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Category: Government
What federal agencies participate?

Department of Agriculture Department of Commerce National Institute of Standards and Technology National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Department of Defense Department of Education Department of Energy Department of Health and Human Services Department of Transportation Environmental Protection Agency National Aeronautics and Space Administration National Science Foundation Small Business Administration

Category: SBA - Qualify for Small Business Contracts and Funding
How can I find out if my business is considered "small" for the purposes of eligibility for SBA programs and to receive federal contracts specifically designated for small business?

Although the numerical definition of what constitutes a small business, which can be found at: varies from industry to industry,it is almost always stated in either the number of employees or the average annual receipts.

How do I become certified as a Small Disadvantaged Business (SDB)?

To become certified, a small business must meet the eligibility requirements: It must be owned and controlled by a socially and economically disadvantaged individual. African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Asian Pacific Americans, and Subcontinent Asian Americans are presumed to qualify. Other individuals can qualify if they show by a "preponderance of the evidence" that they are disadvantaged. Individuals must have a net worth of less than $750,000, excluding the value of the business and personnel residence. Successful applicants must also meet applicable size standards for small businesses in their industry and display good character. To Apply: Download the application at:( Contact your SBA district office Call the Office of Small Disadvantaged Business Certification and Eligibility at or 1-.

To which industries apply the 10 percent price evaluation adjustment (PEA) for small disadvantaged businesses (SDBs) and the evaluation credit for prime contractors?

Under the government's reformed affirmative action rules, small disadvantaged business are eligible for price evaluation adjustments (PEA) of up to 10 percent when bidding on federal contracts in certain industries. The program also provides evaluation credits for prime contractors who achieve SDB subcontracting targets. The PEA and the evaluation credits are authorized in the SIC code industry categories determined by U.S. Department of Commerce benchmarks.

Can I apply to the program as a member of a non-presumed group?

Even if you are not a member of one of the groups presumed to be socially disadvantaged, you may still be considered socially disadvantaged. In such a case, you will need to present evidence in the form of a narrative and supporting documentation to the SBA that you are in fact socially disadvantaged. The SBA will consider you to be socially disadvantaged if the preponderance of the evidencein your case indicates that you have been subjected to prejudicial treatment. More information about this subject can be found at:

How can I find out about government contracts available to 8(a) firms?

To learn about contracting opportunities available to 8(a) firms, contact your Business Opportunity Specialist or Procurement Center Representative located nearest you: Business Opportunity Specialists (BOS), which can be found at: are located in SBA District Offices, and provide business development assistance to active 8(a) participants. Procurement Center Representatives (PCR's), which can be found online at:, are located in area offices, and they review and evaluate the small business programs of federal agencies and assist small businesses in obtaining federal contracts and subcontracts.

What are the benefits of the 8(a) Business Development Mentor-Protégé Program?

The U.S. Small Business Administration's (SBA) Mentor-Protégé program enhances the capability of 8(a) participants to compete more successfully for federal government contracts. The program encourages private-sector relationships and expands SBA's efforts to identify and respond to the developmental needs of 8(a) clients. Mentors provide technical and management assistance, financial assistance in the form of equity investments and/or loans, subcontract support, and assistance in performing prime contracts through joint venture arrangements with 8(a) firms.

How can I find out if my business is located in a HUBZone?

We've developed some special mapping software available online at: to help you determine if an address or area is in a HUBZone. You can search by address, state, county, or town. Requirements: To qualify for the HUBZone Empowerment Contracting Program, a small business must meet the following criteria: Its principal office must be located within a "Historically Underutilized Business Zone," which includes lands on federally recognized Indian reservations; It must be owned and controlled by one or more U.S. Citizens; and At least 35% of its employees must reside in a HUBZone. Existing businesses that choose to move to qualified areas are eligible. To fulfill the requirement that 35% of a HUBZone firm's employees reside in the HUBZone, employees must live in a primary residence within that area for at least 180 days or be a currently registered voter in that area.

How do I qualify for the Small Business Innovation Research Program (SBIR)?

