WOSB and EDWOSB Set Aside Contract Size Caps Removed

The 2013 National Defense Authorization Act–signed into law by President Barack Obama earlier this month–formally removed the contract size caps for federal contracts awarded under the Woman Owned Small Business (WOSB) Federal Contracting Program, also referred to as the 8(m) program.

The previous WOSB/EDWOSB set aside contract limits of $4 million for goods and services and $6.5 million for manufacturing have been eliminated in part because federal agencies have consistently failed to award 5 percent of federal contracts to women owned small businesses as they are mandated to do.

The Obama administration’s hope is that by lifting these contract limits, more federal dollars can be allocated towards projects to be fulfilled by WOSB and Economically Disadvantaged WOSB (EDWOSB) companies.

The SBA reports that in 2011, the year the WOSB program made its debut, 3.98 percent of federal contract dollars were awarded to woman owned, woman controlled companies, which equates to about $16.8 billion in contract opportunities for small companies owned and operated by women.

The outlook for federal fiscal year 2013 spending on WOSB contract activity is positive with the elimination of the contract size limits.

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