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In an article published on April 9, 2019 by CO—, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s digital platform, Ambika Biggs provided insight on the ins and outs of federal contracts for small businesses.

To help balance the playing field for companies of all sizes, the government offers some contracts only qualified small businesses can apply for, otherwise known as small business set-asides. To understand whether the government will purchase what a small business sells, companies will need to look up their North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code. “Keep in mind that your NAICS code is tied to the size standard and it varies by industry, so just because you’re small in one industry doesn’t mean you’re small in another,” Biggs explained.

Once a business has searched for opportunities and completed the registration requirements, they may bid on a contract. When preparing a bid, it is important not to ignore what may seem like minor details, such as ensuring a correct email address is listed on the solicitation. “These are things that may seem small, but the government can be really stringent about, especially if they’ve received a lot of proposals and are trying to whittle them down,” Biggs said.

When a company is not awarded the contract, it can challenge the decision by filing a bid protest. However, even if this bid protest is successful, it does not mean the company will be rewarded the contract. “It could just mean the agency did something incorrect when they were making the decision and they may have to go back and do a re-evaluation or fix whatever it was that’s wrong.”

To view the full article, please click here.

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Heather A. Scott

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