SBIR is a highly competitive program that encourages small business to explore their technological potential and provides the incentive to profit from its commercialization. By including qualified small businesses in the nation's R&D arena, high-tech innovation is stimulated and the United States gains entrepreneurial spirit as it meets its specific research and development needs. SBIR Qualifications: Small businesses must meet certain eligibility criteria to participate in the SBIR program: American-owned and independently operated For-profit Principal researcher employed by business Company size limited to 500 employees

Which industries are included on the list of approved nonmanufacturer rule waivers?

The Small Business Act requires that agency contracts be directed solely to small business manufacturers under set-aside provisions. This requirement is commonly referred to as the Nonmanufacturer Rule. The Small Business Act also contains provisions that allow the SBA waive this requirement when there are no small business manufacturers or processors available to supply the product to the federal government.

Category: SBIR Program
What is the annual funding amount from all agencies?

A GAO report released in June 1999 stated that the total funding level aggregated from all participating federal agencies is over $1 Billion annually.

What is the SBIR Program?

The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program is a highly competitive three-phase award system which provides qualified small business concerns with opportunities to propose innovative ideas that meet the specific research and research and development needs of the Federal Government.

What are the three phases of the SBIR Program?

Phase I is a feasibility study to evaluate the scientific and technical merit of an idea. Awards are for periods of up to six months in amounts up to $100,000. Phase II is to expand on the results of and further pursue the development of Phase I. Awards are for periods of up to two years in amounts up to $750,000. Phase III is for the commercialization of the results of Phase II and requires the use of private sector or non-SBIR Federal funding.

Do you have to be a Phase I awardee in order to be considered for Phase II of a project?


What is the small business size standard for purposes of the SBIR Program?

A small business concern for purposes of award of any funding agreement under the SBIR Program is one which, including its affiliates, has a number of employees not exceeding 500.

How can a small business concern obtain funding under SBIR?

A small business can obtain funding under SBIR by being the recipient of a competitively awarded SBIR funding agreement.

What is an SBIR funding agreement?

An SBIR funding agreement is a contract or grant entered into between an SBIR participating Federal agency and a small business concern for the performance of experimental, developmental, or research work funded by the Federal Government.

Does the Small Business Administration make any awards under the SBIR Program?

No. The SBA has authority and responsibility for monitoring and coordinating the Government-wide activities of the SBIR Program and reporting its results to Congress. The Federal agencies participating in SBIR have the responsibility for: (a) selecting SBIR topics (b) releasing SBIR solicitations (c) evaluating SBIR proposals (d) awarding SBIR funding agreements on a competitive basis

Who are the participants in the SBIR Program?

The following Federal agencies are eligible to participate: Department of Agriculture Department of Commerce Department of Defense Department of Education Department of Energy Department of Health and Human Services Department of Transportation Environmental Protection Agency National Aeronautics and Space Administration National Science Foundation

Can a firm go directly to a Phase II award without having to compete for Phase I?

No. The SBIR Program was created for NEW innovations to meet existing Federal R&D needs. The results of a Phase I are a determining factor in deciding whether there will be a Phase II award to continue the effort.

Does SBA designate any of the topics cited in SBIR solicitations or make any awards under SBIR?

No. The legislation governing the SBIR Program gives unilateral authority and responsibility for these functions to each of the Federal agencies participating in the program.

Since SBIR is a program to assist small business innovators, can SBA or the other Federal participating agencies provide direct funding for a project which a firm has initiated on its own?

No. SBA does not fund SBIR projects and such an endeavor would be considered an unsolicited proposal, which is outside the scope of the SBIR Program.

Is a small US firm still eligible to compete for an SBIR award if it forms a 50-50 joint venture with a nonprofit or foreign firm?


Are foreign-based firms eligible for SBIR awards?

No. To be eligible for award of SBIR funding agreements, a small business concern has to meet the following qualifications: be independently owned and operated principal place of business is located in the United States at least 51 percent owned or in the case of a publicly owned business, at least 51% of its voting stock is owned by United States citizens or lawfully admitted permanent resident aliens.

Are nonprofit concerns eligible for SBIR awards?


May a portion of an SBIR award be subcontracted?

