For small businesses wanting to do business with the federal government — the process just got easier.
The Small Business Administration launched its improved website certify.sba.gov August 11 to allow registering for federal contracting preference programs more straightforward and accessible for contractors.
Executive director of the Pikes Peak Small Business Development Center, Aikta Marcoulier, said the new website contains a lot of the same information but is easier to sort through.
“I think one of the hardest things for business owners to do is navigate through all of the information,” she said. “Anything we can do to make things easier is what we should be doing. That’s where we’re trying to use technology to make navigation of business resources easier for small business owners.”
Now the SBA’s contracting application and certification process for women-owned small business is fully accessible online, enabling businesswomen to manage the process for the WOSB Federal Contract Program.
Eventually the enhanced website will serve other SBA contracting programs, including the 8(a) Business Development Program and HUBZone Program; businesses will be able to fill out multiple forms electronically, eliminating the hassle of printing and scanning.
Entrepreneurs can also use an “Am I Eligible” tool, a brief questionnaire to help them determine if an SBA contracting program is a good fit for their business.
Previously, each of the federal contracting preference programs had a different registration website for small business, such as for Small Disadvantaged Business, and women-owned small business, said Christopher Chavez, Denver SBA spokesperson.
“The new site brings all of those registration sites into one website and makes it easier and more efficient for small businesses wanting to register for these programs,” he told the Business Journal. “The site is also easier to use and more clear on the criteria used for each of the various preference programs.”
Last fiscal year, the federal government awarded its highest percentage of contracting dollars to small businesses in U.S. history, totaling more than $90 billion, said SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet in a press release.
“Those resources supported more than half a million jobs in communities across this country,” Contreras-Sweet said. “When these federal dollars churn in local communities, they create a multiplier effect that strengthens the local tax base and leads to better government services and better schools. That’s the promise of our work.”