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Small Business Program brings opportunities to entrepreneurs

JOINT BASE ANDREWS, Maryland -- The staff of the Air Force District of Washington Small Business Office has a vision; they are striving to "Make small business the solution of choice."

"Small businesses are critical to our defense industrial base, are essential to our nation's economic recovery, and play a significant role in support of the Air Force mission," said Theresa Clark, AFDW Small Business Program director.

The Small Business Act of 1953 created a requirement for federal organizations to award a "fair and proportional amount" of federal contract and subcontract dollars to small businesses.

"Without this program there would be no mandate for small business to receive a fair share of federal contracts," Clark said. "Small business firms account for 63 percent of the net new jobs created between 1993 and mid-2013, or 14.3 million of the 22.9 million new net jobs."

Small businesses must meet established eligibility standards to become part of this program.

According to the U.S. Air Force Small Business webpage, when determining qualification criteria, "consideration is given to volume of business, number of employees, financial resources, competitive status or position, ownership and control of materials, processes, patents, license agreements, facilities, sales territory, and nature of business activity."

In addition, the business must be classified as small under North American Industrial Classification Standards for a specific industry and meet the definition of business concern contained in 13 Code of Federal Regulations 121.105.

"In essence, it must be a business entity organized for profit, with a place of business located in the U.S., and which operates primarily within the U.S. or which makes a significant contribution to the U.S. economy through payment of taxes or use of American products, materials, or labor," Clark said. "The business concern qualifies as a small business if its receipts or employees are under the applicable size standard. In determining a business' size, the receipts or revenues of all affiliates are counted."

To learn more about the AFDW Small Business Program, go to http://www.afdw.af.mil/library/smallbusiness.asp. For more information about the U.S. Air Force Small Business Program, visit http://airforcesmallbiz.org/.