We have compiled frequently asked questions on various topics within the
Office of Small Business Programs. Search for your question from the list
1. How does a small business become officially designated as a
Small Disadvantaged Business?
A. Small businesses may be certified as Small
Disadvantaged Businesses by the
Business Administration (SBA). Small Disadvantaged Businesses are eligible
to receive certain preferences in federal procurement actions. Information on
certification and procurement preference programs is available from SBA. It is
significant to note that a small business need not necessarily be owned by a
minority individual(s) to qualify for the
Small Disadvantaged Business Program.
2. What business opportunities does the Department of Labor
have for my business?
A. The Department of Labor annually publishes its
current and planned procurements and grants in the
Forecast. The Procurement Forecast is also available in hardcopy from the
Office of Small Business Programs, Room C-2318, 200 Constitution Avenue N.W.,
Washington D.C. 20210, fax 202-693-6485. You may obtain additional information
by attending Vendor Outreach Sessions hosted quarterly by the Office of Small
Business Programs. Registration for the
Vendor Outreach Sessions may
be arranged by phone at 202-693-6460.
3. How do I become a Department of Labor vendor?
A. There are no pre-registration requirements to
become a DOL vendor (i.e. contract with a DOL agency). Vendors are free to
market at bi-monthly Vendor
Outreach Sessions, follow-up on opportunities in the
Forecast, and to communicate directly with
Agency Small Business Contacts. The
Vendor Outreach Sessions are particularly beneficial to vendors because they
can meet several DOL agency personnel in one visit. The Office of Small
Business Programs maintains a database of small businesses interested in doing
business with the Department. Businesses that attend a Vendor Outreach Session
are automatically added to the database. You may also be entered on the
database if you mail a capability statement to U.S. Department of Labor, Office
of Small Business Programs (OSBP), Room C-2318, 200 Constitution Avenue N.W.,
Washington D.C. 20210.
4. Where can I obtain a loan or a grant to help start or grow
my small business?
Business Administration has a number of programs to financially and
technically assist developing small businesses. The SBA may be reached by phone
at 202-205-6600, or toll-free at 1-800-UASKSBA. The
of Commerce also has programs to assist small businesses (phone
While the Department of Labor cannot provide financial assistance to
small businesses, the Department does have Compliance Assistance Programs to
help small businesses learn of applicable labor laws and regulations.
Compliance Assistance information is
available by phone toll-free at 1-866-4-USA-DOL (1-866-487-2365).
5. Does the Department of Labor buy information technology
services and supplies?
A. Yes. Information technology business opportunities
are identified in the
Forecast. The Office of Small Business Programs has also published a list
of DOL Agency Information Technology Contacts. The Department's quarterly
Vendor Outreach Sessions
provide an efficient means of effectively marketing your capabilities
face-to-face with DOL agency information technology personnel.
6. Does DOL buy from General Services Administration (GSA)
A. The Department of Labor takes advantage of the
efficiencies of procuring goods and services from GSA's Schedule Contracts.
Information on becoming a GSA Schedule vendor is available from
GSA is available by phone at 202-708-5082.
7. What procurement preferences are available to small
A. The federal government utilizes several
procurement preference programs for small businesses, including:
Business Set-asides, which restrict procurements to small businesses; the
Disadvantaged Business Program, which favors certified SDBs in prime and
subcontracting activities. This program includes the
Business Development Program, by which procurements may be limited to 8(a)
enrolled firms or directed to a specific 8(a) firm; the
(Historically Underutilized Business Zone) Program, through which
procurements may be limited to HUBZone enrolled firms or directed to a specific
HUBZone firm; the
Small Business Program, which favors women-owned businesses in prime and
subcontracting activities, including set-asides; and the
Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business Program (SDVOSB), which encourages
the use of SDVOSB businesses in prime and subcontracting activities.
Information on qualifying for and utilizing these programs is
available from the
Business Administration (SBA).
