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8 steps to doing business with the government

  1. Look locally. Contact your city and county public works departments to find out how they publish bid opportunities.
  2. For state and national bid opportunities, get your business certified.
    • Self-certifications: The federal government recognizes small businesses (SBE), women-owned (WBE), and disadvantaged (i.e. minority) businesses (SDB). The SBA has established two widely used size standards for small business:
      • Fewer than 500 employees for most manufacturing and mining industries, and
      • Less than $7 million in average annual receipts for most nonmanufacturing industries.
    There is no formal certification process, but on request, you need to provide proof that you satisfy the size and for WBE and SDB’s the ownership requirement.

    • HUBZone businesses. If your business is located in a low-median income or high unemployment area, you may be eligible for preferential bidding on federal projects.
      For more information about HUBZone benefits and to find out if your business location is in a HUBZone, go to: http://www.sba.gov/content/applying-hubzone-program
    • SBA 8(a) program for minority businesses. The SBA 8(a) program provides direct help in obtaining federal contracts. Participants must have been in business at least 2 years and have non-businesss and non-home assets less than $250,000. For more information, visit http://www.sba.gov/content/8a-business-development. To apply, visit https://sba8a.symplicity.com/applicants/guide.
    • US Department of Transportation recognizes veteran-owned small businesses. For more information, visit http://osdbu.dot.gov/about/customers.cfm#VOSB.
    • Alabama Department of Transportation certifies disadvantaged business enterprises (DBE) for federally-funded transportation projects. DBE certification is for Disadvantaged, Minority, and Women Business Enterprises. Click here for more information.
  3. Even if you are not certified, register on SAM. The federal government uses SAM (System for Award Management). You can register at https://www.sam.gov/. You can do a search on existing registered businesses at http://web.sba.gov/pro-net/search/dsp_dsbs.cfm.
  4. Register as a vendor for the state of Alabama Click here for information and the online registration system.
  5. Look for large opportunities and sign up for email notifications. Federal opportunities for $25,000 and more can be found at https://www.fbo.gov.
  6. Alabama bid opportunities can be found at http://purchasing.alabama.gov/txt/ITBs.aspx.

  7. Look for sub-contracting opportunities. The government bid process can take six months. It is often faster to find sub-contracting opportunities with companies that have already received a government contract. You can find federal sub-contracting opportunities at http://web.sba.gov/subnet/search/dsp_search_option.cfm.

  8. Network and market your business to find opportunities under $25,000. All purchases under $100,000 are supposed to go to small business. Federal agencies use credit cards for purchases of $2,500 or less. For purchases between $2,500 and $25,000, they must obtain quotes from at least three vendors.
  9. Get help through PTAC or SBDC. PTACs (Procurement Technical Assistance Centers) provide free assistance in marketing products and services to government agencies. Alabama PTAC's website is http://al-ptac.org/.

    The Women's Business Center in Huntsville also has a Government Procurement Assistance Center (GPAC). Click here for information about the GPAC Program. You can also contact your local SBDC ( Small Business Development Center) for free assistance with government contracting. Visit http://www.aamu.edu/academics/bpa/centersandprograms/pages/default.aspx.
In the buttons above, , you will find additional resources, including:

8 steps to doing business with the government

  1. Look locally. Contact your city and county public works departments to find out how they publish bid opportunities.
  2. For state and national bid opportunities, get your business certified.
    • Self-certifications: The federal government recognizes small businesses (SBE), women-owned (WBE), and disadvantaged (i.e. minority) businesses (SDB). The SBA has established two widely used size standards for small business:
      • Fewer than 500 employees for most manufacturing and mining industries, and
      • Less than $7 million in average annual receipts for most nonmanufacturing industries.
    There is no formal certification process, but on request, you need to provide proof that you satisfy the size and for WBE and SDB’s the ownership requirement.

    • HUBZone businesses. If your business is located in a low-median income or high unemployment area, you may be eligible for preferential bidding on federal projects.
      For more information about HUBZone benefits and to find out if your business location is in a HUBZone, go to: http://www.sba.gov/content/applying-hubzone-program
    • SBA 8(a) program for minority businesses. The SBA 8(a) program provides direct help in obtaining federal contracts. Participants must have been in business at least 2 years and have non-businesss and non-home assets less than $250,000. For more information, visit http://www.sba.gov/content/8a-business-development. To apply, visit https://sba8a.symplicity.com/applicants/guide.
    • US Department of Transportation recognizes veteran-owned small businesses. For more information, visit http://osdbu.dot.gov/about/customers.cfm#VOSB.
    • Alabama Department of Transportation certifies disadvantaged business enterprises (DBE) for federally-funded transportation projects. DBE certification is for Disadvantaged, Minority, and Women Business Enterprises. Click here for more information.
  3. Even if you are not certified, register on SAM. The federal government uses SAM (System for Award Management). You can register at https://www.sam.gov/. You can do a search on existing registered businesses at http://web.sba.gov/pro-net/search/dsp_dsbs.cfm.
  4. Register as a vendor for the state of Alabama Click here for information and the online registration system.
  5. Look for large opportunities and sign up for email notifications. Federal opportunities for $25,000 and more can be found at https://www.fbo.gov.
  6. Alabama bid opportunities can be found at http://purchasing.alabama.gov/txt/ITBs.aspx.

  7. Look for sub-contracting opportunities. The government bid process can take six months. It is often faster to find sub-contracting opportunities with companies that have already received a government contract. You can find federal sub-contracting opportunities at http://web.sba.gov/subnet/search/dsp_search_option.cfm.

  8. Network and market your business to find opportunities under $25,000. All purchases under $100,000 are supposed to go to small business. Federal agencies use credit cards for purchases of $2,500 or less. For purchases between $2,500 and $25,000, they must obtain quotes from at least three vendors.
  9. Get help through PTAC or SBDC. PTACs (Procurement Technical Assistance Centers) provide free assistance in marketing products and services to government agencies. Alabama PTAC's website is http://al-ptac.org/.

    The Women's Business Center in Huntsville also has a Government Procurement Assistance Center (GPAC). Click here for information about the GPAC Program. You can also contact your local SBDC ( Small Business Development Center) for free assistance with government contracting. Visit http://www.aamu.edu/academics/bpa/centersandprograms/pages/default.aspx.
In the buttons above, , you will find additional resources, including:
 

About Us

The Chamber in Jackson County continues its main role as an active leader and facilitator in bringing together the resources of Jackson County agencies and organizations to promote cooperation, credibility, and communication while providing the means of quality growth in the community. The main focus will always be towards the small businesses of Jackson County.

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