SBA changes terms of women-owned small businesses contracting program
Women-owned small businesses will have greater access to federal contracting opportunities as a result of changes included in the National Defense Authorization Act of 2013 (NDAA) to the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Women-Owned Small Business Federal Contract Program.
“This is great news for women-owned businesses in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands,” said SBA Deputy District Director María de los Ángeles de Jesús. “Every day more women in our district are participating in non-traditional industries, but they don’t always have easy access to federal government contracts. The new law stimulates women entrepreneurs’ increased efforts by making contracts more attractive.”
The NDAA removes the anticipated award price of the contract thresholds for women-owned small businesses (WOSB) and economically disadvantaged women-owned small businesses (EDWOSB) to allow them greater access to federal contracting opportunities without limitations to the size of the contract.
Prior to the new law, the anticipated award price of the contract for women-owned and economically disadvantaged women-owned small businesses could not exceed $6.5 million for manufacturing contracts and $4 million for all other contracts.
The Women’s Federal Contract Program allows contracting officers to set aside specific contracts for certified WOSBs and EDWOSBs and will help federal agencies achieve the existing statutory goal of five percent of federal contracting dollars being awarded to WOSBs.
To qualify as a WOSB, a firm must be at least 51 percent owned and controlled by one or more women, and primarily managed by one or more women. The women must be U.S. citizens and the firm must be considered small according to SBA size standards. To be deemed “economically disadvantaged,” a firm’s owners must meet specific financial requirements set forth in the program regulations.
Companies seeking to participate in the WOSB program must meet the eligibility requirements and either self-certify or obtain third party certification. Information and links about approved third-party certifiers are available at www.sba.gov/wosb.