U.S. Small Business Administration finalizes rule authorizing federal contracts to be set aside for women-owned small businesses

On 7 October 2010 the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) published a final rule that will allow federal contracts to be set aside for women-owned small businesses (WOSBs) in 83 industries in which women are underrepresented in the federal marketplace. 75 Fed. Reg. 62,258 (7 Oct. 2010) (codified in 13 C.F.R. Part 127). The new program will take effect on 4 February 2011, a full decade after it was first authorized by Congress. Although the new rule increases federal contracting opportunities for an estimated 12,000 eligible WOSBs, it also creates potential risk for these companies due to the eligibility, certification, and documentation requirements.

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