In fiscal 2013, the U.S. government entered into contracts to be performed in Rhode Island with a value of more than $766 million. These contracts were for goods and services as diverse as construction services, underwater sound equipment and clambakes.
Because federal law requires that a “fair proportion” of these contracts be issued to small-business enterprises, the federal government steers business to small businesses. This is especially true if the small business qualifies for specific set-aside programs intended to benefit disadvantaged businesses, women-owned small-business concerns, service-disabled, veteran-owned small-business concerns and businesses located in historically underutilized business zones.
These government efforts can give qualified companies valuable access to a profitable source of business. The government is a highly regulated customer, however, so it is critical that small businesses become fully versed in the regulations governing the process.
• The first question to address is whether the business qualifies as a small-business concern. A business seeking to qualify for a contract reserved for small business, known as a “small-business set-aside,” must meet the small-business size standard for the NAICS code that the contracting officer assigns to the procurement.
• The next step is to register a business profile with the System for Award Management, the primary database used by federal agencies to locate contractors, which is required prior to the award of any contract or agreement. This process is sometimes referred to as “self-certifying.”
• If the small business qualifies for specific set-aside programs intended to benefit disadvantaged small-business owners, additional certification and registration before the business is required, which are fairly specific and straightforward.
Join PBN for the best networking event and party of the winter - January 15, 2015 - the Book of Lists Party at the Providence Public Library. Reserve your spot by December 31st and get a holiday gift from PBN!
PBN's annual Book of Lists has been an essential resource for the local business community for almost 30 years. The Book of Lists features a wealth of company rankings from a variety of fields and industries, including banking, health care, real estate, law, hospitality, education, not-for-profits, technology and many more.