What Contracting Support Programs are Available for Small Businesses?

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The SBA runs and manages two federal contracting and business development programs aimed to help small businesses gain access to federal procurement opportunities and compete in the federal marketplace.

Key Benefits of being 8(a)
  • Sole-source government contracts opportunities, up to a ceiling of $4 million for goods and services and $6.5 million for manufacturing
  • Ability to form joint ventures and teams to bid on contracts in order to perform larger prime contracts and overcome the effects of contract bundling
  • One-to-one counseling, training workshops, and management and technical guidance to develop and grow business
  • Opportunity to participate in SBA’s Mentor-Protégé program
  1. 8(a) Business Development ProgramSBA’s 8(a) Business Development Program is a business assistance program that assists in the development of small businesses owned and operated by individuals who are socially and economically disadvantaged, such as women and minorities. It was created as an instrument for helping disadvantaged entrepreneurs gain a foothold in government contracting and thrive in competitive business environments.“8(a)” refers to the section of the Small Business Act that establishes a program that authorizes the SBA to enter into all types of contracts with other agencies and award subcontracts to eligible firms. Companies must apply for and be accepted into the program; once accepted companies are commonly referred to as “8(a).”Access the SBA website for the most recent eligibility requirements for the 8(a) Business Development Program.
Key Benefits of the HUBZone Program
  • Competitive and sole source government contracting
  • 10% price evaluation preference in full and open contract competitions, as well as subcontracting opportunities
  1. HUBZone ProgramHubZone is an SBA program that supports small businesses that operate and employ people in Historically Underutilized Business zones (HUBZones).
    The goal of the program is to promote economic development and employment growth in distressed areas by providing access to more federal contracting opportunities. To determine if your location is in a HUBZone, visit the HUBZone Map. Access the SBA website for the most recent eligibility requirements for the HUBZone Program. For more information on how to apply for the HUBZone program, please visit the SBA Applying for HUBZone webpage.