The U.S. government is the largest single purchaser of goods and services in the world, awarding approximately $500 billion in contracts every year. Participating in the process to gain access to these federal contracts can be challenging and overwhelming for small-business owners. On the first Wednesday of every month, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Arizona District Office presents a free seminar on the benefits of participating in federal government contracting and introduces small businesses to powerful tools to compete for and win federal contracts.
SBA works with federal agencies to award at least 23 percent of all prime government contract dollars to small businesses annually. The monthly training seminar educates small-business owners about the different certifications available and illustrates how to leverage the certifications to access federal contracts. The seminar demonstrates where to find opportunities to bid on, while connecting small businesses with relevant resources to assist them through the process.
The Service Disabled Veteran Owned, Woman/Economically Disadvantaged Woman Owned, Small Disadvantaged Business/8(a) and Hubzone certifications are federal certifications designed to ensure small business participation in federal contracting while spreading opportunity to socio-economic groups. Once a small business entity registers in the System for Award Management, it can participate in federal contracting and gain new customers in this market.
The SBA Arizona District Office has relationships with resource partners such as the Procurement Technical Assistance Center, Small Business Development Center network, SCORE and the Women’s Business Centers that work with small-business clients regularly to help determine small business’s readiness for government contracting as well as to find teaming partners and to identify opportunities for bidding on proposals. The “Selling to the Federal Government” monthly seminar offers the opportunity for networking and for small-business owners to launch their business to the next level through federal contracting.
Shivani Dubey is the deputy district director of the U.S. Small Business Administration Arizona District Office.