Small Business Contracting Programs
The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is committed to complying with and supporting small business statutes, implementing regulations, Executive Orders and national policy. The NRC also has Federally-mandated small business contract goals, including goals for businesses owned by the disadvantaged, women, service-disabled veterans, and businesses located in Historically Underutilized Business Zones (HUBZones). In an effort to achieve such goals and comply with small business laws, the NRC initiates small business set-asides, negotiates sole-source contracts and ensures small business subcontracting opportunities through the following activities:
- Small Business Set-Asides
- 8(a) Sole-Source and Competitive Contracts
- Woman-Owned Set-Asides and Support
- Historically Underutilized Business Zone Sole-Source and Set-Asides
- Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business Sole-Source and Set-Asides
- Veteran-Owned Small Business Support
- Small Disadvantaged Business Support
- Subcontracting Program and Plan Requirements from Other than Small Businesses
Small Business Set-Asides
Part 19 of the Federal Acquisition Regulations requires Federal agencies to set aside acquisitions between $3,000 and $150,000 for small businesses when regulatory criteria are met. When a contracting officer has the reasonable expectation of receiving at least two offers from small businesses that demonstrate the capability and capacity to perform the requirement at a fair market price, the contracting offer must set aside that requirement for small businesses.
To determine if your firm qualifies as a small business, please review the Small Business Administration (SBA) size standards. The NRC posts small business contract opportunities with values exceeding $25,000 on the FedBizOpps Web site, the official Federal portal for posting opportunities and awards.
8(a) Sole-Source and Competitive Contracts
Section 8(a) of the Small Business Act authorizes the SBA to enter into prime contracts with other Federal agencies for products and services. SBA certifies eligible socially and economically disadvantaged small businesses and subcontracts with firms participating in the agency’s 8(a) Business Development Program to provide products and/or perform contract services for Federal agencies. Pursuant to a Partnership Agreement with the SBA, the NRC has been delegated the authority to execute 8(a) contracts. For contract requirements valued at less than $4 million, the agency selects a source and negotiates a contract with a selected firm. For contract requirements with a value exceeding the $4 million dollar threshold, the contract opportunity is competed among the eligible businesses in the 8(a) portfolio. For more information on eligibility for the 8(a) Business Development Program, please review the SBA's 8(a) Development Program.
Woman-Owned Business Set-Asides
Small businesses that are at least 51 percent owned, controlled, and operated by a woman (or women) meet the woman-owned criteria. The NRC sets annual goals for contract awards to woman-owned small businesses (WOSB) and actively encourages their participation in the agency’s contract program. There are 83 industries under which a contract opportunity may be set aside for WOSBs. Some set-aside opportunities also require that the owner be economically disadvantaged in order to compete for a set-aside opportunity. For more information on WOSB eligibility and program specifics, please review WOSB Federal Contract Program.
Historically Underutilized Business Zone Sole-Source and Set-Asides
Federal agencies may conduct HUBZone small business contract set-asides when the contracting officer determines that there are two or more eligible HUBZone businesses located in officially designated economically distressed areas in the U.S. and that the HUBZones demonstrate the capability and capacity to perform the requirement at a fair market price. The contracting officer may negotiate and award a contract on a sole-source basis if it is determined that only one HUBZone is capable of performing the contract opportunity.
Eligible HUBZone firms must be certified by the SBA to participate in the prime contract program and be eligible for HUBZone subcontracting opportunities afforded by other than small businesses that are required to establish small business subcontracting programs and plans. For more information on HUBZone eligibility, please review SBA’s HUBZone Web site.
Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business Sole-Source and Set-Asides
A service-disabled veteran-owned small business (SDVOSB) is one that is at least 51 percent owned by one or more service-disabled veteran(s). The NRC has made a commitment to meet the Federal-wide 3-percent contract goal in support of SDVOSBs and adhere to the activities set forth in the agency’s strategic plan to increase prime and subcontract opportunities for SDVOSBs. Federal agencies shall conduct SDVOSB small business contract set-asides when the contracting officer determines that there are two or more eligible SDVOSB concerns that demonstrate the capability and capacity to perform the requirement at a fair market price. The contracting officer can negotiate and award a contract on a sole-source basis if it is determined that only one firm demonstrates the capability and capacity to perform the contract opportunity. For more information on SDVOSB eligibility, please review the information provided by the Department of Veterans Affair's Center for Veteran Enterprise .
Veteran-Owned Small Business Support
A veteran-owned small business is one that is a least 51 percent owned by one or more veteran(s) and benefits from Federal outreach and other business development support. For additional information, please review the information provided by the SBA's Office of Veterans Business Development.
Small Disadvantaged Business Support
Small businesses that are socially and economically disadvantaged may self-certify as small disadvantaged businesses for Federal contracting programs. For information on SDB eligibility criteria, please review the SBA's Small Disadvantaged Business page.
Subcontracting Program and Plan Requirements from Other than Small Businesses
Other than small business concerns awarded Federal contracts exceeding $650,000 (or $ 1,500,000 in the construction industry) are required by Section 19.7 of the Federal Acquisition Regulations to establish goals for awarding subcontracts to small businesses, including businesses owned by the disadvantaged, women, veterans, service-disabled veterans, and businesses located in HUBZones. Each subcontracting plan describes the prime contractor's small business program, subcontract goals, record-keeping and reporting, and administrative responsibilities for subcontract plan performance to meet goals and other objectives.
The SBA's Subcontracting Network (SUB-Net) serves as a portal for prime contractors and subcontractors to network and post subcontracting opportunities.