Being able to acquire government contracts despite being a small business is quite an achievement in itself and it can boost the image of any small business.
A lot of us have been talking about the SBA’s small business programs. To understand what the program entails, we need to understand what a small business is according to the government. Any business that is independently owned and is not dominant in its field is considered a small business according to the criteria defined by the Small Business Administration. Depending on which industry is in question, the size eligibility is based on the sales volume over a three year period and also the number of employees in a 12 month period.
What is the Small Business Set Aside Program?
The Federal Government’s SBA certified small business program is meant to reserve a fair share of the Federal Contracting opportunities for small businesses only. The government ‘sets aside’ a part of their entire procurement forecast to be contracted with smaller businesses. It allows the small businesses to have an even footing with large businesses and helps them establish their portfolio during the transition to becoming a large company.
The government always buys goods and services at prices that are considered fair in the market. Hence, the government offers small business set aside contracts only when there are at least two small businesses that submit their offers to prevent any kind of monopoly. This ensures the rates are competitive and the quality of the product is not compromised. Having multiple parties bid on a contract ensures timely delivery as well which is of heave concern to the Federal Government.
What is the Small Disadvantaged Business Certification Program?
The Small Disadvantaged Business (SDB) Certification Program is one of the two programs that allow a business to become an SBA Certified small business. All SDB firms are eligible for special benefits that allow them to work closely with the government. Any firm that applies to the certification program is eligible for set aside contracts provided they meet the certification criteria. To become an SBA certified business at least 51% of the company should be owned by economically disadvantaged individuals.
Socially disadvantaged individuals are those who have been subjected to racial or ethnic prejudice and cultural bias. Upon proof of evidence of such prejudice of bias and a net worth of less than $750,000 allows such individuals to become identified as socially disadvantaged individuals and apply for set aside contracts.
Economically disadvantaged individuals are people who are socially disadvantaged and have lost the ability to compete in the free enterprise system. The SBA identifies eligibility thoroughly before classifying them as economically disadvantaged. Websites like http://mysetaside.com helps such individuals acquire small business set aside business contracts from the government.