New Rules for Women-Owned Businesses

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Women Owned Busineses Impacted By Changes

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is changing the Women-Owned Small Business Federal Contracting Program Regulations (WOSB).  SBA is providing a free, online certification and eligibility application process for Women-Owned Small Businesses and Economically Disadvantaged Women-Owned Small Businesses. SBA has delayed the start of these changes due to the pandemic.

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is changing the Women-Owned Small Business Federal Contracting Program Regulations (WOSB).  SBA is providing a free, online certification and eligibility application process for Women-Owned Small Businesses and Economically Disadvantaged Women-Owned Small Businesses. SBA has delayed the start of these changes due to the pandemic.

When are WOSB Changes Happening?

On July 15, 2020, SBA will begin to initiate the changes to be consistent with the Small Business Act.  Specifically, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2015.  In addition to the certification requirement for firms seeking WOSB and EDWOSB set-aside contracts, the regulations detail certification options for applicants. Also, the regulations require authorized third-party certifiers to notify applicants of their fees and the option to use SBA’s free online certification process.

Essential TIMELINE For WOSB.

Below are some critical timelines for Women Owned Small Businesses:

  • The current self-certification process will remain available for firms until October 15, 2020.
  • Between now and July 15, 2020, WOSBS must download their documentation currently house in the WOSB Program Repository.
  • On July 15, 2020, firms can begin submitting applications for initial processing, and
  • On October 15, 2020, SBA will begin issuing decisions on certification

The regulations detail essential changes to the certification process, including the following:

  • Allows participation from firms certified by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Center of Verification and Evaluations, provided they meet all eligibility requirements.
  • Confirms the continued participation of approved third-party certifiers.
  • Eliminates the self-certification option from SBA effective October 15, 2020, and
  • Adopts a $750,000 net worth standard when assessing economic disadvantage for individuals in the 8(a) Business Development Program (8(a) Program).
  • Additionally, funds invested in official retirement accounts are excluded from the analysis of an economically disadvantaged individuals personal net worth in both the WOSB and 8(a) Programs.  This change makes the economic disadvantage threshold and analysis consistent for EDWOSBs and 8(a) Program participants.

In Summary

The goal for changing the Women Owned Small Business Program is to make it easier and efficient for contracting officers. SBA is hoping that this will result in more awards to Women Owned Small Businesses.  Also, SBA is hoping that these changes will empower Agencies to achieve the 5% contracting goal for Women-Owned Small Businesses.

Be sure to check out our other articles for more government contracting topics.

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