SBA Seattle District Launches New Readiness Training April 12 to Illuminate Pathway to Federal Small Business Certification
6 Apr 2023
Government Contracting, Small business, SBA, PTAC
Part of SBA Focus to Expand Equitable Access to Government Contracting Opportunities for Small Businesses in Collaboration with Local Government, Support Organizations
SEATTLE – The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Seattle District – which serves Washington state and northern Idaho – will launch a new readiness training April 12 to connect local small business with opportunities to grow their business through contracts with the federal government.
The new training is part of the agency’s priority to advance equity in contracting. In recent months, the SBA Seattle District is strengthening partnerships with federal and local agencies to collectively increase awareness of upcoming opportunities in the bi-partisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, and connect local firms with the technical assistance to ensure they gain the certifications and technical knowledge to succeed in the federal marketplace.
“The U.S. government is the largest customer in the world, purchasing billions of dollars of all types of products and services,” SBA Seattle District Director Kerrie Hurd said. “Our role is to empower small businesses with the tools and resources they need to successfully grow with federal procurement opportunities. This new training series will provide a case management approach to meet businesses where they are in the business lifecycle, outline next steps, and connect them with resources along the way.”
To support an equitable distribution of federal contracting opportunities, the SBA works with federal agencies in order to award 23% of prime government contracting dollars to eligible firms.
These contracting “set-asides” are allocated across several categories ensuring opportunities in historically underrepresented demographics. The SBA manages certification programs for small business owners to access these opportunities including certification as a Small Disadvantaged Business, Women-Owned Small Business, Veteran Owned Small Business, Service-Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business, and 8(a)-Certified Small Business.
Set-asides for certified small businesses can open doors and reduce competition for small firms in the federal marketplace. Small businesses are able to access online applications to self-certify and may work with local SBA staff for assistance in the process.
The 8(a) Readiness Training kicks off April 12 and is designed to inform interested small businesses of contracting opportunities through SBA’s 8(a) Business Development Program (BD Program) and to connect them with no-cost technical assistance to help them become eligible to apply.
The SBA’s 8(a) BD Program is a nine-year business development program created to assist firms owned and controlled by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals. The purpose of the 8(a) BD Program is to help eligible small, disadvantaged businesses compete in the American economy through business development.
Through the 8(a) BD Program, participants have access to new business paths to create jobs through increased revenues from government contracting and the SBA provides certified 8(a) firms with exclusive access to reserved federal contracts and a unique opportunity for direct awards.
The 8(a) Readiness Training will be a three-part series, free to register, and will be held virtually to offer access to all firms across the region.
Kicking off the series, the first training session will be an introductory seminar on the 8(a) Business Development program, benefits of certification, and requirements for eligibility. Program participants will be directed to follow up sessions designed to assist them with resources specific to their level of 8(a) “readiness.”
Program trainers, speakers, and technical assistance providers include former contracting officers, graduates from the 8(a) Business Development Program, staff from SBA Resources Partners including SCORE, Washington Small Business Development Centers, Washington Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC, an APEX accelerator), and representatives from partner agencies including the Washington Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA, U.S. Department of Commerce), WA Department of Enterprise Services, and the Office of Minority and Woman’s Business Enterprises (OMWBE)
For more information about other local webinars to help small businesses be successful in government contracting and other topics, visit www.sba.gov/wa.
About the U.S. Small Business Administration
The U.S. Small Business Administration makes the American dream of business ownership a reality. As the only go-to resource and voice for small businesses backed by the strength of the federal government, the SBA empowers entrepreneurs and small business owners with the resources and support they need to start, grow or expand their businesses, or recover from a declared disaster. It delivers services through an extensive network of SBA field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations. To learn more, visit www.sba.gov. The Seattle District serves Washington and northern Idaho with office locations in Seattle and Spokane.