Office of Small Business Programs
Small Business Programs and Set-Asides
Small Business Programs
The Office of Small Business Programs (OSBP) is responsible for monitoring the MDA's implementation and execution of the following socioeconomic procurement programs:
- HUBZone Empowerment Contracting Program,
- 8(A) Program,
- Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) Program,
- Veteran-Owned Small Business (VOSB) Program,
- Women-Owned Business Program,
- 8(m) Economically Disadvantaged Woman-Owned Small Business (EDWOSB), and
- Small Disadvantaged Business (SDB) Program.
For more information on these and other business distinctions, please refer to Doing Business with MDA in the Small Business Resources.
Small Business Set-Asides
Small business set-asides award certain acquisitions exclusively to small business concerns. A "set-aside for small business" is the reserving of an acquisition exclusively for participation by small business concerns who qualify under the appropriate North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code. A small business set-aside of a single acquisition or a class of acquisitions may be a total set-aside or a partial set-aside.
For those acquisitions exceeding $100,000, market research is conducted to determine if small business capability exists for the proposed acquisition. If a set-aside is not possible because there is no reasonable expectation that at least two or more responsible small business concerns will offer the products or services with a resulting award at a fair market price, the contracting officer uses a full and open competition. The use of full and open competition does not preclude small businesses from competing for, or winning the contract.
Key to making sure that an acquisition is set-aside for small business are timely and quality responses to our "sources sought" notices or "Request For Information (RFI)" notices when we issue them. Waiting for the Request for Proposal before responding to let us know your small business is capable and intends to respond to the solicitation is too late for the OSBP to begin advocating for a set-aside of the proposed solicitation.
The New EDWOSB Program
On December 21, 2000, Congress enacted the Small Business Reauthorization Act of200a, Public Law 106-554. Section 811 of that Act added a new section 8(m), 15 U.S.C. 637(m), authorizing Federal contracting officers to restrict competition to eligible Women-Owned Small Businesses (WOSBs) or Economically Disadvantaged Women-Owned Small Business (EDWOSBs) for Federal contracts in certain industries.
To qualify as a Economically Disadvantaged Women-Owned Small Business (EDWOSB), a business must be not less than 51 percent owned by one or more women who are "economically disadvantaged" (i.e. an EDWOSB). However, Small Business Administration may waive this requirement of economic disadvantage for industries in which WOSBs are "substantially underrepresented." The ownership of the business must be direct as defined in (13 CFR 127.20 I (b)).
Eligible Industry Codes: There are eighty-three 4-digit North American Industry Classification Systems (NAICS) codes that are eligible for Federal contracting under the WOSB Program. You can download a copy of these codes by clicking here.
For a flow chart of the 8(m) program, please click here.