What are Set Asides? You could read the FAR, Federal Acquisition Regulation book, yourself; Subpart 19.5—Set-Asides for Small Business, but I will try to put it in simple terms. Then, head to your nearest PTAC to work with a business advisor who will make it seem even easier. In Wyoming, this person is Brett Housholder, Interim Program Manager for the Wyoming Entrepreneur PTAC.
The government term “acquisitions” or contracts that have an anticipated dollar value exceeding $3000 but not over $150,000 are automatically reserved for small businesses. The Federal government awards 23% of all contracting dollars to small businesses; Set Asides. Some contracts will specifically list they are accepting proposals from only one or more of the following categories.
Specific Set Aside categories include:
• WOSB/EDWOSB (Woman Owned/Economically Disadvantaged Woman Owned)
• SDVOSB (Service Disabled Veteran Owned)
• HUBZone (Historically Underutilized Business Zone, place based)
• 8(a) (Socially and economically disadvantaged)
The stipulation for all of these categories maintains that the business is 51% owned and controlled by a US citizen. For a Woman Owned, a woman must own and control 51% of the business.
8(a) firms are designated as socially and economically disadvantaged small businesses. They must have been in business for two or more years (exceptions to the two year rule exist, but they are difficult to obtain). The paperwork for an 8(a) designation can be daunting and I would recommend you work with a PTAC business advisor or your local SBA.
A Set Aside for a HUBZone area means 35% of the businesses employees must reside within a HUBZone, or certify that at least 35% of employees engaged in a HUBZone contract will reside in a HUBZone or Indian reservation. The HUBZones in Wyoming include the Wind River Indian Reservation and the counties of Albany, Goshen, Hot Springs, Niobrara and Platte (redesignated). Hubzones are designed to stimulate economic development and create jobs for those specific areas.
If you are not certified as a Woman Owned, Service Disabled Veteran Owned, HUBZone, or 8(a) small business and think you could be, contact Brett Housholder: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 307-234-3203. Or, to find a PTAC if you aren’t located in Wyoming, use the map on the APTAC website.