A new law will now give women-owned small businesses greater access to federal contracting opportunities.
The National Defense Authorization Act of 2013 removes the anticipated award price of the contract thresholds for women-owned small businesses and economically disadvantaged women-owned small businesses to allow them greater access to federal contracting opportunities without limitations to the size of the contract, the SBA said Thursday.
Prior to the new law, the anticipated award price of the contract for women-owned and economically disadvantaged women-owned small businesses could not exceed $6.5 million for manufacturing contracts and $4 million for all other contracts.
“Today, women own 30% of all small businesses, up from just 5% 40 years ago. As one of the fastest growing sectors of small business owners in the country, opening the door for women to compete for more federal contracts is a win-win,” said SBA Administrator Karen Mills.
The SBA said the Women’s Federal Contract Program allows contracting officers to set aside specific contracts for certified women-owned and economically disadvantaged women-owned small businesses and will help federal agencies achieve the existing statutory goal of 5% of federal contracting dollars being awarded to women-owned businesses.
The NDAA also requires the SBA to conduct a study to identify and report industries underrepresented by women-owned small businesses, the agency said. As a result, more eligible women-owned businesses may be able to participate in SBA’s Women’s Federal Contract Program and compete for and win federal contracts, according to the SBA.