Small Business Program

What is a Small Business Concern?

The Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) defines a small business concern,  including its affiliates, as independently owned and operated, not dominant in the field of operation in which it is bidding on Government contracts, and qualified as a small business under the criteria and size standards in 13 Code of Federal Regulations Part 121 (also see FAR Subpart 19.102).

A small business subcontractor is defined as a concern that does not exceed the size standard for the North American Industry Classification Systems (NAICS) code that the prime contractor determines best describes the product or service being acquired by the subcontract.

A small business must register in the System for Award Management (SAM)  to conduct business with the U.S. Government. If you need assistance to confirm a business size or socio- economic status, please contact the Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization staff.

What are Small Business Goals?

Each year the U.S. Agency for International Development works with the Small Business Administration (SBA) to set goals for small business participation in prime contracts and subcontracts. To ensure that we meet the SBA goal, USAID set goals for its Washington-based bureaus and Independent Office. The goals are extended to the work conducted overseas at the agency’s Missions.

Small Business Goals

The federal government has statutory goals for the following small business procurement:

  • 23 percent of prime contracts for all small business categories
  • 5 percent of prime and subcontracts for women owned small businesses (WOSB)
  • 5 percent of prime and subcontracts for small disadvantaged businesses (SDB)
  • 3 percent of prime and subcontracts for service disabled veteran owned small businesses (SDVOCB)
  • 3 percent of prime and subcontracts for Historically Underutilized Business Zone certified small businesses (HUBZone)

USAID Small Business Goals

  • 12.50 percent of prime contracts for all small business categories; and
  • 15.50 percent of subcontracts for all small business categories

Small Business Set-Aside

A small business set aside is the “reserving” of an acquisition exclusively for participation by small businesses (this does not include non-U.S. small businesses). A small business set-aside may be open to all small businesses. A small business set-aside of a single acquisition or a class of acquisitions may be total or partial.

8(a) Business Development Program

The 8(a) Business Development Program, commonly referred to as the 8(a) Program was developed to help small businesses compete in the American economy and access the federal procurement market (FAR Subpart 19.8).

Historically Underutilized Business Zone

A Historically Underutilized Business Zone (HUBZone) is a small business owned and controlled 51 percent or more by one or more U.S. citizens. This contracting program is intended to encourage the award of contracts to small businesses located in historically underutilized business zones, in an effort to increase employment opportunities, investment, and economic development in those areas (FAR Subpart 19.13).

Service Disabled Veteran Owned

A service disabled veteran owned small business (SDVOSB) must be 51 percent owned by one or more qualified disabled veterans whose disability is service related, and the management and daily business operations of which are controlled by one or more qualified service disabled veteran (FAR Subpart 19.14).

Women - Owned Small Business

A women-owned small business (WOSB) is a small business at least 51percent owned by one or more women, and management and daily business operations controlled by one or more women. An economically disadvantaged women-owned small business (EDWOSB) is a subcategory of “women-owned business concern” as defined in 2.101 (FAR Subpart 19.15).

Small Disadvantaged Business

A small and disadvantaged business (SDB) is a small business entity owned and controlled by a socially and economically disadvantaged individual and is at least 51 percent owned by one or more socially and economically disadvantaged individuals (see FAR subpart 19.304).

Last updated: September 12, 2019

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