WT Business Beat

By Nick Wakeman

Blog archive
Nick Wakeman

Do we really need all these separate small business programs?

Here's a thought: Let's consolidate them into one program. To qualify for the program, you can be in a HUBZone, veteran-owned, minority-owned, women-owned, Alaska Native, etc.

Let Congress and the agencies identify the socio-economic groups and areas that would benefit most from a small-business set-aside program. Agencies would have a goal for the amount of set-aside work that should go to companies in this program, but you don't set goals for individual types of companies. The companies would compete on their merits.

A second part of my thought is that all the participants in the program would face a graduation date, much like the 8(a) program does. After 9 years or some other significant period of time, you can't receive set-aside contracts. By that point, you should be established enough as a business to compete independently. If you can't survive without the set-aside, well, you deserve to go out of business.

This would greatly simplify small-business contracting. All small businesses would be on the same playing field. Instead of agencies having to look for business to meet a certain criteria, they can just look for the most qualified small business.

Hopefully, a streamlined process would free resources that could be used to provide better contract management and fight fraud and abuse.

Posted by Nick Wakeman on Dec 08, 2008 at 7:22 PM

Reader Comments

Please post your comments here. Comments are moderated, so they may not appear immediately after submitting. We will not post comments that we consider abusive or off-topic.

Please type the letters/numbers you see above

What is your e-mail address?

My e-mail address is:

Do you have a password?

Forgot your password? Click here


  • Dive into our Contract Award database

    In an exclusive for WT Insider members, we are collecting all of the contract awards we cover into a database that you can sort by contractor, agency, value and other parameters. You can also download it into a spreadsheet. Our databases track awards back to 2013. Read More

  • Navigating the trends and issues of 2016 Nick Wakeman

    In our latest WT Insider Report, we pull together our best advice, insights and reporting on the trends and issues that will shape the market in 2016 and beyond. Read More

contracts DB

Washington Technology Daily

Sign up for our newsletter.

Terms and Privacy Policy consent

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.