GUAM – The military buildup on Guam offers local businesses a remarkable opportunity to take part in the expansion, yet the federal contracting process often seems unreachable to many small businesses. In the series Federal Government Contracting 101, GuamBuildupNews.com analysts take small businesses through the contracting process and toward lucrative government work.
This installment of the series, Volume 5, discusses the newest set aside program for small businesses: women-owned small businesses.
Volume 5: New Women-Owned Set Asides
Recognizing the disproportionate presence of women–owned businesses in the federal marketplace, the federal government initiated a special set aside designed to encourage women to compete for federal contract opportunities.
The Small Business Administration’s Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB) Federal Contract Program became official last week, opening new opportunities for small businesses. SBA officials announced that the first WOSB contract will be awarded in the summer of 2011, which is when the largest amount of federal small business contracts are typically awarded.
Also included in the program is a set aside for economically disadvantaged women-owned small businesses (EDWOSB).
According to SBA Administrator Karen Mills, woman-owned businesses are one of the fastest growing business sectors and are playing a key role in creating jobs and driving the U.S. economy. As of 2007, Guam had 104 women-owned businesses registered to do business with the federal government.
To be an eligible WOSB, a company must be considered a small business that is owned and operated at least 51 percent by a female U.S. citizen. Regulations are clear in that a woman must manage day-to-day operations and hold the highest position possible in the company.
The additional requirement for an EDWOSB designation is that the owner has personal net worth less than $750,000 and an average (over preceding three-year period) adjusted gross income that is less than $350,000. The fair market value of all her assets must be less than $6 million.
There are 83 eligible industry codes for the WOSB federal contracting program. A complete list of eligible codes can be found on the SBA’s WOSBFCP web page.
Local Assistance for Women-Owned Businesses
Local women-owned businesses can find assistance at the Bank of Guam’s Women in Business Program, designed to provide training and resources for women in business. The program is run by the Pacific Islands Small Business Development Center at the University of Guam. Services include counseling and mentoring. Additional assistance for women-owned small businesses can be found at Guam PTAC, which offers federal contracting information, seminars and assistance to Guam small businesses.
All Guam WOSBs and EDWOSBs who wish to contract with the federal government must register their status in the Central Contractor Registration (CCR) and the Online Representations and Certifications Application (ORCA), as well as upload required documents to the WOSB Program Repository. CCR and ORCA are currently being updated to allow WOSBs and EDWOSBs to register and are expected to be ready in April 2011.
GuamBuildupNews.com will continue to demystify government contracting in our multi-part series Federal Government Contracting 101.
Image used in this article courtesy Jscreationzs / FreeDigitalPhotos.net