Bass, Berry & Sims attorneys Todd Overman and Sylvia Yi provided insight on opportunities in government contracting for women-owned small business (WOSB) owners in a September 22, 2017, article in the Nashville Business Journal.
Tennessee is among the 10 fastest-growing states for women-owned companies and currently has approximately 64,000 women-owned businesses. The U.S. Small Business Administration's (SBA) women-owned small business program aims to provide eligible businesses a better shot at securing government contracting opportunities, and since it began in 2011, the program has been updated to eliminate barriers to entry, such as the removal of contract caps on set-aside awards and the authority to award sole-source contracts. These improvements helped lead the government to meet and exceed its 5% contracting goal to women-owned small businesses for the first time in fiscal year 2015.
However, women-owned businesses should note recent setbacks in the program related to certifying eligibility. In 2015, the National Defense Authorization Act eliminated self-certification from the SBA program, but the SBA continues to accept self-certification as an alternative to a third-party certifier. Still, companies that choose to self-certify "should be vigilant about fathering and maintaining accurate and up-to-date information in the repository," warn Todd and Sylvia in the article.
The full article, "Calling All Women-Owned Small Businesses: Self-Certify with Caution," was published online and in the print edition of the Nashville Business Journal on September 22, 2017. The full article is available here.