8. What is the Department of Labor's annual procurement
A. In Fiscal Year 2006 (which ended September 30,
2001) the Department of Labor procured approximately $1.7 billion for goods and
services. Of this, approximately $1.36 billion was expended via contracts
(which includes orders from GSA Schedule contracts), and approximately $35
million was expended on small purchases.
Nearly eighty percent of DOL's procurement budget is spent in support
of the Job Corps Program, and the
bulk of Job Corps' expenditures are for the operation of Job Corps Centers. Job
Corps also spends more than $100 million annually for construction services
associated with Job Corps Centers. Job Corps also procures outreach and
admissions services and other support services. The
Job Corps Program can be contacted by
phone at 202-693-3000.
The Department of Labor spends most of the rest of its procurement
budget on Information Technology services and equipment, socioeconomic studies,
and administrative goods and services.
9. What is the best way to market to the federal
A. Each federal agency has an
of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU). The
Office of Small Business Programs (OSBP)is the Department
of Labor's OSDBU. The OSDBUs promote the utilization of small businesses and
are small businesses' advocates within their respective agencies. Each OSDBU
office can instruct you on the best way to market to its agency. Most OSDBUs
have established Web sites.
In the Department of Labor we have organized bimonthly
Vendor Outreach Sessions
(VOS), which provide an opportunity for small businesses to market with
agency representatives face-to-face. At the Department of Labor, we also
publish Agency Small Business Contacts
and Agency Information Technology
Contacts. However, the Vendor Outreach Sessions provide the best
opportunity to meet with agency representatives.
Small businesses are advised to advertise their attributes and
capabilities on the Small Business Administration's Office of Small and
Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU)
an automated database of small businesses accessible via the Internet.
Small businesses seeking opportunities with the federal government
should also examine the
Business Daily and
for contract advertisements and award information.
10. Does the Federal government offer any help to start and
grow a small business?
Business Administration (SBA) provides financial and technical assistance
to small businesses through its
Offices. SBA maintains
Business Development Centers (SBDCs) throughout the nation to administer
various types of assistance. Members of SBA's sponsored
Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE) often operate in concert with the SBDCs
to provide added assistance. SBA also sponsors
Business Centers to be of special assistance to women growing
of Commerce also provides assistance to small businesses. In addition, the
Business Advisor (managed by the Small Business Administration) was created
to be a one-stop shop for Federal assistance to businesses of all types.
11. How can a small business learn of subcontracting
opportunities at the Department of Labor?
A. Large current contracts and the contractors are
identified in the Department of Labor's Procurement Forecast. Large businesses
file subcontracting plans for contracts over $500,000, and contracting officers
are responsible for ensuring the contractors perform in accordance with those
plans. However, the prime contractor chooses with which businesses it
Most Department of Labor subcontracting opportunities are with our Job
Corps Center Operations contracts identified in the Employment and Training
Administration section of the
The Small Business Administration has established
for prime contractors to use for posting subcontracting opportunities.
12. I am looking for Workplace Posters. Where can I find
A. You can find them at the
Posters site. The Department of Labor has also designed the
elaws Poster Advisor to help
employers comply with the poster requirements of several laws administered by
the Department of Labor (DOL). These laws require employers to display official
DOL posters where employees can readily observe them. DOL provides the posters
at no cost to employers.
The Poster Advisor only provides information about federal DOL poster
requirements. You may want to contact your
state Department of Labor to
obtain information about your state's requirements.
13. What is the Office of Small Business
A. The Office of Small Business Programs (OSBP)
administers the Department of Labor's responsibilities to ensure procurement
opportunities for small, small disadvantaged and women-owned small businesses,
serves as the Department's central referral point for small business regulatory
compliance information and questions, manages the Department's minority
colleges and universities program, and provides management oversight and
guidance for the Department's advisory committees and other similar committees
and agreements to assure compliance with applicable statutes and related