Office of Small Business Programs

  • Small Business Set-Aside Program:  Consists of a buy in which only small business firms can participate. There should be a reasonable expectation that offers will be received from two or more small firms and at fair market price. This set-aside method can require the entire buy be set-aside for small business participation or may require part of the buy be reserved for small business.

  • Small Business Administration's 8(a) Program:   The Small Business Administration's (SBA) 8(a) program named from Section 8(a) of the Small Business Act is a business development program that provides its participants access to a variety of business development services, including the opportunity to receive federal contracts on a sole-source or limited competition basis. The procurement method is very flexible and allows recommendation of a specific contractor for procurement up to $3.5 million for services and $5.5 million for manufacturing requirements.
           An applicant must qualify as a small business and must be at least 51 percent unconditionally owned by an individual(s) who is a citizen of the United States and who is determined by SBA to be socially and economically disadvantaged. Application for the 8(a) program is through the SBA.   SBA Section 8(a) program eligibility at:

  • Historically Underutilized Business Zone (HUBZone) Program:   The HUBZone Program
    provides for Federal contracting opportunities for qualified small business concerns located in distressed communities and promotes private sector investment and employment opportunities in these communities.
           Program History:  The HUBZone Empowerment Contracting Program was enacted into law as part of the Small Business Reauthorization Act of 1997. The program falls under the auspices of the U.S. SBA. The program encourages economic development in historically underutilized business zones - "HUBZones" - through the establishment of preferences.
           SBA's HUBZone program is in line with the efforts of both the Administration and Congress to promote economic development and employment growth in distressed areas by providing access to more Federal contracting opportunities.
           How the HUBZone Program Works:  
    •  The U.S. SBA regulates and implements the program,

    •  Determines which businesses are eligible to receive HUBZone contracts,

    •  Maintains a listing of qualified HUBZone small businesses Federal agencies can use to locate vendors.

    •  Adjudicates protests of eligibility to receive HUBZone contracts, and

    •  Reports to the Congress on the program's impact on employment and investment in HUBZone areas.

  • Woman-owned Small Business Program:  The Woman-owned Small Business (WOSB) Program came into being as a result of Executive Order 12138 signed May 1979 which prescribed a national initiative to assist women-owned small business entrepreneaurs. Within the Department of the Army, emphasis has been placed in identifying such firms to ensure they are included on appropriate source lists and afforded the opportunity of competing for contract and subcontract awards. Visit:

  • Veteran-owned Small Business Program:  The Veteran-owned Small Business Program was established by the Veterans Entrepreneurship and Small Business Development Act of 1999. The purpose of the program is to provide technical, financial, and procurement assistance by expanding and establishing new assistance programs for veterans and service-disabled veterans who own or operate small businesses. More at:

  • Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business Program:  The Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business Program was established by the Veterans Benefit Act of 2003, Section 308 (P.L.108-183) and amended the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 631 et.seq.) to establish a procurement program that allows sole source or set-aside to service-disabled veteran-owned small business concerns, if certain conditions are met. More at:

  • Subcontracting Program:  Requires, by law, that large firms receiving a prime contract of $550,000 or more ($1 million for construction contracts) must include subcontracting goals and a plan for meeting those goals to the Procuring Contracting Officer.

  • Historically Black Colleges and Universities/Minority Institutions Program (HBCU/MI):  Evolved through a series of Executive Orders, legislation, and regulations. The program was designated to provide a structured effort to help HBCU/MIs to access federally funded programs. Focus for awards and overall involvement of these categories applies to grants, and contract awards for research and development, studies, ROTC, fellowships, scholarships, instrumentation, and education and training. Acquisitions can be set-aside for exclusive HBCU/MI participation. Also, HBCU/MIs can receive an evaluation preference in certain competitive situations.  Visit:

  • Mentor-Protégé Program:  The objective of the program is to expand the business base of Small Disadvantaged Business (SDB) and WOSB (Protégé firms). This may be accomplished through the provision of technical assistance designed to enhance the capabilities of the Protégé firm to perform under Department of Defense subcontracts (awarded by mentors) contracts with other Federal agencies and commercial contracts. More at:
    Department of Defense Mentor-Protégé homepage                                                                                     or The Department of the Army's Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization.

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Last updated: 03/04/2024 1:39 PM