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Pathways to Federal Contracts

Federal contracts are a significant opportunity for businesses of all sizes to grow and secure stable, long-term revenue streams. The U.S. government, being the largest purchaser of goods and services in the world, offers various pathways for businesses to compete for and win contracts. Each of these paths has its specific details and benefits, making them suitable for different types of businesses and offerings. Here, we'll explore the paths to federal contracts, including Micro Purchases, the Simplified Acquisition Threshold, Set-Asides, Full & Open competitions, and Federal Supply Schedules.

1. Micro Purchases

Details: Micro purchases are acquisitions of supplies or services using simplified acquisition procedures, where the total amount does not exceed $10,000. Government buyers can use a government purchase card (similar to a credit card) for these transactions without requiring competitive quotes if they consider the price reasonable.

Benefits: The process is quick and involves minimal paperwork, making it ideal for small businesses to get started with federal contracting. It allows businesses to build a relationship with government buyers and understand the demands of federal contracts on a smaller scale.

2. Simplified Acquisition Threshold (SAT)

Details: The Simplified Acquisition Threshold is a procurement method designed to reduce the amount of work and time it takes to procure goods and services. The threshold for these purchases is between $10,000 and $250,000. Acquisitions of supplies or services that have an anticipated dollar value above the micro-purchase threshold, but below the SAT ($250K), shall be set aside for small  business concerns, and often require less documentation and processing time than larger contracts. (FAR Part 13)

Benefits: The SAT offers small businesses easier access to federal contracting opportunities. It allows for a more straightforward bidding process and the chance to compete in a less crowded market space, increasing the odds of winning contracts.

3. Set-Asides

Details: Set-aside contracts are reserved exclusively for small businesses, veteran-owned, women-owned, HUBZone businesses, and 8(a) businesses. The government sets aside certain contracts specifically for these groups to ensure that they get a fair chance to win federal business.

Benefits: Set asides reduce competition from larger firms, helping small and disadvantaged businesses compete for and win federal contracts. They provide targeted opportunities to help grow small businesses and enhance their capabilities through federal work.

4. Full & Open

Details: Full and open competitions are contract opportunities that are not restricted by business size or status. Any business can compete for these contracts, making the competition more intense but also opening up opportunities for larger contracts.

Benefits: Winning a full and open competition can significantly boost a company's profile and credibility. It allows businesses of all sizes to compete on an equal footing and offers the potential for securing more substantial contracts and establishing long-term relationships with federal agencies.

5. Federal Supply Schedules (FSS)

Details: Also known as GSA (General Services Administration) Schedules and VA (Veterans Affairs) Schedules, these are long-term contracts that provide federal, state, and local government buyers access to commercial products and services at pre-negotiated pricing.

Benefits: Being on a Federal Supply Schedule allows businesses to have their products and services readily available to a wide range of government agencies. It simplifies the buying process for government customers and provides schedule holders with consistent demand and opportunities for sales growth.

In conclusion, navigating the paths to federal contracts can seem daunting at first, but understanding each pathway's specifics and benefits can help businesses strategically position themselves in the federal marketplace. Whether a business is small or large, new to federal contracting or experienced, there is a path that fits its capabilities and goals. By leveraging these opportunities, businesses can secure stable revenue, expand their customer base, and contribute to their nation's operations and infrastructure.


Navigating the federal landscape can be complex, but you're not alone! The Braxton Group LLC is here to guide you with ease through every twist and turn, helping you secure necessary certifications and strategically position your business to win contracts. Let's embark on this journey together, unlocking opportunities and paving the way for your success. #TheBraxtonGroupLLC #JoAnnBraxton

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