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Small Business Administration Announces Full Implementation Of The Long-Awaitied Women'S Procurement Program!

Press Release   •   Nov 12, 2010 22:05 EST

The Women's Procurement Program is finally here! On October 5, 2010, the SBA released the final rule which will implement the Women's Procurement Program, enacted into law in the year 2000.

The proposed program would allow Contracting Officers the ability to restrict competition to women-owned small businesses (WOSBs) if the procurement falls within one of the eight-three (83) NAICS codes. Forty-five (45) industries were deemed to be "underrepresented" and thirty-eight (38) industries were deemed to be "substantially underrepresented" by women owned businesses. Program participants will be eligible for set-aside deals of less than $3 million for most contracts and $5 million for manufacturing. This is a crucial step in reaching the 5% goal set by congress and a great victory for women in federal contracting.

To be eligible for the program, a firm must be 51% owned, controlled and primarily managed by one or more women who are US citizens. The firm also must qualify as "small" in its primary industry. WOSBs will be allowed to self-certify for the program, or be certified by a third party. Companies will be required to submit proof of eligibility to an online document repository that SBA will maintain. To avoid the fraud that has plagued many other small business programs, the agency will examine documentation and seek punitive actions against ineligible businesses that improperly attempt to participate. The program will be fully functional by the beginning of 2011.

Important to the program's success is a change made in the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010 which restored "parity" among all the SBA small business contracting programs.

Read the final rule

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