SBA Proposes Women-Owned Small Business Rule to Expand Access to Federal Contracting Opportunities
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), Washington, released a proposed rule aimed at expanding federal contracting opportunities for women-owned small businesses (WOSB). The proposed rule is available for public comment for 60 days.
The proposed rule is part of the Obama Administration’s overall commitment to expanding opportunities for small businesses to compete for federal contracts, in particular those owned by women, minorities and veterans. This proposed rule identifies 83 industries in which WOSBs are under-represented or substantially under-represented in the federal contract marketplace. This rule is aimed at providing greater opportunities for WOSBs to compete for federal contracts, while achieving the existing statutory goal that 5 percent of federal contracting dollars go to women-owned small businesses.
“Women-owned small businesses are one of the fastest-growing segments of our economy, yet they continue to be under-represented when it comes to federal contracting,” said SBA administrator Karen Mills. “Across the country, women are leading strong, innovative companies, and we know that securing federal contracts can be the opportunity that helps them take their businesses to the next level, expand their volume and create good-paying jobs. This proposed rule is a step forward in helping ensure greater access for women-owned small businesses in the federal marketplace.”
The creation of a rule to increase federal contracting opportunities for WOSBs was authorized by Congress in 2000. Since that time, SBA took a number of steps to study and analyze the market, including looking at participation by women-owned small businesses across all industries. Various draft rules were made available for public comment in prior years, but the Obama Administration chose last year to draft a new, comprehensive rule based on the analysis of the prior studies and on all the questions and comments previously received.
Some of the components of the proposed Women-Owned Small Business rule include: