The SBA recently announced changes to its Women-Owned Small Business Federal Contract Program, providing more opportunities for women in federal contracting.
With more than $400 billion in federal contracts available, the changes could provide a big boost to women-owned contractors. The new regulations are part of the new National Defense Authorization Act of 2013.
A major revision to the program lifts caps on contract awards for for women-owned and economically disadvantaged women-owned small businesses. Previously, awards couldn’t exceed $6.5 million for manufacturing contract and $4 million for others.
New regulations also require the SBA to study and report industries where women are underrepresented.
As a result, more eligible women-owned businesses may be able to participate in SBA’s Women’s Federal Contract Program and compete for and win federal contracts, the SBA says.
Women-owned small businesses must meet these criteria to be part of the Women-Owned Small Business Federal Contract Program, according to the SBA.
- Your business must be 51 percent owned and controlled by one or more women, and primarily managed by one or more women.
- You must be a U.S. citizen.
- Your business must be considered to be a “small” business according to SBA’s size standards. To view the various size standards for individual industries, take a look at SBA’s Table of Small Business Size Standards by North American Industry Classifications Systems (NAICS).
- Your business must be “economically disadvantaged”. This is determined by specific financial requirements set forth in SBA’s program regulations.
This change comes as a Web.com, NAWBO survey found that 38 percent of women-owned businesses will invest more in hiring this year than in past years.
The State of Women-Owned Businesses survey also found women business owners were highly optimistic about their own business performance (81 percent), as well as the overall economy (74 percent) this year.
It appears this year will be a great one for women owned businesses and contractors. Find out more about the Women-Owned Small Business Federal Contract Program on the SBA website.