The Small Business Administration is a government funded organization designed to help new businesses grow. One way it does this is by encouraging other government agencies to support small businesses: particularly disadvantaged, women-owned, or minority-owned business owners.
In 2012, the Department of Health and Human Services signed a partnership agreement with the SBA committing to that mission. The DHHS then updated its code of federal regulations, the governing document for all its institutions, to outline how non-Federal entities (like MMRF) should ensure small and minority businesses, women’s business enterprises, and labor surplus area firms are given equal and fair opportunities. This CFR, 75.330, states that:
- These businesses should be on a company’s solicitation list
- These businesses should be solicited whenever appropriate
- Bigger tasks and work orders should be split into smaller chunks to increase the number of involved businesses
- Delivery schedules should not inhibit or disqualify these smaller businesses from consideration
- When appropriate the entity should collaborate with the SBA and Minority Business Development Agency of the Department of Commerce for guidance
- In addition to work for hire, steps one through five must be followed when determining federal subcontractors
Some individual institutions within the DHHS will have more specific goals and methods they require their contractors and grantees to follow. These guidelines will be detailed in any contract or Funding Opportunity Announcement. Please keep in mind that some institutional programs may have specific aims and requirements beyond that institution’s general approach of making small businesses a priority. That information will be included in any program announcement or funding guidelines.
MMRF, as an entity receiving federally funded grants and contracts through multiple DHHS agencies, follows these rules in a number of ways:
- The Business Expense Guideline’s purchasing policy mirrors CFR 75.330.
- The travel agent we contract through is women owned.
- Staples, our office supplies company, will note on their website when a supplier meets the definition of the small business administration (disadvantaged, women-, or minority-owned).
- In addition, any subcontracts pursued by Principal Investigators and Grant Administrators are done so with these principles in mind.
Always choose the supplier or subcontractor who is most qualified; however, each option should be given consideration based on their ability.
What does this mean for you?
- Continue following MMRF’s institutional policies regarding purchasing
- Include disadvantaged and women or minority owned businesses in your review of potential vendors
- And when you’re making purchases consider keeping it small to allow for opportunities to more businesses.
If you have questions about the Small Business Administration or anything else feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks for watching and have a nice day.