Key takeaway: In 2021, the United States federal government will award more than $500 billion in federal contracts. These contracts are available to small businesses including minority business enterprises.

As a minority business owner, you may be looking for reliable customers to buy your company’s goods and services. If you haven’t considered the federal government, you are missing out.

Each year, the United States government doles out billions of dollars to businesses of all sizes. In fact, the top 10 government contractors were awarded more than $173 billion in contracts.

These businesses are:

  • Lockheed Martin Corp. ($48.3 billion)
  • Boeing Co. ($28.1 billion)
  • General Dynamics Corp. ($21.0 billion)
  • Northrop Grumman ($16.4 billion)
  • Raytheon ($14.9 billion)
  • United Technology ($10.3 billion)
  • McKesson Corp. ($9.7 billion)
  • Leidos Inc. ($8.2 billion)
  • Huntington Ingalls Inc. ($7.8 billion)
  • L3 Harris Corp. ($7.8 billion)

While it’s true that large companies get access to the most federal contract dollars, there are opportunities for small businesses and minority enterprises. This year, the federal government will award over $100 billion to these entities.

Pres. Biden to Increase Contract Opportunities for Minority Businesses

It’s never been a better time for minority business owners to explore their options with federal government contracting. The Biden Administration is pushing to close the racial wealth gap by awarding more federal contracts to minority business owners.

By 2026, President Biden plans to increase federal contract awards to minority-owned businesses by $100 billion. This initiative is sure to create more opportunities for disadvantaged businesses in the federal sector.

If you want access to government contracts for your minority-owned business, you must get prepared. One way you can prepare to compete for federal government contracts is by certifying your business with the Small Business Administration (SBA).

About the Small Business Administration’s 8(A) Certification

Getting certified as a minority-owned business or socially disadvantaged business with the federal government gives you access to special incentives and funding.

Benefits include:

  • Apply for federal contracts that are open to all applicants and minority-owned businesses.
  • Receive federal and state tax incentives.
  • Get access to business mentorship, loans and grants.

Applying for the 8(A) Business Development Program is one way to achieve certification as a minority owned or socially disadvantaged business with the federal government. Here is an overview of the program.

Eligibility requirements:

  • Qualify as a small business based on the federal government’s standards.
  • Must be your first time applying for the program.
  • Your business is 51% owned by a minority business or a socially/economically disadvantaged individual.
  • Possess the financial capacity to perform the contract if you win it.
  • Have a personal net worth of $750,000 or less.
  • Have an adjusted gross income less than $350,000.
  • Have $6 million or less in assets.
  • Must demonstrate good character.

Length of the 8(A) Certification Business Development Program: 9 years

Want to learn more about the 8(A) Certification Program? Contact the Small Business Administration or apply for certification online.

In addition to the federal government, there are minority-owned business certifications available with the state/local governments and private sector. The National Minority Supplier Development Council offers updated information and resources for aspiring minority contractors.

Ready to take your minority business to the next level by bidding on contracts? The following resources can help.

  • An Insider’s Guide to Winning Government Contracts; Real-World Strategies, Lessons and Recommendations by Joshua P. Frank
  • Government Contracts in Plain English: What You Need to Know About the Federal Acquisition Regulations, DFARS, Subcontracts, Small Business Set-Asides, Bid Projects and More by Christoph Mlinarchik
  • The Government Contracts Reference Book, 4th Edition by CCH Editorial Staff

About Corporate Counsel Men of Color

Our mission at Corporate Counsel Men of Color (CCMC) is to foster diversity and inclusion in the workplace. We provide a support network for men of color in all professions including (but not limited to) legal, finance, education, medicine, healthcare, law enforcement, sales and insurance. Join CCMC to participate in career events and networking opportunities. Corporate Counsel Men of Color is a subsidiary of Corporate Counsel Women of Color.