WOSB Program Update
Ken Bloch, Program Manager

One of the business types that the Federal government encourages is a Woman-Owned Small Business (WOSB). It does this a couple of ways; by setting targets for awards (5% of all Federal dollars) and by issuing procurements that only WOSBs can compete for (also known as a WOSB set-aside). They do the latter through something known as the Woman-Owned Small Business Federal Contracting Program. For simplicity, we’ll just call it the WOSB Program.

In order to compete for set-aside work under the WOSB Program a firm must work in one of a specific set of industries/NAICS Codes and must be certified as a WOSB. This has typically been done though 3rd party certifiers that charge a fee. Until recently, SBA also allowed a free self-certify option. Because Congress really intended that all firms be certified by someone other than themselves, SBA has recently modified the program and will conduct free SBA certifications in addition to the 3rd party certifiers.

So how does this new certification process work? The basics are identical to the old one; you upload certain documents about your WOSB to certify.SBA.gov. The change is that SBA will now be reviewing those documents and officially certifying you. The key to making this work is to upload your documents sometime after July 15th as SBA will be purging the existing records. They expect to start issuing certifications in October, so you have time to get your records uploaded again. In case that isn’t clear, you can’t just leave the old docs in place. They have to be uploaded again.

Confused? Unsure of what to upload or how to do it? Maine PTAC can help you with that.

Oh, and stay safe and wash your hands!