Small Business Administration enhances opportunities for women-owned small businesses
Federal contracting officials now have the power to award sole-source contracts to women-owned businesses, a tool that should help the government achieve its goal of awarding 5 percent of its procurement dollars to women.
A rule published on September 14 by the Small Business Administration (SBA) states federal agencies can negotiate a contract with a single women-owned small business without putting the work out for bid, provided there is only one woman-owned business that can perform the work. These approved contracts must be below $4 million or $6.5 million for manufacturers.
SBA typically offers small business owners varied programs and opportunities, including facilitating loans with a third party lender, guaranteeing a bond or helping find startup and venture capital. This new rule implements a law passed by Congress in December and is effective October 14. In 2014, the federal government awarded 4.7 percent of its contracting dollars to women-owned businesses, up from 4.3 percent in 2013.
“The new rule is a major step forward in leveling the playing field,” said SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet, “especially since women-owned businesses are growing three times faster than their counterparts.”
The SBA was created in 1953 as an independent agency of the federal government to aid, counsel, assist and protect the interests of small business concerns, to preserve free competitive enterprise and maintain and strengthen the nation’s economy.
For more information on this program and the SBA visit: https://www.sba.gov/