Today, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) published new regulations for its Women-Owned Small Business Federal Contracting program that will provide women-owned small businesses and economically-disadvantaged women-owned small businesses with a free, online certification and eligibility process. The implementation of the new changes has been delayed to July 15, 2020, to accommodate those that are currently affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
In addition to changes made to the certification requirements for women-owned small businesses and economically-disadvantaged women-owned small businesses, the regulations also include “certification options for applicants and require authorized third-party certifiers to notify applicants of their fees and the option to use SBA’s free online certification process,” according to the official press release.
New Regulations for WOSB & EDWOSB Certification Process
- Allows participation from firms certified by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Center of Verification and Evaluations, provided they meet all eligibility requirements;
- Confirms the continued participation of approved third-party certifiers;
- Eliminates the self-certification option from certify.sba.gov, effective October 15, 2020; and
- Adopts a $750,000 net worth standard when assessing economic disadvantage for individuals in the 8(a) Business Development Program (8(a) Program).
- Funds invested in official retirement accounts are excluded from the analysis of an economically-disadvantaged individual’s personal net worth in both the WOSB and 8(a) Programs. This makes the economic disadvantage threshold and analysis consistent for EDWOSBs and 8(a) Program participants.
- The current self-certification process will remain available for firms until October 15, 2020, who can apply at certify.sba.gov;
- Until July 15, 2020, WOSBs must download their documentation, currently housed in the WOSB Program Repository, from certify.sba.gov;
- On July 15, 2020, firms can begin submitting applications for initial processing; and
- On October 15, 2020, SBA will begin issuing decisions on certification.
The new regulations to the SBA’s Women-Owned Small Business Program is intended to create an easier and efficient process “for contracting officers to set aside and make awards to firms certified as WOSBs and EDWOSBs and will better empower agencies to meet the 5% federal contracting goal for women-owned small businesses,” states the SBA in their press release.
NAWRB is honored to be one of only 11 organizations listed as a Women’s Entrepreneurship Partner for the SBA. To learn more about SBA’s Women-Owned Small Business Program, visit www.sba.gov/wosb.