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USDA Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU) "An Outstanding Federal Small Business Advocate"

Small Businesses – “The Engines that Drive the Nation’s Economy”

OSDBU leads USDA’s department-wide Small Business Programs and ensures a dynamic, diverse and reliable small vendor pool. OSDBU:

  • Assists USDA in achieving its Small Business Procurement Goals for prime and subcontracts awarded to:
    • Small,
    • Small Disadvantaged,
    • 8(a),
    • Woman-Owned,
    • Historically Underutilized Business Zone (HUBZone), and
    • Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned small businesses.
  • Works with other federal agencies and public/private partners to increase the number of small businesses participating in the federal contracting arena.
  • Monitors the development and implementation of contracting policies to prevent barriers to small business participation.
  • Evaluates USDA Agency small business programs annually.
  • Serves as USDA’s central point of contact for inquiries from small businesses, the Small Business Administration, other Federal Departments, Small Businesses, Industry and others.
  • Collaborates with contracting personnel to ensure that a fair proportion of contracts for supplies and services are placed with small business.
  • Utilizes USDA contracting requirements to build the capacity of the small businesses that create two thirds of the net new jobs in our economy and employ half of all private-sector workers.
  • Sponsors innovative outreach activities
  • Meets one-on-one with small businesses to ascertain how we can best help them and tailor assistance.
  • Partners with other federal agencies, state and local governments, local chambers of commerce, trade associations and other organizations to expand opportunities for small minority business.
  • Provides guidance and technical assistance to small businesses to increase and expand the number and variety of small firms doing business with USDA.
  • Works with USDA purchasing agencies' Small Business Specialists to locate contracting opportunities.

OSDBU Delivers Quality Small Business Assistance Programs

Small Disadvantaged Business (SDB) Business Program: OSDBU provides the important guidance and technical assistance SDBs require to locate and participate in USDA opportunities and enhances the ability of USDA agencies to achieve program results and their small business goals.

Section 8(a) Business Development Program: OSDBU’s 8(a) Business Development Program is intended to help small businesses be successful now and in the future. We continuously seek USDA requirements that match the capabilities of 8(a) approved firms.

Women-Owned Small Business (WOB) Program: OSDBU works to raise the visibility of women-owned businesses in USDA procurement activities and monitors agency women-owned business goal achievements.

To facilitate the participation of WOBs in USDA procurement opportunities, OSDBU has appointed a WOB advocate to:

  • Network with the women-owned business community.
  • Encourage each USDA procurement office to consider women-owned small businesses for all procurement opportunities.

Historically Underutilized Business Zone (HUBZone) Empowerment Contracting Program: This Program stimulates economic development and creates jobs in distressed urban and rural areas with high levels of unemployment by:

  • Contracting assistance is provided to small businesses that obtain HUBZone certification and employ staff who live in a HUBZone.
  • The company must also maintain a principal office in the HUBZone area.

The USDA Service Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) Program: OSDBU provides the quality contracting assistance essential for expanding the ability of these men and women to contract with USDA. To increase chances for success, OSDBU has:

  • Developed new approaches for improving the ability of SDVOSBs to do business with USDA.
  • Created a Strategic Plan to address the special needs of SDVOSBs.
  • Designed new policies and innovative approaches for expanding outreach, technical assistance and contract opportunities for SDVOSBs.
  • Designated a staff member to serve as the USDA SDVOSB Advocate.

Subcontracting Program:

  • Any federal contractor receiving a contract for more than the simplified acquisition threshold must agree that small businesses (including veteran-owned, service-disabled veteran-owned, HUBZone, disadvantaged, and women-owned businesses) will have the maximum practicable opportunity to participate in the contract consistent with its efficient performance.
  • Large prime contractors receiving a federal contract exceeding $500,000 ($1 million for construction), and which offers subcontracting opportunities, must establish subcontracting plans with goals that provide maximum opportunities to these small businesses.

To Increase the Number of Small Businesses Participating in USDA Subcontracting Opportunities, OSDBU:

  • In conjunction with the resident SBA Procurement Center Representative, evaluates, reviews and makes recommendations on subcontracting plans.
  • Assists large prime contractors in identifying potential small businesses (including veteran-owned, service-disabled veteran-owned, HUBZone, disadvantaged, and women-owned businesses) to assist in subcontracting goal attainment.
  • Publishes an Annual Subcontracting Opportunities Directory.
  • Has dedicated a professional staff.
  • Is led by committed leaders.
  • Ensures that USDA agencies are responsive.

Contact OSDBU:

(202) 720-7117 or at our toll free number: 1-877-996-7328 (1-877-99-OSDBU)