HHS partners with the Small Business Administration to support small businesses in competition with larger businesses for government contracts.
HHS supports five federal contracting assistance programs for small businesses:
- 8(a) Business Development Program
- HUBZone (small businesses located in Historically Underutilized Business Zones)
- Service-disabled veteran owned small business
- Small, disadvantaged business
- Women-owned small business
In addition, there are Innovation and Research Programs.
Federal Contracting Assistance Programs Supported by HHS for Small Businesses
8(a) Business Development Program
The 8(a) Business Development Program was founded by the Small Business Administration (SBA). The program helps provide a level playing field for small businesses owned by socially or economically disadvantaged people or entities. Small businesses that are 8(a) certified can compete for contracts set aside by the government.
The HUBZone program supports small businesses in historically underutilized business (HUB) zones. HUBZone businesses are eligible to compete for contracts set aside specifically for the program.
Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business Program
Each year, the federal government aims to award at least 3% of all federal contracting dollars to Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Businesses (SDVOSB). Joining the SDVOSB program allows your business to compete for contracts set aside specifically for the program.
Learn more about the SBA’s Veteran Assistance Programs, eligibility, and the self-certification process.
Small Disadvantaged Business Program
Each year, about 10% of all federal contract dollars are awarded to Small Disadvantaged Businesses (SDB). To register your business as an SDB, you must meet the SDB eligibility criteria and register your business in the System for Award Management.
Women-Owned Small Business Federal Contracting Program
HHS sets aside certain federal contracts for eligible Women-Owned Small Businesses (WOSB) and Economically Disadvantaged Women-Owned Small Businesses (EDWOSB).
Get information about the SBA’s Women-Owned Small Business Federal Contracting Program, eligibility, and how to apply for certification.
Other Programs for Small Businesses
Innovation and Research Programs
The Small Business Administration (SBA) manages two programs: The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs. These programs help small businesses to compete for research and development awards with the federal government.
Small business Education and Entrepreneurial Development (SEED) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) helps connect small businesses with SBIR/STTR programs.
Here are some of the SEED resources available for small businesses:
- Support conferences
- Technical help
- Professional consultation
- Opportunities for small businesses to engage and connect