The long anticipated and landmark Small Business Act was recently passed, which authorizes federal contracting officers to specifically limit, or set aside opportunities for women-owned small businesses (WOSBs) or economically disadvantaged women-owned small businesses (EDWOSBs). Although the Small Business Administration has issued a final rule on the WOSB program, it will not be effective for several months.
To qualify as an EDWOSB or WOSB, the 51 percent ownership must be unconditional and direct. In addition, the management and daily business operations of the concern must be controlled by one or more economically disadvantaged women (for EDWOSBs) or women (for WOSBs).
WOSBs and EDWOSBs will be required to self-certify their status in the Central Contractor Registration (CCR) and the Online Representations and Certifications Application (ORCA) as other small businesses do, and will also be required to post certain documents to the WOSB Program Repository.
There are eighty-three NAICS codes designated as eligible for Federal contracting under the WOSB Program, of which forty-five in which WOSBs are underrepresented and thirty-eight in which WOSBs are substantially underrepresented. The anticipated award price of contracts eligible for this program cannot exceed $5 million in the case of manufacturing contracts and $3 million in the case of all other contracts.
Surety bond will be required on all construction contracts awarded over $100,000, and WOSBs are encouraged to get Prequalified for bonding ahead of time.