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Wyoming Business Tips for June 9-15

June 3, 2013

A weekly look at Wyoming business questions from the Wyoming Small Business Development Center (WSBDC), part of WyomingEntrepreneur.Biz, a collection of business assistance programs at the University of Wyoming.

By Debbie Gorski, Wyoming Entrepreneur social media community manager

“What is a Set-Aside and how can I be included?” Mark, Torrington

You can read about Set Asides yourself in the FAR (Federal Acquisition Regulation) book under Subpart 19.5-Set-Asides for Small Business, but I will try to put it in simple terms.

After that, plan to visit with a Wyoming Entrepreneur Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) business adviser who will make it seem even easier. In Wyoming, that person is Brett Housholder, interim program manager for the Wyoming Entrepreneur PTAC.

The government term “acquisitions” or contracts that have an anticipated dollar value exceeding $3,000 but not more than $150,000 automatically are reserved for small businesses. The federal government awards 23 percent of all contracting dollars to small businesses, or Set-Asides.

Some contracts will specifically list which are acceptable proposals from only one or more of the various categories. Specific Set-Aside categories include:

-- WOSB/EDWOSB (Woman Owned/Economically Disadvantaged Woman Owned).

-- SDVOSB (Service Disabled Veteran Owned).

-- HUBZone (Historically Underutilized Business Zone, place based).

-- 8(a) (Socially and economically disadvantaged).

The stipulation for all of these categories maintains that the business must be 51 percent owned and controlled by a United States citizen. For a Woman Owned, a woman must own and control 51 percent of the business.

8(a) firms are designated as socially and economically disadvantaged small businesses that must have been operating for two or more years (exceptions to the two-year rule exist, but are difficult to obtain). The paperwork for an 8(a) designation can be daunting and I recommend that you work with a PTAC business adviser or your local Small Business Administration.

A Set-Aside for a HUBZone means that 35 percent of the businesses employees must reside within that area or certify that at least 35 percent of employees engaged in a HUBZone contract will reside in that zone or a Native American reservation.

The HUBZones in Wyoming include the Wind River Indian Reservation and the counties of Albany, Goshen, Hot Springs, Niobrara and Platte. HUBZones are designed to stimulate economic development and create jobs for those specific areas.

If you are not certified as a Woman Owned, Service Disabled Veteran Owned, HUBZone, or 8(a) small business and think you could be, contact Housholder at (307) 234-3203 or email

A blog version of this article and an opportunity to post comments is available at

The WSBDC is a partnership of the U.S. Small Business Administration, the Wyoming Business Council and the University of Wyoming. To ask a question, call 1-800-348-5194, email or write 1000 E. University Ave., Dept. 3922, Laramie, WY, 82071-3922.

1000 E. University Ave. Laramie, WY 82071
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