What are small business set asides?

Small business set-asides are a powerful tool for helping small businesses compete for and win federal contracts.

When market research concludes that small businesses are available and able to perform the work or provide the products being procured by the government, those opportunities are “set-aside” exclusively for small business concerns. These programs can help small businesses expedite the process of receiving contracts if they understand how to participate in them.  

There are several programs available for businesses that qualify under certain social economic statuses called SET-ASIDES

  • (WOSB) Woman owned small business
  • (EDWOSB) Economically disadvantaged woman owned small business
  • (WBE) Woman business enterprise
  • (MBE) Minority business enterprise
  • (VOSB) Veteran owned small business
  • (SDVOSB) Service-disabled veteran owned small business
  • (HUBZone) Historically underutilized business zone
  • 8(a) Business development certifications 

The Rule of Two requires:

  • Contracts to be awarded on the basis of competition restricted to certified small business concerns owned and controlled by woman, veterans, and minorities
  • If there are 2 eligible certified owned businesses that can fulfill the contract, it must be set aside

What this means for your certified business -

When a contract is up for award the government has now mandated the all procurement officers must look into each database to determine if there is an eligible business that is owned by a woman, veteran or minority. If so, it must be set aside. Procurement officers are now held accountable to take this step each time a contract is up for award. The rule of two is now being used throughout the procurement process and has created a large increase of contracts to be awarded to these groups.