The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) preference programs can be vital for small businesses trying to compete in the potentially lucrative world of U.S. government contracting, but participation in these programs is not without risk. Indeed, the programs can be fraught with peril and contain many landmines for those who do not understand and diligently comply with applicable small business program requirements.
Small Business Government Contracting Programs
The SBA works to make sure small businesses get at least 23 percent of all federal contracting dollars each year, primarily through the SBA’s small business and contracting assistance programs. These programs are designed to assist small businesses by limiting competition for certain government contracts or by awarding a certain percentage of contracts to small businesses that participate in the respective programs. The SBA has a variety of such programs, such as the 8(a) Business Development (8(a)) Program), the Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) program, the Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB) Program, and the Historically-Underutilized Business Zone (HUBZone) Program, which were created for small businesses owned by socially and economically disadvantaged people or entities, service-disabled veterans, or women or small businesses operating in historically underutilized business zones, respectively.
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