Blog

Get the Federal Government as a Customer for Your Small Business

July 1 SBA conference in Jackson seeks to get more federal procurement contracts for Mississippi small businesses.

Any business owner would want the world’s largest buyer of goods and services as a customer. But when that customer is the federal government, getting a foot in the door of that complex and bureaucratic maze and grabbing a slice of federal business is no small task for small business owners.

The U.S. Small Business Association (SBA) recognizes the challenges faced by small or disadvantaged companies in Mississippi that are seeking to get involved in the federal procurement process and has established programs to help such companies get access to federal contracting opportunities.

Two of these SBA programs – the 8(a) Business Development Program and the HUBZone Program, will be the subject of a conference on July 1 in Jackson being presented by the SBA’s Mississippi District Office. The conference is free for any Mississippi business that wishes to attend, but pre-registration is required. You can find details here.

Small businesses that are certified to participate in both of these programs get preferences that allow them to have a greater chance of securing federal contracts.

8(a) Business Development Program

The 8(a) Business Development Program is a business assistance program for small disadvantaged businesses designed to get such entrepreneurs a foothold in government contracting. Generally, a small business must meet the following criteria to participate in the program:

  • The business must be majority-owned (51 percent or more) by an individual(s).
  • The individual(s) must be an American citizen, by birth or naturalization.
  • The business must be majority-owned (51 percent or more) and controlled/managed by socially and economically disadvantaged individual(s).
  • The individual(s) controlling and managing the firm on a full-time basis must meet the SBA requirement for disadvantage, by proving both social disadvantageand economic disadvantage.
  • The business must be a small business.
  • The business must demonstrate potential for success.
  • The principals must show good character.

The HUBZone Program

The HUBZone (Historically Underutilized Business Zones) Program is focused on promoting economic development and employment growth in distressed areas by providing access to more federal contracting opportunities. To qualify for the program, a business must meet the following criteria:

  • It must be a small business by SBA standards
  • It must be owned and controlled at least 51% by U.S. citizens, or a Community Development Corporation, an agricultural cooperative, or an Indian tribe
  • Its principal office must be located within a “Historically Underutilized Business Zone” (click here for a map of Mississippi HUBZones)
  • At least 35% of its employees must reside in a HUBZone.

As the SBA notes, $213.2 million in goods and services were purchased from Mississippi 8(a) and HUBZone certified small businesses in 2014 alone. If you think your business may qualify for one or both of these programs, those potential dollars in your pocket are well worth looking into.

Rushing & Guice, P.L.L.C: Mississippi and Gulf Coast Business Lawyers

At Rushing & Guice, experienced business counsel is a phone call away. Call us at (228) 374-2313 or fill out our online form to arrange for a free, limited initial consultation. We look forward to hearing from you, and look forward to the opportunity to serve as your attorneys.

This website has been prepared by Rushing & Guice, P.L.L.C. for informational purposes only and does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice. The information is not provided in the course of an attorney-client relationship and is not intended to substitute for legal advice from an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction.