After exhaustive Google searching you learn that the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) provides government funding, a seemingly perfect solution to support the sustainability of your small business. But first, what is a Small Business Concern and how do you make sure you are eligible?
It may seem pretty self explanatory to know whether or not your business fits the description of a small or large business, but there are a few things to consider before jumping into the application process. When dealing with the appropriate classification of your business, it is not something to approach lightly when applying for government contracts as willful misrepresentation can result in penalties like company suspension or debarment and civil or criminal penalties. Whilst good faith practices will prevent most serious consequences, it still is important to make sure both your time and the SBA’s time isn’t wasted.
A Small Business Concern is defined as an independently owned, for-profit company that operates within the United States, ultimately is not considered “dominant in its field” on a national scale and complies with its specific industry standards. Approximately 23% of all government contract funding is awarded to small businesses in conjunction with the SBA Office of Government Contracting & Business Development and other federal agencies (i.e. the CDC). Therefore the SBA is one of the most reputable, if not the best, direct sources of information to refer to when looking for more information about everything small business related.
Follow these three steps to simplify the determination process:
Classification as a small business is entirely dependent on the maximum allowed number of employees or annual receipts calculated in millions of dollars. It is a good habit to get into checking the classification statuses regularly, as the size standards adjust to available data regarding changes in the industries and economy.
Not only do you need to be a small business category to apply to government contract programs, but you may be entitled to more tailored programs that benefit your organization by determining if you fit into smaller business categories, which of course, hold their own unique requirements.
This funding is specially allocated for small businesses to guarantee federal agencies are following statutory goals for groups and as a result, limits who is eligible to participate in these opportunities to make sure it goes to the right place.
Now that you’ve determined your placement in small business funding, it’s time to meet other basic requirements. To find more about those next steps, clickhere.
Ijeoma Nwatu. “Does Your Small Business Qualify?” U.S. Small Business Administration, 09 Sept. 2016, https://www.sba.gov/blog/does-your-small-business-qualify
The Electronic Code of Federal Regulations, A Point in Time eCFR System. “Small Business Size Regulations.” National Archives, 17 Nov. 2022, https://www.ecfr.gov/current/title-13/chapter-I/part-121
United States, Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “How is Small Business Defined?” Contracts, 21 June 2021, https://www.cdc.gov/contracts/cdc-and-small-business/small-business-defined.html#:~:text=What%20is%20a%20Small%20Business,conformity%20with%20specific%20industry%20criteria
United States, Small Business Administration. “Size Standards.” Federal Contracting, Accessed 21 Nov. 2022, https://www.sba.gov/federal-contracting/contracting-guide/size-standards
United States, Small Business Administration. “Size Standards Tool.” Accessed 21 Nov. 2022, https://www.sba.gov/size-standards/index.html