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Set-Asides and Special Interest Groups

How to Take Advantage of Small Business Set Asides

By law, the federal government must give special consideration to small businesses when awarding specific government contracts. Every federal government purchase anticipated to be valued from $2500 to $100,000 is automatically set aside for small businesses as long as there are at least two companies that can provide the product or service.

Within this general small business group goal,  federal goals have been established for service-disabled small business owners, women-owned small businesses,small-disadvantaged businesses, and historically underutilized business zone, or HUBZone businesses.

The current government acquisition goals are:

  • 23 percent of prime contracts for small businesses
  • 5 percent of prime and subcontracts for women-owned small businesses
  • 5 percent of prime contracts for Small Disadvantaged Businesses
  • 3 percent of prime contracts for HUBZone small businesses
  • 3 percent of prime and subcontracts for service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses

The most recent set-aside category, established in 2011, is women-owned small businesses.  Learn more about the program at the SBA website hereProgram pages on the site also include a compliance guide and details on certification.

To learn how to acquire a certification in a particular business group, visit the SBA.gov certification site page about various small business certifications.


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