After eleven years of lobbying by WIPP (Women Impacting Public Policy), the SBA issued its final ruling for the implementation of the Women's Procurement Program in the fall of 2010. Pursuant to the act, the SBA now recognizes Women-Owned Small Businesses (WOSBs) and has created a certification system for them.
Lisa Kaiser Hickey, President and CEO of Douglass, recently attended a certification workshop to learn about the SBA's certification process. Douglass is already certified by third parties such as WBENC, NWBOC and the State of Florida. However, the SBA is not currently recognizing any certification program other than its own. Fortunately, Douglass easily qualifies and will be self-certifying under the ruling in early February.
The most important facet of the ruling for WOSBs is the ability of contracting officers to restrict competition to women-owed small businesses if the procurement falls within one of eighty-three under-utilized NAICS codes. Not only does Douglass fall within the stated categories of codes, it also is in a substantially-under-utilized category.
Federal contracting officers are urged to review information posted under the "Federal" tab at this web site.