Southeastern SBDC to host government contracting certification courses

Tuesday, June 28, 2016
by: Tonya Lowentritt

     HAMMOND – The Louisiana Small Business Development Center at Southeastern Louisiana University is hosting a series of three government contracting certification courses in Amite.
     Co-sponsored by the Tangipahoa Parish Library, Amite City Chamber of Commerce, Louisiana PTAC – Southeast, and Tangipahoa Economic Development, the free courses will take place on Tuesday, July 19, at the Tangipahoa Parish Library in Amite, located at 204 N.E. Central Ave.
     The speaker for all three courses is Jo Lawrence, deputy district director of the U.S. Small Business Administration. Seating is limited for all courses, so pre-registration is required.
     The first course, scheduled from 9 to 11:30 a.m., is the SBA’s 8(a) Business Development Program, named for a section of the Small Business Act.
     “It’s a business development program created to help small, disadvantaged businesses compete in the American economy and access the federal procurement market,” said SBDC Assistant Director Sandy Summers. “During this workshop, we will walk you through the completion of the online certification process.”
     Summers said the workshop will cover eligibility criteria for Section 8(a) program participation; overview of the electronic application; review of the required supporting documentation; explanation and guidance in completing the required SBA forms; and additional information as needed by the participants.
     Eligibility requirements for the course include the following: the firm must be a small business; it must be unconditionally owned and controlled by one or more socially and economically disadvantaged individuals who are of good character and citizens of the United States. The firm must demonstrate the potential for success.
     The second course, scheduled from 12:30 to 2:15 p.m., is HUB (Historically Underutilized Business) Zone Workshop. Summers said the workshop is designed to introduce businesses to the program, help determine whether a business is eligible, and support the efforts of businesses to participate.
     “Every year the federal government awards over $500 billion in contracts. A significant share of those contracts is specifically allotted to small businesses,” Summers explained. “SBA assists federal agencies in identifying and awarding contracts to meet the 23 percent statutory goal of government-wide small business prime contracting. Agencies are also required to award three percent of contracts to small businesses located in historically underutilized business zones or HUB zones. SBA encourages small businesses to learn more about the HUBZone program and take advantage of this federal contracting opportunity.”
     Summers said the session is designed for all small businesses considering HUBZone certification or looking for more information on the program. Topics to be covered include: HUBZone eligibility criteria; review of the application; maintaining certification; and identifying contracting opportunities.
     The third course, scheduled from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m., is the Women-Owned Small Business Certification (WOSB) Workshop.
     Summers said that small business certifications are like professional certifications. They document a special capability or status that helps compete in the marketplace. Unlike permits or licenses, certifications are not necessary to legally operate; however, in order to take advantage of business opportunities, such as government contracts, certain certifications are necessary.
     “Women business owners should seek to leverage the opportunities available through the federal government to drive revenue growth,” Summers said. “This workshop will guide you in doing just that.”
     Topics to be covered include women-owned small businesses federal government contract set-asides; final WOSB ruling, impact and advantage; eligible NAICS codes; certification process; identifying contract opportunities; effectively responding to requests for government proposals; and completing required registrations.
     For more information on the courses, call 985-549-3831. Registration is available on line at


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