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The Hidden Importance of Small Business Certifications

Small businesses are the lifeblood of the U.S. economy: they create two-thirds of net new jobs and drive U.S. innovation and competitiveness. A new report shows that they account for 44 percent of U.S. economic activity. Small Business Certifications are important for numerous reasons. Small businesses are constantly being organized, yet there are not enough certified small businesses. Only certified small businesses earn the opportunity to do business with the U.S. federal government and other federal government contractors.

There are many federal small business certifications that are not self-certifications, like Serviced-Disabled Veteran Owned, 8a, Women-Owned, and HubZone small businesses. These certifications are the best way to stand out in an environment with such harsh competition. Let’s continue examining some other hidden benefits of these certifications!

One of the essential things to consider with businesses that are certified is the amount of vetting that is involved. Small businesses set aside certifications have rigorous vetting procedures. When applying or re-certifying a small business certification, there are a plethora of documents and records that are required. These documents may include detailed financial information on both owner and business, articles of incorporation, operating agreements, and sole proprietorship information. These are just a few of the many documents needed for the vetting process.

While this may be a stressful process for small businesses, this is great for their customers. As a certified small business, customers can be assured that they are doing business with a highly reputable and credible company. This process is definitely not for everyone, which is why there are not enough small businesses doing business with the federal government. We estimate that this process could take a combined 100+ hours to complete. However, this shows the government how pretentious and dedicated those small businesses are to work with them. These small businesses stand up to the toughest requirements and regulations and it definitely shows. No matter if it's a government or commercial customer, they can ensure that they are receiving product and or service from a highly vetted business with a quick look for the certification.

Here at Carroll International, we are a Service-Disabled Veteran-owned and HubZone certified small business. We believe one of the smartest government set-aside programs is the Hubzone program. HubZone small businesses are businesses that are located in overlooked urban and rural areas. The HUBZone certification identifies businesses by their location, not demographics. The HUBZone certification was made to provide jobs around the United States where they are needed the most. The growth directed by the HUBZone Program is smart growth for our great nation. It is a magnet to improve and strengthen the areas we most need to do so.

The terms veteran and service-disabled veteran are defined in 38 U.S.C. 101(2) and (16) respectively, the Department of Veterans Affairs, United States Code. The term "veteran" means a person who served in the active military, naval, or air service, and who was discharged or released under conditions other than dishonorable. The term "service-connected" means, with respect to disability or death, that such disability was incurred or aggravated, or that the death resulted from a disability incurred or aggravated, in line of duty in the active military, naval, or air service. An injury or disease incurred during military service will be deemed to have been incurred in the line of duty unless the disability was caused by the veteran's own misconduct or abuse of alcohol or drugs, or was incurred while absent without permission or while confined by military or civilian authorities for serious crimes. The Veteran-owned and Serviced Disabled Veteran Owned certifications are earned. The DoD believes that the sacrifices made by veterans in the service of our country need to be recognized at all levels of government. The Defense Department is committed to making the maximum practicable prime and subcontracting opportunities available to such firms.

Our Service-Disabled Veteran-owned certification is also something that we are proud of. Being that our President, Byron Carroll, is a retired U.S Army Paratrooper, we can say that Byron has truly earned this certification. He served our country while in the military and continues to serve our country by designing this business to give back to the government and supply them with the best products and services. Our recertification was recently approved for the third time by the VA as well!

Certified businesses are highly vetted and are dedicated to taking the necessary steps needed to complete this process. Companies do not get paid to get certified and are healthy enough to take the 100+ hours without pay to get certified. It is a gut check and not given out easily. If you are a small business wanting to expand your network and begin doing business with the federal government, we greatly encourage you to get certified. If your company is looking to add a supplier or in search of a business partner look for the certifications, it will at minimum give you the understanding that the company at least at one time was reviewed in-depth to see that they are compliant and upstanding. Know that other normal companies do not have to prove any of this to be in business. It is a free vetting of your supply chain. In conclusion, it is a smart choice to work with a certified small business for your company to know you are working with a compliant, vetted company as well as smart for our nation as well.

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