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Federal Small Business Certifications & Audiences

October 16th, 2011 by

As the owner of a small business, you may qualify for specific U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) programs based on a variety of factors.

Before you can begin business with the government your business must obtain the proper certifications. Small business certifications are like professional certifications; they document a special capability or status that will help you compete in the marketplace. Unlike permits and licenses, you do not need to obtain certifications to legally operate. However, in order to take advantage of business opportunities, such as government contracts, you may need to obtain some certifications.

Federal, state and local governments offer businesses opportunities to sell billions of dollars worth of products and services. Many government
agencies require that some percentage of the procurements be set aside for small businesses. Certifying your business can definitely help you successfully compete for government contracts.

Review the information below and determine which programs could apply to you or your geographic place of business.

HUB Zone Certification

The Historically Underutilized Business Zones (HUBZone) program helps small businesses in urban and rural communities gain preferential access to federal procurement opportunities.

8(a) Business Development

New 8(a) Business Development Regulations have been issued. In order to help small, disadvantaged businesses compete in the market place, the SBA created the 8(a) Business Development Program.

Small Business Certification

Before you can begin business with the government your business must obtain the proper certifications. Small business certifications are like professional certifications; they document a special capability or status that will help.

Women-Owned Small Business Federal Contract Program

Latest News Release: February 1, 2011 – SBA Expands Access to Federal Contracting Opportunities for Women-Owned Small Businesses Memo from the Administrator On October 7, 2010.

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.

5 Steps to participate in the WOSB program:

  1. Read the WOSB Federal Contract program regulations in the Federal Register and the WOSB Compliance Guide.
  2. Register in Central Contractor Registration (CCR) as WOSB or EDWOSB.
  3. Log onto SBA’s General Login System (GLS). *Obtain an account now if you don’t already have one
  4. Go to the WOSB program repository (through GLS) and upload / categorize all required documents.
  5. Represent your status in Online Representations and Certifications Application (ORCA).

*The CCR and ORCA system updates to accommodate the new business types are currently in process by the General Services Administration.

Veteran & Service-Disabled Veteran Owned

If you are a veteranor  a service-disabled veteran, you have several options to choose from when starting your business. As a small business owner, you are continuing to serve America.

Native Americans

Resources for Native Americans If you are a Native American seeking a certification for your small business, look no further than the Indian Affairs’ Division of Economic Development.

Alaskan Owned Corporations

Indian reservations and Alaska Native Villages suffer from some of the worst poverty in this country, with unemployment levels in excess of 60%.

Native Hawaiian Owned Corporations

Contracting with the government is a clever way to expand your business and as well as target market. Anyone who owns their own business and is interested in doing business with the government is encouraged to utilize the resources.

Source: U.S. Small Business Adminstration

 

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