonging to the following groups are socially disadvantaged: Black Americans; Hispanic Americans; Native Americans; Asian Pacific Americans; and Subcontinent Asian Americans. Others that feel they have been subjected to racial or ethnic prejudice or cultural bias within American society because of their identities as members of groups, and without regard to their individual qualities, may also qualify.
The self-certification is done by completing the Reps & Certs section within the SAM website www.sam.gov, or by completing a questionnaire sent by a prime contractor. The business’s SAM registration and Small Business Profile (aka Dynamic Small Business Search) registration should also reflect the small disadvantaged business status.
The 8(a) BD Program — named for Section 8(a) of the Small Business Act – is a business development program created to help small disadvantaged businesses compete in the American economy. It is also designed to assist such companies in gaining access to federal and private procurement markets.
The focus of the program is to provide business development support such as mentoring, procurement assistance, business counseling, training, financial assistance, surety bonding, and other management and technical assistance. The goal, however, is to prepare small disadvantaged firms for procurement and other business opportunities. The 8(a) BD portion of the SBA Website contains an assessment tool that will help a business determine if 8(a) is right for them. Additional information including eligibility requirements and the online application are available at the 8(a) home page.