"Women-owned Small Business Platform"

Posted by Husch Blackwell Associate David Newman

The Small Business Administration is continuing the task of implementing several regulatory changes required by the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013 (NDAA) [pdf]. One such change occurred on May 7th when the SBA published an interim final rule (RIN 3245-AG55) [pdf] enacting section 1697 of the NDAA and amending 13 CFR 127.503 [pdf]. The interim final rule removes  the statutory cap on set-aside contracts for Women Owned Small Businesses (WOSB) and Economically Disadvantaged Women Owned Small Businesses (EDWOSBs).


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The SBA has released its Small Business Procurement Scorecards for 2011, and for the second year in a row the results paint a grim picture. In 2011 [pdf], small businesses were awarded an even smaller share of federal contract dollars than they received in 2010—$6.4 billion smaller. Prime contract awards to small businesses in 2011 totaled $91.5 billion, or 21.65 percent of federal agency contract expenditures. The previous year [pdf], small businesses were awarded 22.66 percent of all federal prime contracts, or $97.9 billion. It’s official: federal agencies have failed once again to meet the 23 percent government-wide goal for prime contract awards to small business concerns set by the Small Business Act.
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The Small Business Administration has launched an informational website addressing its new Women-Owned Small Business Federal Contract Program. The website includes a step-by-step guide on how to participate in the new set-aside program, as well as links to explanatory statements and SBA contact information. The final regulations implementing the program were published on October 7,

On February 4, 2011, the U.S. Small Business Administration is set to launch its Women-Owned Small Business Program, which is intended to create a set-aside structure for WOSBs similar to the existing 8(a) platform.  The overall goal of the new program is to expand federal contracting opportunities for women-owned businesses within 83 different industries (identified by NAICS code) where WOSBs have traditionally been underrepresented.  Some of the eligibility requirements for participation in the WOSB program include: (1) the company must be “small” in its primary industry in accordance with SBA size standards; (2) the company must be at least 51 percent directly and unconditionally owned by one or more women; and (3) control and day-to-day management of the company must be in the hands of one or more women.


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