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March 9, 2017

By Kristin Ghanem | Harkcon’s Contract Management Specialist 

Government contracts may be set-aside for small businesses who meet the following certification and socio-economic category requirements:

  • 8(a) Business Development

  • HubZone Program

  • Woman Owned Small Business (WOSB) Program

  • Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) Program

In the next series of posts, we are going to spend some time discussing the basic requirements of each program and the steps you need to take to qualify.

Today we are focusing on the 8(a) Business Development Program.

What is the 8(a) Business Development Program?

The 8(a) Program is an assistance program for small disadvantaged businesses that are at least 51 percent owned and controlled by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals.  It helps thousands of businesses gain access to and traction in government contracting.

The program’s goal is to graduate businesses that will thrive in a competitive environment.  Bec...

January 26, 2017

By Kristin Ghanem | Harkcon’s Contract Management Specialist 

Small business set-asides are an effective tool for helping small businesses compete and win government contracts.  When market research determines that a small business is able to perform the work or provide the necessary items needed by the government, those opportunities are set-aside exclusively for small businesses. 

There are several types of small business set-asides.  Some opportunities are open to all small businesses and some require a specific small business designation.

The government determines small business set-asides using either Contract Value or Prime Contract Goals.

Contract Value

A set-aside is partially based on the value of goods or services the government is purchasing.

Simplified Acquisition Threshold

Every government purchase with an anticipated value above the micro-purchase threshold of $3,500, and up to the Simplified Acquisition Threshold of $150,000, is required to be exclusively set-aside fo...

November 23, 2016

By Kristin Ghanem | Harkcon's Contract Manager 

Now that you are an established small business, you may be wondering what to do next.  Where do you find customers and how do you sell them your product?  You’ve probably even figured out that the Federal Government could benefit from your product or services!  But, how do you sell to them?  The General Services Administration (GSA) is the sole source that is dedicated to purchasing for the government and it provides an easy and convenient way for contractors to sell their goods and services: GSA Schedule Contracts.

What is a GSA Schedule?

GSA Schedules are contract vehicles that establish long-term government-wide contracts with commercial companies to provide access to products and services at volume discount pricing.  They make the process easier and more effective for both the government and contractors.

How to Qualify for a GSA Schedule?

Before submitting a successful offer to GSA, your small business must prequalify a...

October 12, 2016

By Kristin Ghanem | Harkcon's Contract Manager 

Contracts are the lifeblood of your company. They are how you earn money, predict future revenue, and create professional relationships. In all businesses, especially government contracting, it is important to have an organized and easy to understand system for maintaining contract documents that allows you to quickly find the information that you need.  Read below for three easy tips to create a system that works for you.

1. One Boss

It is likely that several people will need access to your company’s contract documents.  However, this does not mean that everyone should be in charge of organizing and maintaining your contract management system.  It should be one person’s job to organize contract folders and ensure contract documents and modifications are properly filed.  Having a contracts “boss” will create a consistent system that will ensure all documents are filed correctly and enable everyone to easily locate files.

2. C...

August 19, 2016

By Kristin Ghanem | Harkcon's Contract Manager

To register as a small business contractor, your company must adhere to Small Business Administration size standards and register as a government contractor in the System for Award Management (SAM).  Keep reading for a quick guide on how to register your company as a small business government contractor.

1. What is a size standard?  

The Small Business Administration (SBA) has established size standards for all businesses that represent the largest size that a business may be to keep its small business classification.  Size standards are used to determine eligibility for small business set-aside contracts.

2. How are size standards determined?

Size standards are usually determined by a company’s average number of employees or average annual receipts.  The definition of “small” varies by industry.

Title 13, Code of Federal Regulations, part 121.104 describes how the SBA determines average annual receipts and part 121.06 states how the SBA determi...

July 14, 2016

By Kristin Ghanem | Harkcon's Contract Manager

Congratulations! You’ve taken the leap and decided to start your own small business working in the Federal Government sector! You know that Federal Government contracting could lead to enormous growth for your new company. The government even sets aside specific contracts solely for small business contractors.

What is a Small Business?
Is your company

  •  Organized for profit?

  •  Independently owned and operated?

  •  Not dominate in its field on a national basis?

Does your company

  • Have a place of business in the US?

  • Operate primarily within the US or make a significant contribution to U.S. economy through payment of taxes or use of American, products, materials, or labor?

If you answered “yes” to all of these questions, you are a small business! It is easy to assume that you automatically qualify as a small business for the purpose of federal government contracting. However, this is not the case.

In addition to the abov...

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