For Phase I, a minimum of two thirds of the research and/or analytical effort must be performed by the proposing firm, and for Phase II, a minimum of one-half of the research and/or analytical effort must be performed by the proposing firm.

Can a Federal agency other than the one originating the Phase I award make the Phase II award under the same SBIR topic?

No. Awards of this type would be the result of an unsolicited proposal, and therefore, would be considered outside the scope of the SBIR Program.

What is the difference between SBIR solicitations and the SBIR Pre-Solicitation Announcement?

SBIR solicitations are specific Requests for Proposals released by the Federal agencies participating in the program which may result in the award of Phase I SBIR funding agreements. SBIR Pre-Solicitation Announcements, released by SBA, contain pertinent data on SBIR solicitations that are about to be released by the participating Federal agencies.

Will SBA provide funds for SBIR commercialization?

No. Private sources of capital should be used. However, SBIR awardees are encouraged to seek information on all of the services that SBA makes available to the small business community.

Category: STTR Programs
What is the STTR Program?

STTR is a highly competitive three-phase program that reserves a specific percentage of Federal research and development funding for award to small businesses in partnership with nonprofit research institutions to move ideas from the laboratory to the marketplace, to foster high-tech economic development and to address the technological needs of the Federal Government.

What are the three phases of the STTR Program?

Phase I is the startup phase for the exploration of the scientific, technical, and commercial feasibility of an idea or technology. Awards are for periods of up to one year in amounts up to $100,000. Phase II is to expand Phase I results. During this period the R&D work is performed and the developer begins to consider commercialization potential. Awards are for periods of up to two years in amounts up to $500,000. Phase III is the period during which Phase II innovation moves from the laboratory into the marketplace. There is no STTR funding in this phase.

Must you be an established business when you propose an STTR?

No. However, you must be organized as a business at the time of award.

Who can propose for an STTR?

Only small for-profit businesses can propose.

What is the size criteria to become eligible for an STTR?

A small business concern with 500 or fewer employees including subsidiaries and/or affiliates. The size of the nonprofit collaborator is not relevant

How are future rights to projects developed under STTR determined?

The small business concern and the research institution must develop a written agreement prior to a Phase I award. This agreement must be submitted to the awarding agency if requested.

Who are the Federal participants in the STTR Program?

The following five Federal departments and agencies are eligible to participate: Department of Defense Department of Energy National Aeronautics and Space Administration Department of Health and Human Services National Science Foundation

Can I skip Phase I and begin at Phase II in the STTR Program?

No. Phase II awards can only be awarded to firms having successfully completed Phase I at the same awarding agency.

Does SBA make any STTR awards?

No. The five participating Federal agencies have unilateral procurement authority.

Can you subcontract in STTR -- either party or both?

Yes. Either party may subcontract or they may jointly fund a subcontractor.

Can a small business concern participate in both SBIR and STTR simultaneously at the same or differing agencies?

Yes, but they may not perform the same or essentially similar work under more than one contract or grant. Collecting funds more than once for the same work is fraud.

Must a successful Phase I small business concern use the same institution in Phase II?

No. The small business concern can change research institutions in Phase II.

Will an unsolicited proposal be accepted in the STTR Program?

No. Proposals must respond to the solicitation as published by one or more of the participating agencies.

Who is the prime contractor or grantee?

The small business concerned.

Must the small business concern and/or the research institution be located in the United States?

Yes. Both the small business concern and the institution must be on U.S. soil.

Can a Phase III follow-on contract for funding be made, without competition, to the firm that successfully completes Phase I and II.

Yes, the firm may be given a sole source contract in Phase III for further work or production.

What is the minimum percent breakout for small firms and institutions in conducting research?

Small business concerns must perform at least 40% and research institutions must perform at least 30% of the work.

Who resolves problems concerning STTR topics, awards, audits, etc.?

The agency issuing the Program Solicitation. SBA handles program policy for across the board uniformity, reporting to Congress and program oversight.

Where can I go for further information on how I get started or if there is other assistance available?

Information can be obtained from SBA Online Bulletin Board by dialing: 1-.