Get Started: Women and contracting; size standards

Brad Dorsey

< 1 min read ·



A measure that is being touted as a way to boost federal contracting dollars that go to women through U.S. Small Business Administration programs has been attached to legislation that is expected to win approval.

An amendment that would eliminate a restriction on the dollar amount of contracts that woman-owned small businesses can win was added to the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal 2013, which specifies spending by the U.S. Department of Defense for the coming year.

Without this amendment, under the set aside program, women-owned small businesses can only get federal contracts of up to $5 million for manufacturing and $3 million for all other industries. If passed, the amendment would remove the limit.



The U.S. Small Business Administration has revised some standards for what can be considered a small business in two broad industry categories that include businesses such as employment agencies and waste haulers.

Under the news rules, temporary employment and executive search agencies can be considered small with annual revenue up to $25.5 million; collection agencies and repossession services can have revenue of up to $14 million; and solid and hazardous waste collection companies can bring in revenue of $35.5 million. Other industry segments affected by the new rules include convention and trade show organizers, packaging and labeling services and carpet and upholstery cleaners.

Size standards are important because they determine which companies can compete for contracts available to small businesses through SBA set aside programs and those that are eligible for SBA-backed loans.

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Brad Dorsey