Bialek Environments has been taking on government contracts for years. With the new SBA program for women, the president and CEO, Joan Bialek, looks forward to bringing in some more work for her company.

The Women-Owned Small Business Federal Contract Program kicked off in February, with the goal of ensuring that federal agencies issue 5 percent of their prime contracts to businesses such as Bialek Environments that are owned by women. More than a decade in the making, the program includes set-asides in more than 300 underrepresented industries, which are identified by their North American Industry Classification System code. The first contracts in the program are expected to be let in November.

The new program is broken down into set-asides for woman-owned small businesses — which must be 51 percent directly owned and controlled by women — and economically disadvantaged woman-owned small businesses. The latter must have a net worth of less than $750,000, an adjusted gross yearly income of less than $350,000 in the three years preceding certification in the program and asset value of less than $6 million. Set-asides will be available for contracts that do not exceed $6.5 million in the case of manufacturing and $4 million in other categories.

Photo by C.E. Kent