Small Business Utilization
Small Business Participation
GSA and the Small Business Administration (SBA) strongly support the participation of small business concerns in the GSA Schedules Program. To enhance small business participation, SBA policy allows agencies to include in their procurement base and goals, the dollar value of orders expected to be placed against GSA Schedule contracts. Actual orders placed against Schedule contracts may be reported as accomplishments and credited toward ordering activities' small business goals.
At the discretion of the buying contracting officer, orders and BPAs may be set aside for small businesses for any of the socioeconomic categories listed at FAR 19.000(a)(3), if market research shows that three or more such firms are capable of providing the products and/or services required. However, for 8(a) set-asides, the SBA offer and acceptance process must be accomplished at the order level.
GSA Schedule set-asides are conducted under FAR 8.405-5 procedures, which states that the ordering procedures at FAR 8.405-1, -2, and -3 must be followed when setting aside an order or establishing a set-aside BPA. These procedures require that the ordering activity get three quotes or place the solicitation on GSA eBuy. Since FAR Part 19 procedures do not apply to Schedules orders, the "rule of two" is not applicable in the Schedules environment.
GSA Provides Guidance for Buying Agencies
When conducting evaluations and making a best value determination before placing an order, buyers should consider including, if available, at least one small business, veteran-owned small business, service-disabled veteran-owned small business, HUBZone small business, women-owned small business, or small disadvantaged business Schedule contractor. Buyers should also give preference to the items of small business concerns when two or more items at the same delivered price will satisfy the requirement.
In accordance with FAR 8.405-5(a), government buyers should rely on the small business representations made by Schedule contractors at the contract level. Small business representation.
Approximately 80 percent of all GSA contractors are small businesses. They are identified by indicators on GSA eLibrary (listing of available contractors) and GSA Advantage! (online shopping and ordering system):
|o||Other than Small Business|
|v||Veteran-Owned Small Business|
|dv||Service Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business|
|d||SBA Certified Small Disadvantaged Business|
|8a||SBA Certified 8(a) Firm|
|h||SBA Certified HUBZone Firm|
Small Business Set Asides
Through the Schedules Program, GSA increases contracting opportunities for small businesses, and assists buyers in achieving or exceeding their socioeconomic goals. Customers now have the ability to set aside orders.
Here are some helpful resources for acquisition planning:
- GSA Schedules and the Utilization of Small Business [PDF - 634 KB] - Detailed presentation on current regulation and available flexibility;
- Process Map [PDF - 182 KB] - step-by-step approach for utilizing small business under MAS;
- Sample Request-For-Quote Language [PDF - 47 KB] - making small business the primary evaluation factor; and
- Small Business Set Aside Frequently-Asked-Questions.
Orders placed against a Schedule contract can be credited toward small business goals. Vendors can learn more about small business contracting at GSA's Office of Small Business Utilization.
Small Business Set Aside FAQs
The shortcut to this page is gsa.gov/schedulesandsbgoals.