Step 6

Step 6: Learn About Small Business Certifications

There are many small business certification programs that document a special capability or status that will help you compete in the marketplace.  All certification programs have eligibility requirements and processes for obtaining certification.

Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB):  The federal government’s goal is to award at least five percent of all federal contracting dollars to women-owned small businesses each year.

Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB):  The federal government’s goal is to award at least three percent of all federal contracting dollars to service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses each year.

8(a) Business Development Program:  The federal government’s goal is to award at least five percent of all federal contracting dollars to small disadvantaged businesses each year.

The All Small Mentor-Protégé Program:  Your small business can learn from an experienced government contractor through the mentor-protégé program.

Historically Underutilized Business Zone (HUBZone):  The HUBZone program fuels small business growth in historically underutilized business zones with a goal of awarding at least three percent of federal contract dollars to HUBZone-certified companies each year.

Natural Resource Sales Assistance Program:  The government sells large amounts of natural resources and surplus property. The SBA works with federal agencies to channel a fair share to small businesses

A small businesses can self-represent their status as a Small Disadvantaged Business (SDB) if it meets the following SBA eligibility criteria:

  • The firm must be 51% or more owned and control by one or more disadvantaged persons.
  • The disadvantaged person or persons must be socially disadvantaged and economically disadvantaged.
  • The firm must be small, according to SBA’s size standards

The SBA provides details on each of these programs on their website at: SBA Contracting Programs

Please Note: that you do not need to have any of these small business certifications to do business with the government.  These are specific social-economic programs to stimulate the economy.

Your Hawai’i PTAC offers FREE counseling services to help your business identify and apply for these designations.

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