The U.S. Small Business Administration has established new regulations for the Women-Owned Small Business Federal Contracting Program to help small businesses gain certification in order to compete for procurement programs.
The federal agency announced that it is amending its timeline for implementing changes to its certification process for the Procurement Program for Women-Owned Small Business Concerns. Originally, businesses intending to compete for set-aside or sole source contracts in the program had to be certified as aWomen-Owned Small Business Concerns (WOSBs)or Economically Disadvantaged Women-Owned Small Business Concerns (EDWOSBs) by July 15.
Now, the timeline has been extended to October 15. According to the Federal Register, once the rule is effective, businesses that are not certified will not be eligible for contracts under the procurement program.
“Other women-owned small business concerns that do not participate in the Program may continue to self-certify their status, receive contract awards outside the Program, and count toward an agency’s goal for awards to WOSBs,” according to a summary from the Federal Register.
According to the SBA, WOSBs must download their documentation between now and July 15, and businesses can begin submitting applications for initial processing on July 15. The SBA will begin issuing decisions on certification starting October 15.
Under the new regulations, there will be a net worth standard when considering economic disadvantage. The new standard will be a $750,000 net worth, and funds invested in official retirement accounts will not be counted into the prospective economically-disadvantaged individuals’ net worth.
These regulations are designed to “make it easier and more efficient for contracting officers to set aside and make awards to firms certified as WOSBs and EDWOSBs,” according to a SBA release, as well as help the agency meet a five percent goal for providing contracts to women-owned small businesses.