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From Neckties to Nuclear Waste: The U.S. Government Is Open for Business

By ANGELA HAINES
Feburary 17, 2011

This month it got a little easier to add to your client list the country’s biggest spender: the US Government. The Small Business Administration announced its Women-Owned Small Business Procurement Programs (WOSB) which provides greater access to contracts with 83 industries by allowing procurement officers to set aside contracts for women-owned and economically disadvantaged women-owned businesses (EDWOSB). Federal statute already mandates government contracts over $3000 and under $100,000 be set aside for small businesses, with an additional 5% procurement targeted for women-owned small businesses, but results have never met the mark. While department and agency standards vary, in practice, procurement officers can now exclude other bidders once they receive a minimum of two bids from qualified women business owners. Furthermore, the February ruling requires the set asides go into effect in 2011 government budgets with over $30 billion of contracts available to women. SBA Administrator Karen Mills feels these contracts “can provide women-owned small businesses with the oxygen they need to take their business to the next level.”…