One of the challenges of small business ownership is market competition—this is no secret. Many small business owners confront this challenge by expanding the services they offer, releasing new products, or developing incentive programs to attract new customers. These are all GREAT ways to grow your business, but there is one more strategy that is often overlooked—government contracting. In 2022, $158.7 billion dollars was awarded in small business contracts—this was almost 25% of all government contract spending! With this much funding available to small businesses, it pays to explore your small business’ government contract prospects.
Top Government Contracting Programs
While there are several programs designed to help small businesses secure government contracts, we’ve selected five programs that we think are the best place to start.
- Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB) Federal Contract Program—small businesses that are at least 51% owned and operated by women may qualify for the WOSB Federal Contract Program. This U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) program helps WOSBs connect with federal projects and compete for contracts. The federal government sets aside at least 5% of their contract dollars for WOSBs annually. Interested WOSBs who wish to begin participating in the program should start by registering their business today!
- The 8(a) Business Development Program—economically and socially disadvantaged business owners are prepared to compete and thrive in the federal contract marketplace under this SBA program. This program requires the small business owner to have been operating for at least two years and to demonstrate the character and potential to succeed. Benefits of this program include access to federal set-aside and sole-source contracts, nine years of one-on-one business development assistance, opportunities to partner with established businesses on joint venture federal projects, and more!
- Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) Program—3% of all federal contract dollars are earmarked for SDVOSBs each year. Through this joint SBA-Department of Defense (DoD) program, small businesses owned and operated by service-disabled veterans qualify for access to set-aside and sole-source contracts not available to other small businesses. Along with the SBA and DoD, the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs is also committed to helping service-disabled veterans—and other veterans—receive access to funding, resources, and training that will help their small businesses thrive!
- Historically Underutilized Business Zone (HUBZone) Program—this SBA program aims to ramp up economic development in historically underutilized business zones—namely, areas where there has been little-to-no economic growth. A small business with its primary office and at least 35% of its employees living in an official HUBZone can qualify and compete for set-aside contracts. Additionally, these businesses can also still compete for contracts under any other socioeconomically-driven programs to which they belong!
Let Growth Capital Help!
If any of these programs sound like they might be a good fit for your small business, let us help you walk through the next steps! Our top priority is making sure that small business owners are supported as they navigate the ins and outs of securing funding. Contact us today to discuss the various program requirements and get the application process started!