Year after year, the Small Business Administration does its part to ensure that small businesses get their fair share of government procurement dollars. They have developed statutory guidelines requiring federal government agencies to “set aside” certain contracting opportunities exclusively for small businesses. As a whole, the SBA has pushed to set aside at least 23% of all prime government contracting dollars for small businesses. Taking it one step further, the SBA also helps federal agencies meet specific statutory goals to award contracts to: small disadvantaged businesses, women-owned small businesses, service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses, and small businesses that are located in historically underutilized business zones.
Small is Small
When registering to do business with the government in the System for Award Management (SAM), you are given the opportunity to self-certify your company as a “small business”. This is done by matching your business type to the government’s definition. Each business type is assigned a NAICS code and each NAICS code has a pre-defined definition of what a small business is considered. Some NAICS define small businesses by how much revenue they generate, while other NAICS codes take into consideration the number of full-time employees a business has.
To determine if your company meets the small business size requirements based on your NAICS code please refer to the Table of Small Business Size Standards Matched to North American Industry Classification System Codes. It is important to get this right and keep up with it as your business evolves. Agencies will use the SAM database to search for your business. So make sure they know who you are, your size, capabilities, location, experience and ownership type.
Who the SBA helps
If you are a women-owned small business, small disadvantaged business, HUBZone small business, or a service-disabled veteran-owned small business – scream and shout it! The SBA requires agencies to set-aside an additional 3-5% of their contract for these types of small businesses. While disadvantaged and service disabled small goals have been consistently utilized, women-owned and HubZone utilizations are still lagging behind other set-aside types. So, if you’re a “Linda” and own a small business, go out there and make it happen!