Construction Today - September/October 2012 - (Page 14)
By Amber Peebles
CERTIFYING YOUR SMALL BUSINESS
or the small general contractor, associated specialty trades and architecture and engineering firms, the past several years have been brutal. That said, small construction companies have a niche market and a distinct competitive advantage when they possess small business certifications.
These certifications have value, whether work is “set aside” as a prime contractor or as a subcontracting goal on federal government construction projects. Following are some of the common small business certifications and set-aside contracting programs that your construction firm may wish to pursue: • The 8(a) Business Development Program was created to help U.S. social and economic disadvantaged small businesses compete in the federal marketplace. Qualifying businesses must provide financial and corporate documents and submit an application via the Small Business Administration (SBA). • HUBZone Program encourages economic development in historically underutilized business zones or “HUBZones.” To qualify for the program, your firm’s principal office must be located in a HUBZone, and at least 35 percent of your employees must reside in a HUBZone. Qualifying firms must submit an online application and supporting documents via the SBA. • 8(m) Program allows federal agencies to set aside contracts specifically for women-owned small businesses (WOSB) and economically disadvantaged women-owned small businesses (EDWOSB). To
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